Pasta Fresca (San Jose, CA)

7:30:00 AM

When It Rains, It Pours…


Cheese.

Hah! I’m sure that got your attention.

Cheese is such a vital part of Italian cuisine that denying them cheese is like telling Asian people to stop eating rice.

We would be pissed! A war will break out over rice, if it hasn’t already done so before.

Anyways, Pasta Fresca is one of the newest additions to the San Pedro’s Market, located in Downtown San Jose. I work within walking distance from San Pedro’s Square, so I make semi-frequent visits to that area (especially when my cravings for ice cream have to be satisfied).

San Pedro’s Market is a large food court that caters to everybody in downtown San Jose area. There are a variety of different restaurants you can choose from inside the market with ample amount of seating (inside and outside). In other words: think of a sophisticated, better tasting, but more expensive food court with a lot of alcohol choices. It’s a great place to hang around after work on a Friday Night.

As the name implies, Pasta Fresca specializes in Italian pasta dishes using fresh pasta. Now fair warning, I have never eaten fresh pasta before unless you count the frozen ravioli packets from Costco, but I don’t think they count.


Their menu is printed on a large chalkboard and features 10 pasta dishes, two salad dishes, one soup and two options for lunch.

I visited last Friday when the Farmer’s Marketevery Friday, 10-2 PM, till Novemberwas happening on San Pedro Street. For 12 PM in the afternoon, they weren’t too busy, in comparison to the other stalls. I ordered the lunch special: vegetable lasagna with a side of Caesar salad. They ask if you’re okay with anchovies when you order the Caesar.

There were two other people bustling about in the kitchen while one was taking orders in the front. They give you a buzzer after you order so that you can find a seat and come back to  your food is ready, which is convenient when there’s more than one person in your party, but not so much when it’s just yourself.

I received my order about 10 minutes later in a plate and traywhoopsmake sure to tell them if you’re planning to take it to-go. No biggie though, I can eat there. So I switched gears and took the plate with me and found myself a seat before I took a better look at my plate of lasagna and salad.


First of all, that’s a lot of salad! They definitely didn’t skimp on the salad and it was well-dressed with tiny garlic croutons.

As for the lasagna, it was a little bigger than the palm of my hand. According to the menu, the vegetable lasagna is comprised of three cheeses (mozzarella, parmesan & ricotta), zucchini, peeled tomatoes, carrots, celery, onions, garlic, nutmeg and basil.

And going back to the opening of this blog post: they slapped it with a generous amount of cheese. It’s on the lasagna. It’s on the salad.

It’s basically all over the plate.

A lactose intolerant nightmare! Thankfully I’m not lactose intolerant.

Overall, the dish wasn’t bad, but it was  flat. I wasn’t able to taste much from the lasagna besides tomato sauce, which lacked depth of a well developed sauce. I was expecting bold and complex flavors, but everything was one dimensional. The lasagna was layered well and you were able to pick out the distinctive layers and zucchini, but I couldn’t find any carrots or celery. I don’t know if the baking process broke it down to nothing or if it was incorporated into the sauce, but it was nowhere to be seen. If anything, I think eggplant would be a nice addition to the vegetable lasagna to give it a richer quality.

Since I’m not familiar with fresh pasta, I can’t say if they have good pasta, but the layers hold up well to the sauce, cheese and vegetables. You can easily sink a fork through it or slide a knife into it. The sauce clings to the pasta well and the whole meal didn’t feel that heavy even after I devoured everything.

For a lunch portion, it’s pretty impressive, considering it was only $7.50, which is a bargain for anything in San Pedro’s Square. They’re a bit rough around the edges, but I’m hoping they pick up the loose ends by the time I visit them next time.

Pasta Fresca
87 N San Pedro St.
San Jose, CA 95110

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