Maya’s Cafe - Latin American - 2616 Union Ave, Cambrian Park, San Jose, CA - Restaurant Reviews

Maya’s Cafe   - Latin American - 2616 Union Ave, Cambrian Park, San Jose, CA - Restaurant Reviews
8/15/2016

Those tortillas are Texas Tech throw-worthy. Maya's Cafe is one of the great examples of why Yelp is a worker bee for me. Once in a great while (okay, once a week), I'll just scroll through the mobile app and look at the "Nearby" feed. It's usually the same old, especially in South Bay, but there will always be a place or three that I've never heard of and catches my eye. Hello, Maya.Maya's signage advertises as Mexican and Latin American, but it's rooted in Honduran food, a cuisine I never tried until my recent visit here. It's close cousins with El Salvadorian food, and pupusas are dandy, so I was immediately intrigued. A further perusal through photos only further whetted my appetite. The camerones aztecas and mole both look drool-worthy, but I finally settled on one of my south of the border favorites, barbacoa. The waiter mentioned that was a crowd favorite, and it surely didn't disappoint. Maya's barbacoa is cubed beef, likely chuck, rather than goat or some more exotic animal part. The meat was tasty, but that sauce plus rice plus beans is what sticks in your mind.Well, that and the fresh, piping hot, homemade tortillas. Corn or flour, both are amazing. What this means is their signature appetizer, the baleada, is fluffy and luxurious. I'd rate that atop the list of delicious things we ate there. The pupusas are also good, but if it's a deathmatch between the two, give me the former. I'll end on the tortillas, though. Those suckers are so good I wish they'd open up a storefront and sell just those homemade.

Barbacoa plate Barbacoa plate 10/16/2016

Waited in line for half hour Sunday morning. The family of four behind us were seated before us for reasons not communicated to us. Perhaps it was because they spoke Spanish? Don't know cause the hostess did it and avoided making eye contact with us afterwards. In fact after waiting an additional 15 minutes she skipped us again! How can you miss 2 people standing by the front door?!? Luckily 2 tables opened up at the same time so we were given the 2nd open table otherwise who knows how much longer we would've waited. I understand you might be busy and we may not look like your regular clientele but this is the USA lady. It's diverse so get used to it!

The negligent hostess who seated 2 groups behind us The negligent hostess who seated 2 groups behind us 9/1/2016

I had already walked out of my car to chipotle's front door when i realized, i'm 5 minutes early and they haven't opened yet..  So I walked back to my car, I knew I was craving for mexican food, and i really didn't want chipotle... so while sitting in the car, i started yelping..  that is when i came across Maya's cafe.  I read the reviews and was like.. ok.. why not, it has to be better than chipotle...  I went in, sat down..  and i swear..  the lady who served me was straight up RUDE..  or it must be the MAYAN attitude I'm not used to.  She gave me the menu, less than 1 minute later, returned with a cup of water and a basket of chips and salsa, and asked what i wanted.  One fucken minute later, seriously?!  I even smiled and asked for a few more minutes...  I've never been here before, and you are going to continue and stand there hovering over me, with a scowl on your face?!  So i order the typical:  mixed fajita (spelt wrong but you got the idea).. then she starts to take away the menu and it WAS obvious that I was not done ordering.. Seriously..  It was fucken ridiculous now that i think about it!  She held the menu as i'm trying to read and tell her what i want for the "to go" part.  All that kept going through my head was..  be nice.. be nice.. you don't want them spitting in your food.  So i did exactly that.. i was nice.  Rattled off the rest of the order, and she left, not ONE look back, and didn't even bother coming back it'll the food was done. The food was awesome, that waitress needs to get off her high donkey.  There are too many mexican/hondurian/el savordian food joints around to waste money here.Five stars for the food, and -3 on the service.  While reading through these reviews, I was like.. Maybe it is me?  But nope, if you scroll through, you'll see that there are the few "lucky" ones who probably had the waitress I did..  Shame how bad customer service influence the overall quality of such delectable food.

