Sunnyvale Rocks!

I had lunch yesterday with an old friend, Dan Hugo. Dan and I worked together one summer at UMAX Computer Corporation. That was almost twelve years ago and I’m not sure I’d seen him since then. Still we intermittently kept in touch through the magic of the internet and finally connected for lunch.

It’s not like I needed a reason, but it was particularly timely for me to talk to him now because of a Really Cool™ project he’s launching: Sunnyvale Rocks! Dan has lived and worked in Sunnyvale off and on for a number of years. Being a civic-minded guy his growing interest in the affairs of the city culminated in his taking and completing the Leadership Sunnyvale  training course. Armed with a deeper understanding of the city and appreciation for its citizens he decided to bring his software and web development expertise to bear and launch Not a geology site, it’s a local community media outlet by, for, and about the people of Sunnyvale with genuine booster spirit. It’s still early but they have exciting plans for it.

A significant part of the project is a series of podcasts at Check out the inaugural episodes of the flagship program, “The Dan and Kevin Show.” You will be amazed at how much there is to learn about the city. In fact in the next episode Dan promised to give a shout-out. I sure hope he does it since I’ve put him on the hook here…

I’ve been following Sunnyvale Rocks! with interest and wanted to learn more about it as there’s a lot of synergy with what I’m trying to do with, thematically and geographically. After all, El Camino Real passes right through Sunnyvale and each imparts a lot of character on the other. So naturally we picked a place for lunch on El Camino…in Sunnyvale. At the intersection of our respective interests, if you will.

Dusita Thai CuisineDan recommended the restaurant: Dusita Thai Cuisine. He knew I liked Thai food from my very first post and he’s a longtime connoisseur. I went a different direction from my usual benchmark and ordered Pad Thai with prawns, an equally valid test of a new restaurant. Pad Thai is a nice, safe, conservative choice because I’m a nice, safe, conservative guy. Dan however, not so much. He ordered Mussaman curry…hot. The exact phrase he used was, “Thai hot.” Evidently that’s a code word that lets the kitchen know to bring the heat. Still the waitress cautioned, “It’s veerry spicy,” to be sure she wasn’t dealing with a novice. My man Dan coolly told her, “I like it spicy.” In Thai. I told you he was a connoisseur. The deal was sealed.

My meal came with vegetable soup, the same one as Tee Nee Thai. This time though the yucky stuff was in plain sight. I’m good with that because it’s easy to avoid; it’s concealed carrots that make me nervous. Now you might point out that noodles and spring rolls are prime hiding spots for yucky stuff and you’d be absolutely right but for some reason that doesn’t bother me. What can I say? It’s food. Logic does not apply.

Pad ThaiThe Pad Thai was delicious. I haven’t learned yet how to write convincingly about food so I’ll fake it. The sauce was piquant and the prawns were succulent and yet approachable. The noodles, inextricably intertwined with the bean sprouts, yielded to the bite like a willing paramour. Not buying it? Then I’ll go with the simplest and sincerest compliment: I’d totally go back again.

As for Dan, between searing mouthfuls and the occasional brow blot he was a treasure trove of fascinating information. Not just about Sunnyvale, but about his approach to the whole undertaking. He gave me a lot to think about and will be better for it. I approach El Camino as a consumer but he’s making a difference in the city of Sunnyvale through human connection. On our way out of the restaurant I wondered aloud what “Dusita” means and he made me go back inside and ask. (It means “heaven.”) It’s that personal approach that makes the difference.

It turns out that Dusita has two locations on El Camino: one in Santa Clara and this newer one in Sunnyvale. My wife has been to the one in Santa Clara and she reports it’s also very good. But I can’t say it any better: Sunnyvale Rocks!

Dusita Thai Cuisine
1028 E. El Camino Real, Sunnyvale, CA 94087
2325 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95050

2 Responses to “Sunnyvale Rocks!”

  1. Dan Hugo says:

    Hey Bill, lunch was great (as pictured, and then some), and it was, of course, great seeing you again. For the readers, he looks the same as he did when we first met, except for the current cell phone hardware…

    I mentioned our lunch and this blog in our most recent podcast. Hopefully we can cross paths in real life or in our various media pursuits more often than we had previously!

    If only Spoons were still around…

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