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Le Poisson Japonais, IMHO, Sublime

Shannan | Aug 13, 200208:20 PM

I have to write about my dinner Sunday night. I can't remember the last time I had a culinary experience that was so impressive - and we went to Chez TJ on Fri. night...
I knew I should've done this right after, as the details are starting to blur, and those are what made this meal so amazingly amazing.
4 people, we all had the $75 Omakase:
First, a small mound of ahi tartare on thinly sliced cucumber, all four presented on a white plate with just these morsels. The typical sesame oil flavor that accompanies ahi tartare or poke these days was not there. It was something different, lighter.
Next, a cool presentation of stacked scallops- scallop, cucumber, scallop, and crab "sticks"- a piece of fresh crab wrapped in rice paper. Imagine two scallops on opposite ends of a plate with two crab sticks running down the space in the middle, forming a dividing line. Perfect fresh sea scallops...
Then, a tuna trio, in a long wooden plank with three square cutouts each holding bowls of tuna in a different preparation: the straight sashimi with shoyu and wasabi, the tataki with sprouts and sauce(?), and the tataki with garlic chips and ponzu. The details are blurring on this course...:(
The fourth dish, foie gras on fried tofu, roughly triangle shaped with a wine sauce served on a ceramic raku style (?)platter of matching color and an aqua green rim.
The fifth, filet mignon, which I did not eat, but was happily consumed by my dinner mates, looked vibrant pink, with a searing around the outside just to the very slightest eighth of an inch inside.
And the sushi dish: two pieces each of salmon and shad nigiri, the salmon with a mustard dill sauce; and the shad, weaved to form a braid design over the rice, was topped with a piece of translucent kelp. Again, the utmost in fresh!
Dessert was four different selections: green tea creme brulee, tapioca with cream, mystery fruit and toasted coconut shavings, chocolate cake with whipped cream and raspberry sauce and a napoleon with peach. We all had green tea cappucino, which I think is a delightful discovery. Creamy and not at all bitter, with the right amount of sweetness. It's like the green equivalent of hot chocolate.
Well, that's my best recollection of it. I feel like I'm forgetting a dish. Creativity, new flavors without overkill, flawless presentation all added up to a stellar meal.
LPJ is on Ramona Street in downtown Palo Alto.

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