JavaScript is not enabled.
Anise Cafe - 21 Reviews - 1663 W San Carlos St, San Jose, CA - Restaurants Reviews - Phone (408) 298-8178

Anise Cafe

1663 W San Carlos St
San Jose, CA 95128
(408) 298-8178
Incorrect info? Correct your listing


( 9 )
( 3 )
( 2 )
( 5 )
( 2 )


Place was in a wierd location, however once you enter the courtyard you forget that you are in weird location. There is a nice tropical patio. As I entered I was greeted promp...


I took my family to Anise Cafe because my brother sent me an internet gift certificate. Things seemed promising when the couple entering at the same time as said we were in for a...

Best Coctail Ever! Freshly Made! Cool, Hip Bartender 4/24/2008

Place was in a wierd location, however once you enter the courtyard you forget that you are in weird location. There is a nice tropical patio. As I entered I was greeted promptly by the beautiful hostess who asked if I would like to be seated? I told her that I am waiting for my date and that I would not mind chilling out at the bar. I started with the Mango Mojito. It looks great. The bartender muddle the fresh mint with chunks of fresh mango. I could not wait to tak a sip. It was everything that everyone has been talking about. My date showed up we were both promptly seated. My date ordered a Royal Tea..the Super Dooper drink. She was in heaven. We ordered corn fritters & mango spring roll. It was out of this world. I have eaten spring roll all over San Jose but I have to tell Anise Cafe Springroll is really good. Most places boil their pork..Anise Cafe actually marinade their pork and braised in a delicious sauce. The spring roll is wrapped with a thinly rice paper, red leaf lettuce, mint and dip in a nice peanut sauce. I ordered a Green Papaya Salad with Beef Jerky. I love it. 3 out of 3 were all good. For dinner we had Saigon Crepe. Beer batter flour with shrimp & pork dip in a light Vietnamese Vinaigrette. It is really good. I am sitting writing and craving for another one. I have to go back soon. Pros: Cocktails & Food quality are superb! Cons: Location! more

Great Food, Beautiful Ambience & Friendly Service 4/24/2008

Anise Cafe is located at a very un-expected location. However, once you have gotten over the location you will be in for a nice surprise. This is truly a treasure. There are lots of Vietnamese Restaurant in San Jose but only one Anise. It feels so warm and cozy. I would reccomend a Mango Mojito & Lychee Martini. Spring roll dipping in peanut sauce is perfect..fresh & crisp lettuce and cucumber. Mango & Water Crest Salad drizzled with lemongrass sauce is delicious. I would also order Anise Fried will not find this anywhere else in San Jose. Mango Flan is a great way to end your meal. I love the space the food and the service were amazing. I will definitely come back. Pros: Small Plates, lots of choices & great ambiance! Cons: Locations! more

WON'T GO BACK !!!! 4/4/2008

We went to Anise on a Thursday evening and there was not one customer there. That should have clued me in that the restaurant was sub-standard. We ordered several appetizers and entree's and the only item I enjoyed was the shrimp egg rolls. The main beef entree we ordered was horrible. I was expecting the beef to be carmelized or sauteed as given on the menu description, but it was a pale gray color and looked like it had been microwaved and slapped on top of some wilted lettuce and soy sauce poured over the top....nasty. The beef was chewy and had lots of tendons and fat inside. All of the dishes ordered were too sweet also. \r \r We were very disappointed with the food and the ironic thing was that the waiter stated that the particular beef dish was one of the best dishes......haha. I would hate to taste one of the less popular dishes.....\r \r I'm a big fan of asian-fusion and this is the WORST place so far. Please save your time, money, and stomach and go some place else. Pros: Nothing Cons: Food, poor value for the low quality food more

