Tag Archives: Willow Glen restaurant

In Praise of Braise

Braised pork cheek mole at -- where else -- Braise.

Braised pork cheek mole at — where else — Braise.

 

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.

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.

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Take a Seat at The Table — If You Can

Let's hear it for bone marrow in all its glory!

Chef de Cuisine Anthony Jimenez jokes that he and his crew have finally found the perfect late-night dining spot in San Jose.

The only problem?

They can’t hang out there — because they work there.

The Table, which just opened last month in San Jose’s Willow Glen neighborhood, is a rarity in the sleepy South Bay — a non-greasy-spoon of a restaurant that serves food sometimes as late as 10:30 p.m. on weekdays. Although the restaurant officially closes at 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Jimenez says he keeps the kitchen going if enough people are still coming in later at night.

Another unusual aspect? They serve bone marrow. The caveman-like offal dish is de rigueur on many a San Francisco menu. But in the South Bay? Not so much.

The roasted bones, split to make it easier to scoop out the unctuous marrow to spread on grilled ciabbatta ($12), sells well, too, Jimenez says.

One of the colorful paintings and murals that adorn the dining room.

The inspirational quote above the kitchen.

The Table is the newest restaurant by Executive Chef-Partner Jim Stump of the Los Gatos Brewing Company in San Jose and Los Gatos. The long-time South Bay chef says he’s always wanted to open an intimate neighborhood establishment that’s all about farm-to-tableĀ  because “it’s not just a concept, it’s life.”

Diners seem to be embracing it with open arms, too, as the restaurant has been busy since opening day.

Seats are not easy to come by, especially when there’s only 60 of them at simple, bare wood tables. I was lucky enough to snag one recently when I was invited in as a guest of the restaurant.

The walls are adorned with colorful murals of over-sized pears and wine bottles, hand-painted by Stump’s friend, a restaurateur in Denver. There’s also a chalkboard over the open kitchen that sports inspirational quotes.

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