EAT.

DRINK.

CHILL.

EAT.

DRINK.

CHILL.

EAT.

DRINK.

CHILL.

There’s a story behind every crossroads. In the case of San Jose’s SoFA district, a place long known as the intersection of the city’s many identities, it is a story of rebuilding and transformative growth. A story reflected in the neighborhood’s past: its glitzy retail and entertainment district beginnings, followed by a period of neglect and an eventual rebirth as an arts and culture hub. More so, a story paralleled by the lives of its folk and those merely passing through: artists, students, and entrepreneurs. Now, the story finds a new home at Good Spot – a gastro-lounge with an ambition to both honor and respond to the unique character of the place that birthed it.
 

Founded by Thoi, Sammy and Ivy with the support of a group of misfits they call friends and family, Good Spot settles in the neighborhood after a two-year-long obstacle run, culminated by obvious struggles of opening a restaurant in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Good Spot’s founders have their dedication and perseverance to thank for their eventual triumph, but that relentlessness wasn’t born out of nothing else but a dream to give all the souls moving through SoFA’s crossroads a home away from home. Good Spot imagines a community junction where locals and visitors can gather in the neighborhood’s living room; a place where differences stay at the door, strong bonds become stronger, and new memories flourish. A place that embraces the synergy of the global and the hyperlocal, asking the hypothetical question: if everyone’s a misfit, doesn’t everyone fit in?
 

The restaurant’s welcoming, inclusive spirit emanates through the floor-to-ceiling glass facade that gives you an inviting peek inside the large, high and bright open space. Commissioned from local muralist Fernando (@force129), a lively pop art rendition of a sloth swinging from a pole decorates the wall of the main dining area. The animal is the spiritual patron of Good Spot, and its relaxed stance a tribute to the establishment that graced the locale in the past: The Swinging Hookah, a neighborhood institution that will forever live in the locals’ memory. Just like sloths—which choose their habitat for life—the Good Spot team is dedicated to the importance of belonging. This might explain why the gastro-lounge divides itself democratically between a fine-casual dining section, a set of communal tables ready for an impromptu business meeting, a highly Instagrammable corner reminiscent of a busy sidewalk café, and a lounge where big-city feels will sneak up on you when you least expect it.
 

While Good Spot does a handful with its available space (add to this a state-of-the-art lighting, sound, and projection system for future live performances and dinner and movie nights—and that’s only the first floor!), what brings the entire space together is its shared ambience. A palette of modern grays, calming greens and vibrant oranges, elevated by warm-yet-urbane LED lighting design that takes you away to a cozy metropolitan place as you enjoy a cocktail from a trained mixologist’s repertoire. Good Spot is a place where you won’t even notice you’ve become a regular—you just kept coming back for good food, good drinks, and good company.

 

You heard right: good food. Overseen by Culinary Director Timothy Luym, a back-of-the-house team of diverse talent delivers the final piece of Good Spot’s puzzle: a melting pot of flavors that still retain their distinct cultural identities. After years spent in the kitchens of fine-dining establishments and food trucks alike, the former San Francisco Chronicle Rising Star Chef goes back to the basics—and his roots—with honest cooking that lets the food speak for itself. High-quality ingredients take priority over pretense across a varied selection of bites and shareable plates inspired by both the simplicity of fresh, conscious cooking and Asian street-food cultures. Chef Luym asks, “If art is imitation, then is merely copying enough?” letting his team’s discerning taste buds and focused execution stand for an answer.

 

The restaurant’s memorable centerpiece—that playfully vivid sloth artwork—hangs with leisurely self-assurance over Good Spot’s diners as a reminder of the establishment’s fundamental mission: “to nourish the souls of sloth humans” with everything they have to offer, from space to sustenance to the contents of their hearts. The humble, permanently smiling creature brings a youthful, whimsical touch to the entire place and reminds us to not take ourselves, or itself, too seriously. At the end of the day, a crossroads is only as good as the connections we make there.

  • Instagram
  • Facebook

(408) 816-8841   |   386 S First Street, San Jose, CA