Looking for quality food? This is the place! 5/30/2007

My friend has been telling me to try Anise Cafe for the last two years. Finally, I have a chance to try it. I did not know what to expect. I was told it is on West San Carlos. At first I thought it was in down town San Jose, it is not. It is in the middle between Down town and Valley Fair by Bascom avenue. I was a nice surprise to find such a wonderful restaurant in such an unlikely location. I was seated promptly by a really pretty hostess. It was a good start. Shortly after I was greeted by a really nice waitress that explain the menu throughly to me, an added bonus for someone who has dined at Anise fro a very first time. I ordered a mango mojito. It was the best mojito I have ever tasted. It was muddled with fresh mint, fresh mango, and fresh lime. The same way that I would made for my friends. By now I can't wait to eat. I ordered the corn fritters, what a simple amazing dish. I also tried the Banana blossom salad, the same salad that I have tried over Straits Cafe, this one was incredible, full of texture and the the flavors were amazing. I then ordered the Royal Tiger prawns with tamarind sauce, it is so tasty. Lastly I ordered the flambee banana springroll. Again lots of flavors, saba banana, coconut and jackfruit, I would never thought of that combinations. I love it. Can't wait to bring my friends and family back to try other dishes. Pros: Flavors, Ambience, and Cocktails! Cons: Hidden space! more

Paris & Vietnam in San Jose's backyard 5/30/2007

Anise Cafe, where the hell is this place? As I drove on San Carlos looking for a restaurant recommended by a friend. I was tempted to head down towards Santa Row for a quick bite....when I saw funky little sign next to See's Candy and the good will shop....Shortly after I pulled into the parking lot not knowing what to expect "" lots of parking space""....I entered into a court yard quite quaint, almost like something out of the neighborhood in Saigon filled with tall Bamboo branches and lush green a nice patio (UNEXPECTED), through the main door into the restaurant was a very parisian style bistro with soft Jazz music playing in the background, dimmed yellow light, tall banquets along the was COOL and unspected in a time warped way. The main reason for my writing was definitely the food. No pretensions...just food. Good home food. The flavors were fresh and bursted in your mouth. My favorite dishes....were many: as I sample the small plates. The turmeric catfish served with fresh sautee dill and shallots dipped in a pineapple sauce was out of this world (and I know V. food). The bite size were pleasant....leaving you wanting more. The green apple salad with grilled lemongrass flank steak was a brilliant example of what fusion should be. I have had fusion food where they used steak and apple but it was always a little timid in flavoring...not knowing what the audience wants. Anise's Green apple salad was not shy at all...about being pair together in it's full potential...A MUST TRY with their PINOT GRIS! As for the main entree I love meat and in their skirt steak with french fry's....don't be fool by the simplicity of it's name, because again this is a good marriage between french cuisine and Vietnamese flavoring. At the end of the meal I was fully satisfy but not full...which is a good feeling to walk away from a nice evening ...dessert for me was a liquid cocktail. Go see it for yourself. Pros: Wonderful food, cool atmosphere! Cons: It is wher it is. Location on San Carlos - Next to Good Will more

Some Hits, Many Misses 12/22/2006

I took my family to Anise Cafe because my brother sent me an internet gift certificate. Things seemed promising when the couple entering at the same time as said we were in for a treat. The menu offered an interesting array of choices. The Lemongrass Beef Rolls and Traditional Vietnamese Spring Rolls were good. The Corn Fritters a little too oily. I could recommend the Caramelized Catfish, Tamarind Soup and Anise Fired Rice. These were flavorful. The presentation of the dishes was artistic. The Dong Xuan Pork appeared to be stewed rather than grilled and was very tough. The Pad Thai Noodles were bland.\r \r The real disappointment was the service. The soup was good, but it was the last item served. I usually think of soup as an appetizer. Our server was missing for prolonged periods. Once when our server was at the table I asked if she could bring us water. She disappeared. Later we found another server to refill our glasses. About that time the people at another table (The couple who told us we were in for a treat.) shouted for water."" I've been to so many restaurants where someone is always filling my water glass. It can't be a big expense to refill the water glasses. \r \r We were going to order dessert. She delivered the menu and came back ten minuets later to take the order. Despite the interesting choices, by that time we were ready to go. Then there was another wait for the bill. I found that the gift certificate which I had provided when ordering was not credited. This is a small place and there appeared to be four servers. Maybe the servers have to work in the kitchen and serve.\r more

