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David Kinch's The Bywater Brings the Best of NOLA to the South Bay

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Seven things you need to know about Kinch's casual newcomer.

The oyster po'boy.
The oyster po'boy.
Patricia Chang

The Bywater, David Kinch's second new restaurant in over decade, is open for business as of today, and it's a welcoming place. If you are a lover of New Orleans laid-back style, then The Bywater is for you. If you became a fan of chef David Kinch while bingeing "Mind of a Chef," then The Bywater is for you. If you love a good party, then The Bywater is for you. Basically, the second restaurant from three-Michelin starred Kinch is for everyone, and it debuts today in Los Gatos. Here's what you need to know.

1) The only thing The Bywater has in common with Manresa is the chef. Otherwise, the vibe is totally different and completely casual. "I think it's mostly the unpretentiousness that will surprise people," Kinch told Eater. "The food scene in the Bay Area area is so super serious, happening, and 'going on;' it's like a chef can't open a restaurant without it being perceived as some sort of statement."

2) The menu centerpieces around the po'boy, a sandwich made with baguette-like bread that often features fried shrimp or oysters, then "dressed" with mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato and pickles. The Bywater will offer up fried shrimp, oysters and hot link (a flat patty cooked like a hamburger) versions.

3) But that doesn't mean it's the only thing on the menu. You’ll also find Kinch's versions of gumbo, oysters "rock-a-fella" and beignets.


Gumbo Ya-Ya Photo: Patricia Chang

4) Drinks, from Tin Roof Drinking Community's Chad Arnholt and Claire Sprouse, are meant to get the party going, with the frozen daquiris — offered in go-cups or by the jug — leading the pack.

5) You can choose your eating and imbibing setting from the 10-seat bar, 30-seat dining room or 20-seat heated, covered patio.

6) Kinch curated the photography that adorns the walls himself, and is also in charge of the playlist. There'll be live music some nights, too.

7) The Bywater is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

The Bywater

526 N. Santa Cruz Ave., Los Gatos, California 95030