* Click here for rating key
Loft Bar & Bistro Restaurant Review: Loft Bar & Bistro opened its doors during the same week as the inaugural San Jose Grand Prix. That was appropriate, given that the establishment has since lapped much of its competition in the downtown area. The owners poured much time and effort into creating a sophisticated dining experience, spending roughly two years in readying the old building on South Second Street before ever serving the first drink. The result is a staggeringly good-looking spot that mingles hip color schemes, dark-wood furnishings and exposed brick walls in one comfortingly urban setting. Loft is best known for its covered rooftop patio, which offers some of the best views of downtown San Jose. The menu offers updated versions of American bistro classics, many of which possess a sizable Italian influence. The pesto-crusted grilled salmon is one of the best dishes on the menu. Another winner is the blackened pork chops, which come topped with a papaya-jicama salsa and served with garlic mashed potatoes.