Olla Cocina Restaurant Brings Mexican Flair to San Jose’s San Pedro Square

Recently, GEV stopped by Olla Cocina, a fun and casual addition to downtown San Jose’s exciting dining scene at San Pedro Square. Inspired by regional dishes from across Mexico and California’s fresh ingredients, Olla Cocina puts a contemporary spin on traditional dishes from Mexico. Helmed by Executive Chef Adan Ornelas, most recently from The Farmers Union and Dry Creek Grill, both in San Jose. Ornelas worked in tandem with Olla Operating Partner Armando Navarro of El Dorado Kitchen in Sonoma, California who oversees the menu.


Olla is a celebration of all that is Mexican: a strong community, vibrant culture and generous, soulful food along with a little noise and quirkiness. The menu features innovative takes on regional Mexican food, elevating established favorites with unexpected ingredients and flavor combinations. The menu includes zesty ceviches and a taco bar, along with traditional dishes such as Carne Asada ($22) and Torta de Cochinita Pibil ($14). The overall emphasis is on sharing plates as well as sampling Olla’s signature cocktails, local beers and wine on tap.

Olla’s atmosphere is truly charming yet undeniably funky. Designed by restaurateur Doug Washington, the interior décor includes an authentic church pulpit re-purposed as a host stand, witty Mexican artwork, Dia de los Muertos wallpaper, beautiful tiles and decorative cinder blocks, all intended to represent modern Mexico. A central design element is a ceiling trellis stretched across the dining room to the patio outside made of reclaimed Douglas Fir from the garage across the street. The dining area contains walnut dining tables and two large, modern, custom picnic tables for communal diners. Sleek stool legs dipped in bright orange paint add to a riot of color. The eating space has low, dividing walls constructed from patterned concrete cinder blocks and capped with stained wood tops.

We sampled a few appetizers on our brief visit and plan to return and dive deeper into the exciting menu.

For more information, visit www.OllaCocina.com.

11:30AM TO 4PM


Friday & Saturday

Olla Cocina Restaurant
17 N. San Pedro Avenue
San Jose, CA