Eastridge Mall reached out to me a couple of weeks back to invite me to their Grand Re-Opening! I legit haven’t been to that mall in probably 10-15 years, so I was curious to see what was up. Eastridge isn’t really the mall that’s people’s first choice because it was so dated and other malls have better stores (i.e. Valley Fair), and I also rarely went there because it’s pretty far from where I live. Valley Fair is much closer to me so we would always end up there instead. Eastridge put together a weekend of fun, where Friday was about Food, Saturday was about the Arts, and Sunday was about Family. I decided to come out on Friday, since of course, it was focused on the food!
I walked in between the Sears and AMC, which takes you right to the food court on the second level. The food court is nice and updated and really clean. It looks like their going to add a couple of eateries as well in the future. Also love that they have a boba spot in the mall!
I went downstairs, directly under the food court, where Eastridge was holding a panel about San Jose’s food scene. They had chefs and restauranteurs from the city, such as Gordon Biersch, the chefs of Michelin-starred Adega (San Jose’s first and only Michelin restaurant), and the caterers turned future restauranteur, Trifecta Cooks. Gordon Biersch focuses on beer and wine but they also have a great food menu as well, while Adega focuses on highlighting Portuguese cuisine. Trifecta Cooks has an Asian Fusion inspired menu, where they focus on sushi, as all of the owners met and worked at Morimoto in Napa. It was interesting to see what all of them had to say since they come from such different backgrounds.
Once the food panel was done, Trifecta Cooks was hosting a sushi class, demonstrating how to put together a sushi roll. I felt pretty confident about this since I’ve done it a few times now, so I knew I wouldn’t totally fail at this! They showed us to make rolls with the sushi on the outside, which is something I haven’t done before (mostly because it required more effort on my part, lol).
They gave us a demonstration and then helped all of us out when we needed it. I think I did pretty good in the end! We made California rolls, with cucumber, avocado, and cucumber. They provided us with a sauce that was made up of mayonnaise and fermented tea leaves, like the kind used in Burmese tea leaf salads. I wish I had tasted more of it, but now I’m going to try to make it at home because it sounds so interesting! One other thing was the rice that was used.
Trifecta uses Tamaki Gold, which is a short grain rice from Sacramento. They cook the sushi rice like usual, using vinegar and brown sugar in it, which is what gives it the brown hue. I thought they were exaggerating when you can feel every grain in your mouth – but you really do. It adds so much texture to your sushi instead of just this generic mushy feeling when you’re stuffing a piece into your mouth. The brown sugar also adds so much flavor, giving it some sweetness with the acidity of the vinegar.
Trifecta Cooks will also be opening their own eatery in Eastridge soon, hopefully by August. I’m excited to see what they’ll put on their menu, since they have really interesting twists on classic, well known dishes – like the California Roll. They also seem like a cool group of guys! The company also hosts pop up events throughout the city, so be sure to check their Instagram page for more information.
After the class, we were invited into Toni and Guy San Jose’s VIP Lounge. They gave us goodie bags, had some snacks, and a photo booth set up! They had milk tea available, which was great because I was really thirsty after inhaling my roll lol. Additionally, they were also providing hair touch ups. I went with a curled and sassy, since I suck at curling my hair and it was nice to get it done by someone who knows what they’re doing. She did a great job, but the only problem with my hair is because it’s straight, it’s also heavy despite it losing a lot of its thickness over the years (likely due to medication and my health issues). So, my curls died by the time I got home lol. But it was a nice way to treat myself after an early start at work!
Overall, it was a pretty cool event and it was fun experiencing different things that Eastridge provided. I was sad to miss the ribbon cutting ceremony and balloon drop, but I’m really glad to have made it out for everything else!