1663 W San Carlos St, San Jose, CA | Directions 9512837.323600 -121.921100
Tue-Fri: 11am-2pm, 5pm-10pm, Sat: 5pm-10pm
Best Coctail Ever! Freshly Made! Cool, Hip Bartender – Place was in a wierd location, however once you enter the courtyard you forget that you are in weird location. There is a nice tropical patio. As I entered I was greeted promptly by the beautiful hostess who asked if I would like to be seated? I told her that I am waiting for my date and that I would not mind chilling out at the bar. I started with the Mango Mojito. It looks great. The bartender muddle the fresh mint with chunks of fresh mango. I could not wait to tak a sip. It was everything that everyone has been talking about. My date showed up we were both promptly seated. My date ordered a Royal Tea..the Super Dooper drink. She was in heaven. We ordered corn fritters & mango spring roll. It was out of this world. I have eaten spring roll all over San Jose but I have to tell Anise Cafe Springroll is really good. Most places boil their pork..Anise Cafe actually marinade their pork and braised in a delicious sauce. The spring roll is wrapped with a thinly rice paper, red leaf lettuce, mint and dip in a nice peanut sauce. I ordered a Green Papaya Salad with Beef Jerky. I love it. 3 out of 3 were all good. For dinner we had Saigon Crepe. Beer batter flour with shrimp & pork dip in a light Vietnamese Vinaigrette. It is really good. I am sitting writing and craving for another one. I have to go back soon.
Great Food, Beautiful Ambience & Friendly Service – Anise Cafe is located at a very un-expected location. However, once you have gotten over the location you will be in for a nice surprise. This is truly a treasure. There are lots of Vietnamese Restaurant in San Jose but only one Anise. It feels so warm and cozy. I would reccomend a Mango Mojito & Lychee Martini. Spring roll dipping in peanut sauce is perfect..fresh & crisp lettuce and cucumber. Mango & Water Crest Salad drizzled with lemongrass sauce is delicious. I would also order Anise Fried Rice...you will not find this anywhere else in San Jose. Mango Flan is a great way to end your meal. I love the space the food and the service were amazing. I will definitely come back.
WON'T GO BACK !!!! – We went to Anise on a Thursday evening and there was not one customer there. That should have clued me in that the restaurant was sub-standard. We ordered several appetizers and entree's and the only item I enjoyed was the shrimp egg rolls. The main beef entree we ordered was horrible. I was expecting the beef to be carmelized or sauteed as given on the menu description, but it was a pale gray color and looked like it had been microwaved and slapped on top of some wilted lettuce and soy sauce poured over the top....nasty. The beef was chewy and had lots of tendons and fat inside. All of the dishes ordered were too sweet also.
We were very disappointed with the food and the ironic thing was that the waiter stated that the particular beef dish was one of the best dishes......haha. I would hate to taste one of the less popular dishes.....
I'm a big fan of asian-fusion and this is the WORST place so far. Please save your time, money, and stomach and go some place else.
Looking for quality food? This is the place! – My friend has been telling me to try Anise Cafe for the last two years. Finally, I have a chance to try it. I did not know what to expect. I was told it is on West San Carlos. At first I thought it was in down town San Jose, it is not. It is in the middle between Down town and Valley Fair by Bascom avenue. I was a nice surprise to find such a wonderful restaurant in such an unlikely location. I was seated promptly by a really pretty hostess. It was a good start. Shortly after I was greeted by a really nice waitress that explain the menu throughly to me, an added bonus for someone who has dined at Anise fro a very first time. I ordered a mango mojito. It was the best mojito I have ever tasted. It was muddled with fresh mint, fresh mango, and fresh lime. The same way that I would made for my friends. By now I can't wait to eat. I ordered the corn fritters, what a simple amazing dish. I also tried the Banana blossom salad, the same salad that I have tried over Straits Cafe, this one was incredible, full of texture and the the flavors were amazing. I then ordered the Royal Tiger prawns with tamarind sauce, it is so tasty. Lastly I ordered the flambee banana springroll. Again lots of flavors, saba banana, coconut and jackfruit, I would never thought of that combinations. I love it. Can't wait to bring my friends and family back to try other dishes.
Paris & Vietnam in San Jose's backyard – Anise Cafe, where the hell is this place? As I drove on San Carlos looking for a restaurant recommended by a friend. I was tempted to head down towards Santa Row for a quick bite....when I saw funky little sign next to See's Candy and the good will shop....Shortly after I pulled into the parking lot not knowing what to expect " lots of parking space"....I entered into a court yard quite quaint, almost like something out of the neighborhood in Saigon filled with tall Bamboo branches and lush green a nice patio (UNEXPECTED), through the main door into the restaurant was a very parisian style bistro with soft Jazz music playing in the background, dimmed yellow light, tall banquets along the wall....it was COOL and unspected in a time warped way. The main reason for my writing was definitely the food. No pretensions...just food. Good home food. The flavors were fresh and bursted in your mouth. My favorite dishes....were many: as I sample the small plates. The turmeric catfish served with fresh sautee dill and shallots dipped in a pineapple sauce was out of this world (and I know V. food). The bite size were pleasant....leaving you wanting more. The green apple salad with grilled lemongrass flank steak was a brilliant example of what fusion should be. I have had fusion food where they used steak and apple but it was always a little timid in flavoring...not knowing what the audience wants. Anise's Green apple salad was not shy at all...about being pair together in it's full potential...A MUST TRY with their PINOT GRIS! As for the main entree I love meat and potatoes....as in their skirt steak with french fry's....don't be fool by the simplicity of it's name, because again this is a good marriage between french cuisine and Vietnamese flavoring. At the end of the meal I was fully satisfy but not full...which is a good feeling to walk away from a nice evening ...dessert for me was a liquid cocktail. Go see it for yourself.