5/16/2016

I'm going to round up to three stars here because I wanted to like this place more than I actually did.  Looking at the other reviews though, I'm more disappointed by our experience tonight.We tried one of the pupusas ($3.50) - I forget the name, but it was the pork one - freshly prepared, tasty, but very, very greasy.  I did like the slaw that came with it (very vinegar-y and no mayo - fabulous!)I had the barbacoa dinner plate ($12.99) and took a photo before diving in.  Unlike others have reviewed, my dish did not come with any avocado.  The beef was tasty, and the rice and beans were cooked nicely, but overall the dish lacked something - maybe salt?  I don't know.  The homemade flour tortillas (2) were clearly freshly made and very pillowy (I agree with another reviewer's comparison to naan), but my partner said they were bland.  I ate mine with the beef so I didn't notice any blandness.My partner had the chile verde pork dinner ($12.99), which we asked if it was spicy before ordering and were told no, it's not spicy (this was also the dish we were going to share with my preschooler).  Sadly, it was very spicy to all three of us.  It also came with 2 tortillas (he chose the flour as well), and no avocado either.Service was friendly but after we got our food, non-existent.  The server didn't even stop by until we had finished our food.  Maybe another tortilla or some more rice would've helped with the heat of that chile verde?  I don't know.  We were never offered anything.Our food was also very slow to come out - and we noticed that people who ordered much later than us received their food right after us.  Weird.  This is clearly a family-run place with lots of repeat customers, but didn't quite hit the spot for us on our first visit.  My partner said he wouldn't return but would go with me if I really, really wanted.  Being generous and going with 3 stars because perhaps we just didn't order the best things for us.

Barbacoa $12.99 Barbacoa $12.99 10/25/2016

I'm basing this off the flour tortillas alone!!! WOW! They were just amazing!!!4 stars - pupusas3 stars - barbocoa *had some spices my friend wasn't used to3.5 stars - beans and rice - needed a little more salt!!!2.0 stars - chips and salsa, no flavor, no salt... *again a little bit different then we are used to5 stars - service! Very friendly!!!

4/28/2016

I found this place on Yelp with good reviews. We went for breakfast, and looking back I wish we had tried it for lunch and gotten the fried chicken. It was nearly empty at 10:30am on a Sunday.  I ordered the Honduran breakfast plate (with carne asada) 2 eggs, cheese, beans, steak and AMAZING flour tortillas - she even brought us 2nds of the tortillas.  My man got his favorite Chile relleno, which he liked. The chips were better than standard (thin) but needed salt. Nice BIG glasses of ice water. In the reviews people said the steak was tough, mine was not, pretty decent breakfast place, you will leave stuffed.If you are into Latin sports - this little place has 5 TV's so you are guaranteed to find something you will like.

Chile relleno Chile relleno Honduran breakfast with Carne asada Honduran breakfast with Carne asada 2/27/2016

