San Jose Restaurant Week kicks off, more than 30 businesses participating

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Calling all foodies! You can indulge with special menus and deals throughout the Bay Area's largest city as San Jose kicks off its annual restaurant week.

More than 30 restaurants are presenting prix fixe lunches and dinners for $10, $20, $30, $40, or $50.

"We're offering a wedge salad, a filet mignon with mashed potatoes and a peppercorn sauce, and then we have a chocolate fondant with cookies and cream ice cream," said Serena Harkey, general manager, and sommelier at LB Steak on Santana Row, which is running a $50 lunch special.

At the other end of the row, Meso Restaurant, which opened just two months ago, sees this as an opportunity to introduce modern Mediterranean cuisine to a new audience.

"Think of it as the time to kind of get local again, and go support the restaurants around you, and maybe explore your own neighborhood or maybe your neighborhoods next door," said Jacob Paronyan, Meso director of operations and area general manager.

Organizers say this year's restaurants are the most diverse ever. ABC7 News visited Pho Co Restaurant, which is the first business in San Jose's Little Saigon neighborhood to participate in the promotion.

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"When you come here to our restaurant, you not only experience the food itself but the culture as well," said Pho Co-owner Son Nguyen. "We love to present our food to the world, besides the pho, the spring rolls. We have 100 entrees here that they can look and try it out."

San Jose Restaurant Week is a part of the California Restaurant Month, which was created by Visit California, as an initiative to encourage post-holiday travel to California.

"Last year, visitors spent $560 million in San Jose restaurants alone, which generated $47.5 million in tax revenue," said Visit San Jose communications director Frances Wong.

Wong says the program is a chance for residents to not only visit local gems but also discover brand new favorites, especially since January tends to be a slower time for the industry.

"If you really look closely to your own neighborhood, you will find that there's a restaurant like Kazoo. We have been here for the past 30, 40 years, and offer great food and services," said Sean Yang, who owns Kazoo Restaurant in the city's Japantown neighborhood.

San Jose Restaurant Week starts Jan. 16 and runs through Jan. 26. Click here for a list of participating restaurants.
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