Disappointed - Bad good, bad service 4/6/2006

Do you like getting your appetizer after your main course? Do you appreciate it when you're still hungry (I'm 5'1 100 lbs) after spending $35? Do you like it when your waiter suggests a MUST HAVE dish only to find out they're out of it? If so, make bee-line to Anise. The food bored my palate. Everything was sweet. This place is all looks and no substance. If you appreciate a more thoughtful, scrumptious dining experience, steer clear of this place. Pros: Ambiance, Parking Cons: Food, Service more

Anise is a great restaurant 3/1/2006

I have dined at Anise on numerous occassions and I think it's a great restaurant. I dined there last night and discovered they have live jazz music every Wed. night. I introduce this restaurant to all my friends and they all like it and return to dine at this restaurant. The food is delicious, innovative, and reasonably priced. The decor is modern and the ambience gives off a cool, hip vibe. I also like the fact that it's not crowded there, since I don't have much patience in waiting for a table. There's also a good selection of cocktails there - I would recommend the french martini or lychee martini. Cheers to you, Dang! Pros: food, ambience, cocktails more

Great Service, Atmosphere & Food!!! 2/9/2006

It was my first time at Anise Cafe and I'll definitely go back! Amazing, beautiful, artistic decoration of Anise. Service was excellent! Our waitress was very attentative of our table and made great recommendations. She guided us through the whole menu (helpful for the first time dining). My favorite appetizers were the Potato Shrimp Tempura and Cornfritters. I love the Saigon Crepe and very POPULAR Green Apple Salad (You'll see why). My all-time favorite was the Royal Tiger Prawns. A MUST for all seafood lovers!!! I believe the dishes are generously portioned. Very much like European style. Not to forget to mention the highlight of the evening (if you have room for dessert) was definitely the Banana Spring Rolls. If you like fire, I definitely recommend you to go for Flambee. Definitely no regrets! To top everything off, a mango flan should follow. Pros: Service, Ambience, Food more

Not the Greatest 12/23/2005

Anise is a lavish yet has a beautiful setting with full bar of fine wine and coctails. Although my experience at Anise was not what I expected. Small plates was good...The sweet patotoe shrimp tempura ( is to die for!) The presentation looks a little sloppy, one of the dish had extra oil in its dish. Service was friendly but sloppy also, waitress was attentitive but seem to get caught in their own world at the bar....sometime unecessary shouts were heard from the back.....Waiters were good at giving us water, I don't think we'll be thirsty at Anise. Although we would love to see more portion of the food. Pros: Food, Coctail, Friendly Cons: professionalism, loud, waitress attentitive more

There are better Vietnamese restaurants out there 12/16/2005

Anise looked promising from the start. It's got a cool loungy look and great coctails. But it goes down hill from there. The food was bland. We had the over-priced spring rolls. About $3ea. and they were just ok. The 3 other dishes didn't fare any better. In a nutshell, the noodles were hard and stuck together, the batter on a shrimp dish was under cooked and soggy. Normally that dish is crunchy. We left hungry, and went down the steet to Taco Bravo to fill up. There are plenty of good Vietnamese restaurants in the South Bay but I'm sorry to say this isn't one of them. Pros: ambience, coctails, friendly staff Cons: food, over-priced, food more

Great Asian Fusion and a great environment 12/13/2005

Got a bit lost finding the restaurant, it is a bit tucked away. Other than that, the experience was great. A bit loud inside, maybe a some additional drapery to help mute the sounds, but entrees, small plates, drinks, and especially dessert were excellent. Small plates are small, meant for one as an appetizer, but the entrees are generously portioned. Pros: Food, Drinks, Parking more

Still Hungry! 12/11/2005

My two friends and I ate at Anise a few weeks ago. The ambiance and decor were refreshingly unique, but the portions were dissappointingly small and left all of us VERY hungry. Despite the three appetizers and three entrees that we had, we were left wanting more. Considering that we're relatively petite, this is definitey an issue. The food was indeed good, but just not enough of it. I had the Vietnamese Vermicelli Noodles with Pork. The pork slices were good, but there were barely any noodles on my plate. I'm reluctant to recommend Anise because of its small portions. Pros: Ambiance, Great Decor, Friendly Staff Cons: Small Portions more

ambiance it's strongest point 10/4/2005

Definitely hidden in San Jose, I went in on a Thursday early evening. The place was pretty empty but I was impressed with the decor and ambiance. The host was great and our waiter started off attentive but soon forgot about us as the meal progressed. Portions are small, food is so-so, and overall a bit over-priced. Feels like I could get the same at other Fusion restaurants. Pros: ambiance Cons: small portions, overpriced more

