I’m working in San Jose this week, and one of the first things any self-respecting urban beer nerd does when he/she is out of town is find a reputable beer bar, post haste.
My (wonderful, beautiful and tolerant) girlfriend, who stayed at home in Mass. this week, is always trying to get me to eat at vegan joints in Boston. For the most part, her efforts are for naught; I’m not really a full-on meat eater—I do not dig on swine, nor the bovine—but I love chicken, and I’m definitely not a vegetarian or, gasp, VEGAN, either. My girlfriend definitely is a vegan, which makes for some interesting situations, as you can imagine, especially after we’ve hit a few beer bars.
Anyway, my point: No sooner did I leave Boston today than I ended up in a vegan/vegetarian spot: Downtown San Jose’s Good Karma Vegan Cafe. Good Karma was recommended to me by the bartender at the Original Gravity Public House, which is right across the street from Good Karma in San Jose. (Barfly’s View of the OG Pub House coming soon.)
I’ve only been to Good Karma once, but it was love at first sight—and I’ll be returning before I head home later this week. It’s not really a bar; it’s a café. But its craft beer selection shames many other legitimate beer bars. Whoever is stocking Good Karma’s shelves knows what they’re doing. The café has between 15 and 20 drafts at any given time (Russian River’s Pliny the Elder is frequently on draft) and a packed refrigerator of great, rare brews. If you’re ever in San Jose, and you’re seeking a unique local draft or a hard-to-find bottle, you won’t be disappointed with Good Karma—especially if you’re a vegetarian or a vegan.