Izzo (San Jose, CA)

7:30:00 AM

Pork Belly Goes Hand in Hand with Quesadilla. Am I Right?!

It’s not even a question, but yes, pork belly quesadillas are mentioned somewhere in this blog post.

Here’s a little teaser.

The most beautiful, artery-clogging, filling quesadilla I have ever eaten. But it’s so good that you MUST order it. I don’t know why we’ve never thought of adding pork belly into quesadilla before this because it tastes AH-MAZ-ZING.

So what restaurant serves this inconspicuous delicacy? Izzo.

Izzo or 一手, which is short for 一手好菜, meaning “a signature” dish is a Taiwanese fusion restaurant that is putting a new spin on classic dishes. Izzo literally translates into “one hand.” But don’t use Izzo as your guide to writing pinyin because the correct spelling is actually “yi shou,” (tones not included).

Located at Pacific Rim II (insert the epic Pacific Rim soundtrack), Izzo shares the same parking lot with a number of other restaurants including: Gong Cha, Pho Thien Huong, Thai Recipe Cuisine, Ma’s Restaurant, Wu Ji’s Mala House and more. With such a restaurant-heavy plaza, you can expect some ridiculous parking situations in this plaza. Normally on weekdays, you don’t have to worry, but weekends can get… a little crazy.

Well… maybe not as bad as the current situation over at the 99 Ranch Plaza. Thanks to Gen K, finding a parking spot there is the equivalent of an all-out war. And trust me, it turns ugly… very quickly.

The restaurant is spacious and clean with a lot of tables inside. There are a few TVs that line the circumference of the restaurant and they usually have ESPN on. The people who frequent the restaurant tend to be on the younger-side, in their 20s, with the exception of occasional larger birthday parties and such.

Their kitchen is semi-visible through the glass windows, but I usually don’t pay attention since I never get seated close enough to see.

As for their menu, Izzo serves fusion Taiwanese dishes as well as classic Taiwanese and Chinese dishes. I have seen people on some occasions order dishes to go with rice, but I normally just pick a noodle or rice dish and an appetizer.

One of their well known dish is the pork belly quesadillas. Just the thought of it makes my mouth water. You take two onion pancakes, sprinkle a generous amount of cheese and roughly chop up pork belly and peppers and cook it as a quesadilla.

The result: your oozy, melty Mexican favorite with an Asian twist and kick. This quesadilla is huge and heavy and definitely needs to be shared with other people. I don’t recommend consuming this entire dish all by yourself or there’s a high probability of heartburn. It tastes exactly like what you would expect from a quesadilla, but fattier--juicier.

Also along the lines of their signature dishes that you should try are their fried chicken with house sauce.

These. Are. The. Bomb.

They come out steaming hot from the fryer and will BURN your fingers and possibly the roof of your mouth, but they’re so good. I don’t know how they fry the chicken, but it’s crispy on the outside and succulent and perfectly cooked on the inside.

The house sauce is sweet and slightly tangy. The secret spices are so flavorful that it’s fingerlickin’ good. They’re usually pretty generous with their fried chicken. They come in 6 or 10, but every time I order 6, I usually end up getting 7. SCORE!

I also personally like their passion fruit fried rice--which came out from the left field. I didn’t expect myself to like it since it sounded a bit odd. But if you can put mango and pineapple in your fried rice, why not passion fruit? It’s fragrant, light and the flavor isn’t overly powerful to overwhelm the rice. It comes in a large portion and the leftovers are perfect for lunch the next day.

When my mom visited with my aunt, they told me that they liked their chicken chow fun. Normally it’s beef chow fun, but they wanted to substitute the beef for the chicken, which they kindly obliged, which is a plus.

Now they said on their menu that the noodles under their menu are all freshly prepared every day, but maybe I’m just not a big noodle person. I tried out the minced pork noodle and it was only okay in my book.

The two that sat on the bottom on my list were the xiao long bao and their seafood noodle soup. The xiao long bao had a weird slimy underdone texture and smell to them. Either they were underdone or they just taste extra weird when they’re on the colder side. Second on the list were the seafood noodle soup. This was oddly spicy, which had me inhaling cups of tea as a result. I’m not a big fan of spicy food, so the reason I’ve written this off could simply be my intolerance.

After I separated it.
And if you still have room in your stomach, you can order some shaved snow. You have a choice between original milk, green tea, taro or strawberry and pick three toppings to go with it. Not bad, I’m impressed. For a restaurant that doesn’t specialize in desserts, they put together a pretty good order of shaved snow. $7 may seem a bit steep, but they give a generous amount and the green tea tasted just as good as the other green tea shaved snow I’ve tasted in other dessert shops.

Have you tried Izzo? Are you completely intrigued by the idea of pork belly quesadilla or prefer your pork belly and quesadilla to be separate items?

1701 Lundy Ave #100
San Jose, CA 95131

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