Side Dish

Skye's the Limit, Spinnin' Wheel, Bonjour!, Harry's Helpful Hints (Numbers 510, 650, and 925)

Skye's the Limit
George Karpaty and the boys behind Backbeat, Santa Clara's most popular nightclub (is there more than one?), have opened their brand-spanking-new spacious party room at the old Stage Door Theater at 420 Mason. Dubbed Ruby Skye, the club features state-of-the-art technology in ultra-plush surroundings. Who knows what kinda folk the place will attract, but some of the hipper clubbies in town were spied exploring each others' rhythms out front at Martel & Nabiel's new "Square" on Friday night.

Spinnin' Wheel
Like it says in the media release for Jamba Juice's new meal deals: You can get a Jamba Juice smoothie with a Jamba bread or you can get a Jamba smoothie with a Jamba pretzel, or a Jamba bread with a Jamba soup or a Jamba pretzel and a Jamba soup, or a fresh-squeezed juice with a Jamba bread or a Jamba pretzel with a fresh-squeezed juice. Can I get a Jamba pretzel with a Jamba bread? The possibilities are endless. To quote Lily Tomlin: Art? Soup. Soup? Art.

Casual dining has found its spot on Fillmore with the opening of Chez Nous (Our Place). The spare space and jammed-in tables surrounding a stand-up-bar -- and the open kitchen -- all scream Modern Euro. The restaurant was opened as a response to popular demand from customers around the corner at the Boulangerie Bay Bread. Owner Pascal Rigo hooked up with Chef Laurence Jossel, late of Kokkari, and set the wheels in motion; Jossel's menu is an array of small plates (Mediterranean tapas?) ranging from $3.50 to $9.50. His pommes frites are great eating, as is the tortilla Español. Save room for the café au lait pot de creme -- this is bound to become a popular place for a quick bite before the movies or a late night Chimay.

Harry's Helpful Hints (Numbers 510, 650, and 925)

Five ways to make friends and influence people at a restaurant:

1) Sit at the bar having before-dinner cocktails for 45 minutes after your reservation time, then check in with the host and let him know you're there and ready to be seated.

2) Ask the waiter what his or her name is, and where he or she is from, and what his or her real job is, and where you should go after dinner.

3) Order the most expensive bottle of wine. Then send it back, saying it's "too unctuous." Order something less expensive and ask for a side of ice.

4) Eat most of your meal, then complain it was incorrectly prepared and that, no, you don't want it re-cooked, you'd actually prefer something else entirely.

5) Rearrange the furniture.

Know something Harry doesn't? E-mail and sweep the dirt out from under the rug.

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