Some Hits, Many Misses – I took my family to Anise Cafe because my brother sent me an internet gift certificate. Things seemed promising when the couple entering at the same time as said we were in for a treat. The menu offered an interesting array of choices. The Lemongrass Beef Rolls and Traditional Vietnamese Spring Rolls were good. The Corn Fritters a little too oily. I could recommend the Caramelized Catfish, Tamarind Soup and Anise Fired Rice. These were flavorful. The presentation of the dishes was artistic. The Dong Xuan Pork appeared to be stewed rather than grilled and was very tough. The Pad Thai Noodles were bland.
The real disappointment was the service. The soup was good, but it was the last item served. I usually think of soup as an appetizer. Our server was missing for prolonged periods. Once when our server was at the table I asked if she could bring us water. She disappeared. Later we found another server to refill our glasses. About that time the people at another table (The couple who told us we were in for a treat.) shouted for water." I've been to so many restaurants where someone is always filling my water glass. It can't be a big expense to refill the water glasses.
We were going to order dessert. She delivered the menu and came back ten minuets later to take the order. Despite the interesting choices, by that time we were ready to go. Then there was another wait for the bill. I found that the gift certificate which I had provided when ordering was not credited. This is a small place and there appeared to be four servers. Maybe the servers have to work in the kitchen and serve.
Disappointed - Bad good, bad service – Do you like getting your appetizer after your main course? Do you appreciate it when you're still hungry (I'm 5'1 100 lbs) after spending $35? Do you like it when your waiter suggests a MUST HAVE dish only to find out they're out of it? If so, make bee-line to Anise. The food bored my palate. Everything was sweet. This place is all looks and no substance. If you appreciate a more thoughtful, scrumptious dining experience, steer clear of this place.
Once again I apologyze for your disappointment at Anise Cafe. As I remembered, you came in with a group of 18 people on the night that Anise Cafe has live entertainment. With a group of 18 people celebrating a B-Day party. It is best to have a pre-order menu for best experience. Our menu are family style - small plates & big plates. You are right the food does not come out in the order of appetizer then entree. For $35, you are paying for: Live Music, Food, drink, tax, tips, and a portion of the b-day girl. I do not doubt that you left our place hungry. Our average ticket is $25, if you are dining by yourself or with a guest you should have been quite full! I hope that you have a wonderful experience in all your future dinings. It is unfortunate that our cuisine did not excite your palate. Please be constructive in all your future critics.
Anise is a great restaurant – I have dined at Anise on numerous occassions and I think it's a great restaurant. I dined there last night and discovered they have live jazz music every Wed. night. I introduce this restaurant to all my friends and they all like it and return to dine at this restaurant. The food is delicious, innovative, and reasonably priced. The decor is modern and the ambience gives off a cool, hip vibe. I also like the fact that it's not crowded there, since I don't have much patience in waiting for a table. There's also a good selection of cocktails there - I would recommend the french martini or lychee martini. Cheers to you, Dang!
Great Service, Atmosphere & Food!!! – It was my first time at Anise Cafe and I'll definitely go back! Amazing, beautiful, artistic decoration of Anise. Service was excellent! Our waitress was very attentative of our table and made great recommendations. She guided us through the whole menu (helpful for the first time dining). My favorite appetizers were the Potato Shrimp Tempura and Cornfritters. I love the Saigon Crepe and very POPULAR Green Apple Salad (You'll see why). My all-time favorite was the Royal Tiger Prawns. A MUST for all seafood lovers!!! I believe the dishes are generously portioned. Very much like European style. Not to forget to mention the highlight of the evening (if you have room for dessert) was definitely the Banana Spring Rolls. If you like fire, I definitely recommend you to go for Flambee. Definitely no regrets! To top everything off, a mango flan should follow.
Not the Greatest – Anise is a lavish yet has a beautiful setting with full bar of fine wine and coctails. Although my experience at Anise was not what I expected. Small plates was good...The sweet patotoe shrimp tempura ( is to die for!) The presentation looks a little sloppy, one of the dish had extra oil in its dish. Service was friendly but sloppy also, waitress was attentitive but seem to get caught in their own world at the bar....sometime unecessary shouts were heard from the back.....Waiters were good at giving us water, I don't think we'll be thirsty at Anise. Although we would love to see more portion of the food.
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