Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Not just sushi

Jin Sho
454 S. California Ave
Palo Alto

Jin Sho's Web site describes the restaurant's style as "executive-class Japanese cuisine," which may come as a surprise to a first-time visitor who glances at the menu and the unassuming storefront.

The sushi and sashimi served at Jin Sho looked very attractive and fresh, but there's much more to the menu.

The chefs who opened Jin Sho last year are alumni of Nobu, the popularly acclaimed modern Japanese restaurant in New York City restaurant headed by chef Nobu Matsuhisa.

The interior of Jin Sho is light-filled and modern, with a dozen seats at the sushi bar facing the open kitchen.

I was attracted by the lunchtime prix fixe menu offering three courses, starting with several seafood-based appetizers. When I ordered "tuna sashimi salad," I expected rosy slices of raw tuna and some greens, so when this plate arrived, I was surprised, pleasantly so. The tuna steak was seared, coated with black peppercorns, and served with an addictive sesame dressing. The pepper was spicy but not too aggressive, and the portion size was just right.

The entree, miso-marinated black cod, was even better. The broiled fish was perfectly cooked, almost translucent and slightly sweet, with a wonderful earthy aroma. I was tempted to order another plate -- not because the portion left me wanting, just because it was so delicious.

The meal ended with a tiny dish of strawberry panna cotta, served in a wooden sake cup the size of a large shot glass. It was creamy with good vanilla flavor and tasted like fresh strawberries.

An amazing platter of fresh corn tempura on the table next to mine looked like golden puffed-corn cakes, piled high and encircled by powdery green trails which my server told me were maccha (green tea) salt. The two men at the table demolished the stack in short order.

I'd also like to try one of Jin Sho's signature appetizers: "yellow tail with jalapeno," paper-thin slices of sashimi tuna dressed with jalapeno, cilantro and yuzu (Japanese citrus) soy.

Jin Sho on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

Annie said...

I feel like Pavlov's dog reading this one!