1. Anthony Bourdain would like Isabella's. Isabella's Restaurant is located at 70 S. Winchester Blvd., San Jose, California. It specializes in South American cuisine and its chef is Peruvian. The decor is nice--make sure you catch the small wooden sculpture of a soccer player on the left hand side of the restaurant. The location could be better--being next to a hairdresser and across from a nail salon doesn't scream five-stars--but I didn't care about the neighbors once I tasted the food.
I ordered the anticucho de corazon and the tacu tacu. If you like rice dishes, definitely get the tacu tacu--it's a flavorful rice and beans dish. The steak that came with the tacu tacu failed to impress, but I ordered it for the rice portion, so I didn't mind.
The anticucho de corazon was also great. It's basically four skewers of animal heart. What's animal heart? Well, imagine liver, but without the icky texture and aftertaste. Definitely try it--it was the highlight of my dinner.
2. I am always happy when I see an immigrant opening a new store. It reminds me the American Dream is alive and well. A new Ethiopian store, Tana Liquors and Groceries, has opened on 1358 S. Winchester Blvd., San Jose, CA. The store is very small and appears to have opened recently.Their advertising focuses on their imported spices, coffee, and liquor. I also noticed pre-paid phone cards. Right now, the store is new, so it doesn't have tons of products, but I bought and enjoyed a small apricot drink. The store's phone number is 408-871-8199; listed cell phone is 408-373-0606.
3. If you're into veggie food, don't forget Chaat Bhavan.
Disclosure: as of this writing, I have no financial interests in the above establishments and have not received "kickbacks" from them.