The Man with the Golden Ball
Posted by challahbackgirl on July 18, 2007
You heard it on Oy-Bay that the South Bay was getting another eatery. Well, it’s open, and we give it the Oy-Bay Seal of Approval ™ [Editor’s note: the seal is just for looking at, since seals aren’t kosher]. With Raphael’s closing in Berkeley a couple weeks ago, and the Tel Aviv Kosher Market before it, The Golden Ball opened in Santa Clara (after Izzy’s Deli opened in Sunnyvale) is one more indicator of the Jewish demographics shift in the Bay Area (head south, young Yidd’n!).
The name, The Golden Ball, comes from how an Israeli Falafel should be when made just right: not hard, and not green. The falafel severed up by the band of brothers who own and operate the joint lived up to their name.
The brothers, who also own a moving company called Survivors (Oy vey! How did they come up with such a name!) moved to California a few years ago and ever since where determined to open a restaurant like they have in Israel in addition to Survivors (every Survivor has a ‘moving’ experience). The Golden Ball staff is warm and friendly and it’s a true family affair as their family and friends work the counter and man the kitchen with a smile and Israeli style. As we heard one refer to the other as dad (“Abba! Nu? Where’s the beef?!”). Watch cute little kids play with balloons while we dined:
We’re sure glad they were able to reach their goal and open The Golden Ball. Small Holiday writes:
I wanted to pass on a recommendation for a great restaurant I tried today called “The Golden Ball”–it’s owned by Israelis and the food and the service were exceptional! Everything we tried was delicious–SUPER nice people with DELICIOUS food!
Oyster felt like he had a bit of Israel in the Diaspora, which he was missing having only returned from Our Homeland a few days earlier. Their shewarma is endorsed by Oyster and Small Holiday. While Oyster found the Hummus a bit below Sabra brand, it’s far superior to Cafe Neto’s Hummus americanus. The Israeli Salad, also dubbed Golden Salad on their menu, hit the spot, especially the fresh parsley in it. But one of our salads was sitting in salt water so salty you’d think it was the Karpas part of the seder. The pita is true fluffy pita with a pocket, and the salads, which you can buy in the tub to enjoy at home, are lip-smacking good. We filled up on our meals so much that we didn’t have room to sample their dessert. But we have no doubts we’ll be returning to get a chance to taste more of their extensive menu items. In fact, here’s an electronic version of their menu! The Golden Ball menu
The meat is Glatt Kosher, they don’t have anything dairy; but they don’t have a masigiach or kosher certification for the place because they are open on Saturday. But they have earned a seal of approval from these Oy-Bay writers (Oyster liked their mezuzah). Not being fully certified but being Kosher style helps keep the cost down, which they do pass on.
The food isn’t the only thing rocking about this place, the service is great, and the hours are a blessing too those looking for something open early or late. They are open for breakfast and open until 4am on weekends, midnight on weeknights.
Izzy’s might have the deli sandwich and equivalent portions, but The Golden Ball out does them on service and maybe even taste. You don’t need to plan on extra time, to wait in line, and you can expect to get what you order, while it’s still hot served with the orders of those in your party (unlike some eateries… ahem). They have an extensive menu,do catering patter style not individually like Izzy’s and delivery to Santa Clara. They are open 7 days a week and an average menu item is $5-7 dollars.
While we dined and schmoozed with the wonderful staff there was a steady flow of customers including running into our friends. It really helped make the place feel more comfortable and ‘at home’. Haimishe is the way Oyster would describe it, with Hebrew flying around, delicious Israeli food, and familiar faces from the local Jewish community turning up constantly. We give it a big thumbs up. We are confident in their product and hope you’ll help keep them around by frequenting the establishment and spreading the word!
Of course, we threw this address on to the Oy Bay Area Google map, but here it is:
The Golden Ball
5075 Stevens Creek Blvd Unit # 10
Santa Clara ca 95051
Be’Teavon! Bon Appetit! 🙂
[Editor’s Note: Oyster contributed to this article see pictures from our visit]