Has Potential, But Still Needs Work 9/28/2005

Anise Cafe has made a lot of use of their small space, and the decor has a trendy vibe. Service is friendly, but slow, unexperienced, and needs refining. We ordered rice with one entree and never received it after numerous reminders. Our main entrees came out at different times, with large gaps in between. We both had wine, and not once did our waitress ask if we wanted another glass. We had to request water instead of automatically being given it. The prices here are moderate, but the service wasn't good enough to justify the price. The food was okay, however, there are many other Asian or Fusion restaurants in the area that fare much better. Pros: New Twist on Cuisine Cons: Sloppy Service more

Cae Anise 9/16/2005

The decor is nice, more modern than asian. The food is okay, not worth for the price you paid for it. Small portion. It takes too long for the order to come in. The name of the menu is very misleading. When i order a crepe, an omelet came out of the kitchen, what a disappointment. Our main entree came first before the appetizer (small plates). During lunch time you can order from the dinner menu because is takes time to make. We can only order from the lunch menu which has limited items. Lunch special menu are too pricey. Not an authentic Vietnamese qourmet food. Cons: expensive, not authentic more

What A Wonderful Surprise! 9/16/2005

This is my first time coming to Anise Cafe. Heard a lot of good things about the food & the space! What a wonderful surprise to find such a beautiful space in such an odd locations. This restaurant is definitely something that you would find in San Francisco. The food is amazing. You feel like you are dining at a 5 stars restaurant only the price will not reflect the value that you are getting. I will definitely come back. The servers are all very nice. Beautiful presentations on all the food. You must try the Green Apple Salad w/Grilled lemongrass beef & The Royal Tiger Prawns with garlic noodles...much better than crustacean in SF. Pros: Food, Price, Ambience Cons: location, Bathroom outside more

WOW! 9/15/2005

First time dining at Anise Cafe! The experience was great...Presentations of all the dishes...Royal Tiger Prawn - presented in a teepee format, the garlic noodles tasted amazing. The crisp crab & shrimp roll is the best...they actually use real crab! Banana Blossom - was beautifully presented on a burgundy banana blossom. You can taste the lotus, banana blossom, jicama....what flavors! They have a full bar with cool bartenders...Jazzy! The day that I dined at Anise there was a Jazz band cool is that? The crowd seemed to enjoy the ambience and noone seemed to want to leave. The drinks were Lychee martini ever tasted. Mango Mojito & Pommigranate Mojito....did not even realize that they exists. Pros: Food, Drinks, Ambience Cons: location more

We Liked It 9/14/2005

The food was good and came quickly. We had good service, they were attentive and helped us pick a few items on the menu. Pleasant atmosphere although the music was kind of cheesy (but not that loud). It's located in a strip mall, but inside is very trendy and up-to-date. Overall, pretty good. Pros: Service, Food, Menu Options more

50-50 6/3/2005

Service was so sloppy. Waiter totally ignored my table once a bigger party entered. We finished our plates and was waiting for him to come to take our dessert selection. Finally gave up and call for the bill. Once acknowledged, not even an apology was said. 'Average' food although not exactly authentic Vietnamese. Some dishes have a twist of Thai and others flavor. Environment is nice, a little stuffy though maybe need more ventilation. Overall: not bad, definitely need some improvement in service. Pros: environment, seated promptly, average price Cons: service, professionalism more
< Previous 1 2 Next >

Menu for Anise Cafe

20% OFF all yearly plans
Use spring at checkout. Expires 6/30/2018


  • Modern Vietnamese-California cuisine made with fresh, local ingredients.

  • 7/18/2005 Provided by Citysearch

Additional information

  • Hours:

    Tue-Fri: 11am-2pm, 5pm-10pm, Sat: 5pm-10pm
  • Payments:

    American Express, Discover, Master Card, Visa