It was time to head down to dinner at the Hotel Valenica Santana Row's signature restaurant, Oveja Negra.
The warm weather meant for a perfect evening dining alfresco in the courtyard, although the contemporary Mediterranean interior was just as tempting.
Our server, Richard, was also the bartender of the evening. He recommended starting off with the “Unruly” Sangria Blanco and the “Cool as a Cucumber” gin spritzer. Cheers!
You won't find appetizers or entrees on the menu—they call the menu selection “unruly tapas.” In other terms, there's no formal way to ordering a tantalizing selection of flavors and dishes from around the globe.
Thankfully everyone starts off with a house dish of shishito peppers in a salsa verde sauce. It’s served in a cast iron dish and topped with melted mozzarella.
It’s delicious and a quintessential taste to start off our meals.
We move on to the “land” dishes next and ordered their signature dish, Oveja Negra Barbacoa.
The presentation of tortillas perched on top of a bone (as we enthralled ourselves into finding every last drop of marrow) and was just beautiful, and the meat was so tender and delicious.
We also tried the Bison Meatloaf Albondigas and loved the tangy combination of fresh ketchup, brown sugar and homemade Worcestershire sauce.
Moving on to the “From the Sea” portion of the menu, our waiter let us know that he had helped the chef create a dish known as “Richard’s Bacon-Wrapped Scallop and Waffles.” Definitely not something you see every day—how unruly.
A complete gem of a dish, as the spicy maple syrup blended with fresh peach purée knocked it so far out of the ballpark—or should we say San Jose Stadium?
Another stand out was the Thai Kampachi Kifto—check out that presentation!
The yellowtail marinated in lemon juice and a blend of Ethiopian spices was refreshing and an ideal complement to the other heavy dishes we had tried.
The fried cauliflower pakora and cashews in Indian spices such as turmeric and coriander, offered a smoky taste that really popped.
The portions of each dish were so generous and much more than your usual small-plate tapas. Whatever you do, don’t skip out on the “From the Garden” vegetables.
We also loved the summery White Peach and Heirloom Tomato Salad with Mashed Potato Croquettes.
We were finding ourselves so full, but our server convinced us that we couldn't leave just yet without trying the Chocolate S’mores Crème Brulee dessert. OK, just a bite, or two, or three…
Topped off with a tequila espresso cocktail and you have a flawless ending to an amazing dining experience in San Jose, California.
"Oveja negra" translates to "black sheep" and with its creative globally-inspired cuisine, it truly is unruly by design, yet delicious by nature—just as the name implies.
Always available by foot and Uber, but should you take the Bentley, complimentary valet parking is available.