Enveloped in the shabby surroundings of Maplewood Plaza, sits a rare jewel of culinary excellence that should not be missed. Maya's Café (MC) serves up a menu that spans the wide-range of Latin cuisine, but mostly specializing in Honduran and Mexican foods. All of the food here at MC is homemade, fresh and ―more importantly!!― delicious! I have had the pleasure of dining here three times in the past six months, and every meal was a real treat. Sides:Rice & Beans- These come out with just about every plate and are about a solid pairing as I've had. The beans aren't too thick, or watery, and the rice is cooked up fluffy and flavorful. The perfect pairing to almost anything! 4*Tortillas- Both the Flour and Corn Tortillas here at MC are homemade and come out made fresh and hot. I usually go with the Corn, but recently tasted a co-worker's Flour and it was equally delicious. Warm, fluffy bites of heaven in each one! I swear I'd be happy with just a plate full of these and their Rice and Beans. 5*Salsa- Like a lot of legit spots they have bottles of fresh salsa kept refrigerated in the back that you have to ask for; they have a Red, Green and Habanero ones that are all delicious but all pretty damn spicy, if I do say so myself. The Red and Green not as bad, but the Habanero will take you straight to the loo... 3.5*Entrées:Chicken Mole- MC has nice rendition of this Oaxacan classic with a rich, complex sauce and perfectly cooked chicken. Not as good a Mole as my all-time favorite at El Tule (goo.gl/CgkgY8), but solid. 4*Pollo Frito (Fried Chicken)- After seeing a coworker order this on our first visit I knew I had to give it a shot! It's a giant slab of chicken, battered and fried up to a golden-brown perfection. The crispy batter and juicy meat were the stars of this dish, but I wished the batter had a bit more flavor to it. They do give you some kind of sauce that the owner claimed had "secret spices," but honestly it just tasted like Honey Mustard and Mayo blend. This dish doesn't come with the rice and beans, but a bed of cabbage and fried plantains. It was good to try once, but I'm not sure I'd get it again. 3.5*Camarones Aztecas (Stuffed Shrimp)- Close your mind's eye and imagine this: Shrimp, cheese and a sliver of grilled Jalapeño encased in a slice of thick, juicy Bacon and deep-fried to crispy, juicy perfection... This was seriously the most ridiculous thing I've eaten in a long, long while! Every bite was a salty, meaty, cheesy bite of pure perfection. I haven't stopped thinking about it since... ¡¡¡¡¡¡¡5*!!!!!!Service & Ambiance- The interior is small and a bit cramped as they try and squeeze in as many seats as possible into this tiny location. The walls are adorned with various Fútbol, sports and Honduran décor/memorabilia. The service is prompt, courteous and friendly; our water glasses were always full and the food was actually served up fairly quickly considering that it's not all pre-made. Service 4* Ambiance 3.5*Value- Pretty standard pricing for quality homemade food of $10-15/plate. 3.5* Despite its diminutive size, and suspect location, MC is a Yelp superstar―currently ranked #1 Latin American (#15 overall) restaurant in SJ with a solid 4.5-star average. After just one visit you'll understand why, and you'll be wanting to come back for more! Highly, highly recommended by yours truly. ¡Nos Vemos!

Camarones Aztecas Camarones Aztecas Camarones Aztecas Cross-section Camarones Aztecas Cross-section Homemade Corn Tortillas Homemade Corn Tortillas See all photos from John D. for Maya's Cafe 10/16/2016

The best!!!  Camarones Azteca are the bomb.  Baliadas are awesome.   Service is amazing.  I can get enough of this food.  Homemade flour or Corn Tortillas your choice.

5/26/2016

I've been looking for a good bowl of caldo de res since I moved back to Bay Area from LA. And my prayer is finally answered!! The broth is very flavorful and the meat is soooo tender. The side of rice has a lot of flavor too. My boyfriend ordered the fried chicken - crunchy skin and tender meat, not overly greasy and is well seasoned. The seafood soup was really tasty too - so much seafood in there. Oh and did I I mention the corn tortilla? It should be homemade I think but not sure if they make it themselves. We'll be back!! :)

seafood soup with coconut seafood soup with coconut fried chicken fried chicken 8/2/2016

An awesome hole in the wall! The must haves: stuffed shrimp, pupusas (try them all) and the homemade tortillas (flour and corn). I recommend you try all three, then explore the rest of the menu. Also give the imported Honduran beer a try. Warning: these beers definitely pack a punch.

10/1/2016

I'm always excited when there is a vegetarian section on the menu. The service was wonderful the atmosphere home feeling and the food was delicious. For sure coming back

7/19/2016

Wow this place is amazing. The food is so delicious. The best around, but even more rad is the superb service. I feel like a guest at a good friends house over for a meal. Very pleasant experience all around. We really enjoyed the barbacoa, sopa mariscos, tajadas con carne molida, and their frequently replenished salsa and chips. The salsa is really good. This is the type of place that makes you want to support their business and compels you to write a positive review.

7/23/2016

What to say about a place that makes tortillas when you order vs pulling from a bag - delicious! Other than the best tortillas, they also have the best plantains. I love plantains and they never let me down. I can also recommend the super baleadas and pupusas.  The baleadas is made with fresh tortillas and is the best taco on the menu. The pupusas, you should get creative and order you idea of the perfect mixture, they are made fresh to order. My fav in bean, queso and jalapeños.Lastly, the service is really friendly. They are welcoming and willing to go out of their way to make you happy. Highly recommended.

