What a difference a few months makes. In late February, I was invited in as a guest to try the splashy new Ettan restaurant that had just debuted in downtown Palo Alto. Little did I know that would be the very last time I’d dine inside a restaurant for the foreseeable future.
So it was with a sense of warm familiarity tinged with a bit of melancholy that I returned to this modern Indian restaurant last week to pick up takeout.
The restaurant is a collaboration between Ayesha Thapar, a real estate and fashion entrepreneur, and Srijith Gopinathan, executive chef of the Michelin two-starred Campton Place in San Francisco. So it’s got style in spades, as well as serious cooking chops.
The striking entrance with its indigo doors, iron latticed screens, crystal chandeliers, and fanciful tiles still make a grand statement. And the food is still every bit as impressive, even if you can’t enjoy it on the restaurant’s rough-hewn ceramics and gleaming copper vessels at home.
If you’ve been a fan of The Table in San Jose’s Willow Glen, then you’re already familiar with Chef Anthony “A.J.” Jimenez’s New American fare that’s playful and sometimes quite unexpected.
He’s brought that same style to the first restaurant he’s owned, Braise, which opened late last year in San Jose’s Willow Glen, in fact, just a stone’s throw away from The Table. He opened it with high school friend Josh Hanoka of Bray Butcher Block in San Jose’s San Pedro Square Market.
The small, laid-back restaurant done up in vivid blue features a small bar and bare wood tables. It’s the perfect place to drop by to unwind after work or to enjoy a girls’ night out, which is what I did with two girlfriends recently. They paid the tab (a sweet belated birthday dinner for yours truly), but Jimenez sent out a couple items on the house.
The dining room.
Everything is made to be shared, both small and large plates. A couple of his fun dishes from The Table have made their way here, including his house-made kimchi and his savory take on zucchini bread.