It’s a restaurant team years in the making.
Two well-known South Bay chefs — Anthony “AJ” Jimenez, formerly of The Table, and Josh Hanoka, of Bray Butcher Block — first met as teenagers while growing up in San Jose and later trained together in a downtown restaurant.
Now, after what Hanoka called a “serendipitous” opportunity — a prime space opened up on Lincoln Avenue in the city’s Willow Glen neighborhood — they’ve combined culinary forces to create Braise, a restaurant and bar with a strong focus on small plates and shared eating.
One chef’s contemporary, the other’s old school — cooking styles they say they’ve bonded into a seasonal, vegetable-driven menu that’s broad enough to please meat eaters.
“I wanted to find a way to be playful with the food but offer something that tastes good at the same time,” Jimenez says.
For small plates, braised sunchokes are combined with creamed lacinato kale, prosciutto’s paired with pineapple and fingerling potatoes are served with onion soubise and spiced pear jam. Entrees include Manila clams with bacon and vadouvan, quail with cheesy grits and ling cod poached in ginger tea. Those meaty offerings — green chile pork belly, confit chicken legs and a 30-day dry-aged steak with uni butter — show up as large, shareable dishes.
Customers will also find chicken liver mousse and kimchi, two dishes Jimenez made popular at The Table over the last five years, as well as 10 choices for the create-your-own-cheese-plate option.
Beverages include 10 signature cocktails, a global wine list and several craft brews on draft, along with nitro-pressed Chromatic cold brew that will be topped with a seasonal condensed milk “float” (think pumpkin spice or oatmeal raisin for fall/winter).
The restaurant and bar space, formerly home to chef Joe Cirone’s eclectic Hay Market and then Over/Under, has undergone a sleek redesign with dark blue walls punctuated by framed “living gardens” as artwork.
Braise opens today, Sept. 28, and will serve dinner from 5 nightly through Sunday, Oct. 1, before closing for a one-day breather. The restaurant will reopen Tuesday for daily dinners. Look for lunch/brunch to be added by winter