2/15/2016

This place is amazing. I have been here a few times with family but today totally blew me away. Maya's Cafe accommodated my large family of 20 (including children) for my brothers birthday. Amazing customer service, and delicious food. Our appetizers and our meals arrived in a timely matter and the owner and waitress made sure we had our drinks and water filled always. I highly recommend. I always get the green chiliquelas or chicken soup. My daughter loves the carnesada  burrito.

Taquitos (comes in 4- I ate the other one) Taquitos (comes in 4- I ate the other one) Bacon covered shrimp Bacon covered shrimp Pi Pusas (sorry about the spelling) Pi Pusas (sorry about the spelling) See all photos from Sonia G. for Maya's Cafe 2/15/2016

This place is so wonderful--the food, the service, the ambiance. When visiting from NYC, I invited my large family to join us. They treated us wonderfully, setting up a table for 20 and responding to all our demands (from ordering appetizers to requesting specific music to passing out a cake we brought from a local bakery). The food is always excellent. I typically go for breakfast and it's a toss up between the chilaquiles, desayuno typico, or caldo de res. My entire family loved their meals.

Egg whites with Arroz y frijoles Egg whites with Arroz y frijoles Nachos for my 10 year old nephew Nachos for my 10 year old nephew Caldo de res Caldo de res See all photos from Nancy G. for Maya's Cafe 1/31/2016

Not being familiar with Honduran cuisine, I relied on the staff's expertise. They did not disappoint with their suggestions. Excuse my ignorance, since I did not ask the name of the dish. Duh! Since your mouth will be watering after this review, just point to the pictures and they'll make it happen. Started with jumbo prawns stuffed with jalapeños, wrapped in bacon. Yes, you read that right. MIND. BLOWN. My husband and I arm wrestled for the last bite. Apparently, my Insanity work out paid off. The two entrées included a crispy chicken drizzled in a fabulous salsa, over fried plantains. Yaaaaas!!! The chicken was cooked to perfection. Crispy on the outside and succulent on the inside. The second entree was a platter of cheese enchiladas with the most DE-LICIOUS molé sauce I have ever had. Sorry Grandma. A must are the home made flour tortillas. So authentic it'll make you want to kick Taco Bell in the teeth. They also have a secret sauce that once hearing they will be coming soon to a grocery store near you, I sheepishly returned the bottle from my purse. From the feel of a Central American restaurant, the generous hospitality and authentic cuisine this is a culinary experience once must have. Buen Provecho!

6/21/2016

Awesome experience at this place.  I had never had Honduran food and it clearly showed as the guy working the counter approached my Indian friend and I.  He recommended that we order a fried chicken plate and a pork plate.  Both were extremely delicious as were the accompanying sides.  I would definitely recommend coming here if you are in the neighborhood to try out this awesome place.

2/23/2016

One of those local, neighborhood hidden gems. Really good, almost home cooking kind of feel. Clearly pride in what they do in a clean, bright happy little spot. Looks family run and they are really proud to share what they have and make sure you're happy too.Papusas were great, better I thought than Los Dubon up the street. The flour tortillas were the real killer. I could have probably eaten a half dozen, not that I recommend that. I had the barbacoa today, really good flavor and the sauce is great to sop up with the tortilla. Very happy little place.

10/9/2016

I wished this place was bigger and it is! Well not yet, but they mentioned they were expanding. I loved it. I've been twice and it's so damn good. They treated us like we were family too. We had a birthday dinner there. It was so fun. It's a small place and it's nothing fancy but damn good food, fun, and they treat you very very well. Five starts all the way.

5/26/2015

Just got into San Jose and needed a lunch spot to hit up... ended up here and did not regret it one bit.I got a fried chicken dish and it was definitely better than I expected. They got a really nice crunch on the chicken- it was delish. It came with rice, beans, and coleslaw. They also brought out some sauces for you to dip this in and I was really happy with what I got. Loads of flavor in every bite!Service was friendly and helpful. Server helped us out considering we don't have this cuisine too often and I was happy with her recommendation. Check it out!

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