Santana Row, which has been called the “Rodeo Drive” of Silicon Valley, has some high-end stores like Gucci, Kate Spade and Bonobos. So when an acquaintance of mine suggested we meet there for an early dinner, I figured the only thing I would be able to afford was a side salad and some water. I was pleasantly surprised when we arrived at Yard House, which has a terrific happy hour menu and an impressive selection of appetizers, entrees and cocktails.
Dish of Choice
I ordered the Spicy Thai Chicken Pizza, which was made with firecracker sauce, mozzarella, macadamia nuts, carrots, green onion and cilantro. I also ordered one of the Fresh & Skinny cocktails, ranging from 140 to 200 calories and made with the restaurant’s own house citrus agave blend. I picked the Pure Cosmo Martini, which was made with Skyy Infusions citrus vodka, cranberry juice and fresh lime. Since it was happy hour, I got discounts on the pizza and martini. With tax, my bill was about $17.
I never thought I would eat a pizza with carrots and nuts on it, but I wanted to expand my culinary horizons. The pizza was delicious and enough to split with another person (I took half of it home). I didn’t know what firecracker sauce was, but I assumed it would be spicy. It was, but not “set your mouth on fire” spicy. The carrots and nuts brought a nice crunch to the dish, and the green onion and cilantro created a flavorful palate. No ingredient felt out of place.
I typically try to stay away from cocktails that have a lot of ingredients because it’s just extra calories I don’t need. I enjoyed the Pure Cosmo Martini because it was simple: vodka, cranberry juice, lime. That’s all I need.
Yard House was super busy, even with it only being 4 p.m. on a Tuesday. However, we only had to wait about 15 minutes to get a table in the large bar area. The restaurant has a modern, upscale look, like many casual dining places in the area. It has dim lighting, contemporary, abstract paintings on the walls and several flat-screen televisions to enjoy locally- and nationally-televised sports. It seems like a fun place to meet up with friends before hitting the club or seeing a concert.
Yard House in San Jose is located at 300 Santana Row. It has several locations throughout California and 19 other states. For more information on the San Jose location, call (408) 241-9273 or visit www.yardhouse.com.