Location: 301 E. Santa Clara St., San Jose
Reviewed: June 2, 2006
Espresso: My double was served in a 12oz. to-go cup (I was not asked for my preference of carry out or stay in) and reached ~4oz. in volume. It had a thin yet persistent layer of light brown crema. It was quite hot, and the primary tastes (although they were not particularly prevalent, likely due to the heat and presumed staleness) were bitter and rubbery. The rubber-like taste speaks of the possible inclusion in the blend of a substantial proportion of robusta beans, and the sign in the cafe speaking of Vietnamese-grown coffee would also support this supposition.
Atmosphere: I did a double-take after walking into this place, because it looks like a formal restaurant. The tables are large, covered with white tablecloths and glassine panels. As the location is quite large, there is also substantial space between the tables. Of some note here is that nobody was in the cafe excepting myself and the (apparently solo) barista (who barely spoke English), and it was 8:45 a.m. in downtown San Jose. They may be new, as it should have been far busier than that.
Verdict: If they did as good a job with their espresso as they do with their croissants (mine was straight from the oven and still warm), they'd rock.