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Jaso

Mexico City, Polanco

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Overall Rating

  • Ambience 70%
  • Service 80%
  • Food (Execution) 80%
  • Creativity 70%
  • Value 70%

Details for Location Reviewed
Jaso

Locale: Mexico City, Polanco
Address: Calle Newton 88

Telephone: +52 55 5545 7476
Restaurant Type: Upscale Casual
Cuisine: Eclectic Gourmet
Service Type: Table Service
Price: $$$$ Menu items offered: Grilled Steaks, Salads, Seafood, Soups
Hours: Mon-Sat: 2pm to 1am Sun: Closed

Restaurant Details
Jaso

Locale: Mexico City, Polanco
Address: Calle Newton 88

Telephone: +52 55 5545 7476
Restaurant Type: Upscale Casual
Cuisine: Eclectic Gourmet
Service Type: Table Service
Price: $$$$ Menu items offered: Grilled Steaks, Salads, Seafood, Soups
Hours: Mon-Sat: 2pm to 1am Sun: Closed

Summary of Review

The decor is not quite right, but not as gaudy as Dulce Patria. Service staff seemed a bit confused and flustered. That didn't really affect service after the first course however. The food was surprisingly good.

Summary of Review

The decor is not quite right, but not as gaudy as Dulce Patria. Service staff seemed a bit confused and flustered. That didn't really affect service after the first course however. The food was surprisingly good.

Restaurant Review for Jaso

 

Review by: Ollie O
Rating: 3.7 stars
Review Date: 09/09/2016

Jaso in Polanco has received mixed reviews in online sites and magazines. So it was time for ComaBeba’s Ollie O to put Jaso to the test.

At 8:30 on a Friday evening the restaurant had already seated two large banquet tables. There were only four other diners in the restaurant, including myself. Despite that, I was asked to wait a few minutes for a table. I was soon seated at a table in the restaurant's back room, with a large column blocking my view of most of the remainder of the restaurant. I’m the clever one though. I shifted the table a few inches to the left so that I would not feel quite so cramped.

The restaurant looks as if it might have been quite special when it opened. But like many buildings and venues in Latin America, it appeared nothing had been done in past few years to maintain the space. The walls and ceiling were also showing the wear of time, having a slightly dingy overtone. The tables were clad with low quality white table cloths that were slightly wrinkled. My table had a padded top underneath the tablecloth that had more padding at the center of the table causing an unusual bow on the surface of the tabletop. There were no spots lighting tables or walls. Only indirect lighting directed at the ceiling and the light from the candles on the table. It was so dark it was difficult to read the menu. The room sorely needed some strategically placed spots.

The intricate wood decoration on the walls would have been an impressive foundation for a beautifully designed space. But cold gray paint and a large, shiny graphic consuming the entire wall in the center dining area were oddly out of place. The sliding glass door that separated the dining room in which I was sitting from a small outdoor terrace has a huge chip on the edge of the glass. It was if nothing had been done to improve the place or maintain it since it opened.

And the entire restaurant was devoid of artwork save that one large graphic consuming the entire two story wall in the adjoining room.

The table was adorned with a black plastic vase filled with three red roses. When I was seated there was no candle on the table. A waiter brought out a cheap votive candle sitting on a flat glass base that looked a bit like an ashtray. The whole design and feel of the place was just somehow not quite right.

I feared this might be an omen of a disappointing outing.

There were visible examples of confusion other than not having the candle on the table when I was seated. The waiters were scurrying about in minor confusion. That said, the service, from the time the first course was served until I completed the meal, was top notch. Plates were promptly pulled after completion of each course and knives, forks and spoons replaced with each course.

For an appetizer, I initially ordered the pumpkin soup, but immediately had a change of heart and requested that the appetizer be changed to the grilled octopus. The waiter seemed a bit alarmed and confused by the change, but within a few a minutes the appetizer arrived and it was the one I had ordered.

This octopus was charred, giving the exterior a slight different texture than the creamy interior. It was sitting on a pungent eggplant puree, accompanied by a few leaves of arugula and tiny cherry tomatoes, sliced in half. The menu indicated there would be also be olives. But they were missing from the appetizer I received. The execution was good, the octopus cooked correctly, except that the last four or five bites in the thickest portion of the meat was slightly under cooked, rendering those last few bites a little bit chewy. Save that minor faux pas, this dish was delicious.

For the main course that followed, I ordered duck breast. The waiter asked me how I wanted it cooked and I made it clear I preferred it on the rare side to avoid overcooking. When it arrived it was perfectly cooked, and not the least bit gamey. The juicy breast had been cooked perfectly, just slightly pink in the center, and perfectly sliced to create a nice presentation. The sliced breast was served on a bed of wild rice and a peach puree, with notes of orange citrus. The dish was delicious and prepared perfectly. I wouldn’t hesitate to order it again.

On arrival, I had resolved to skip the dessert. The ambiance of the place had me a bit spooked and I was planning a quick exit. But after it became quite clear that the kitchen didn’t have any of the problems I was seeing in the front of the house, I felt obligated to try a dessert.

I ordered a small chocolate cake filled with caramelized pecans and accompanied by vanilla ice cream using a regional vanilla from Papantla. Although the dessert was quite small I felt the little chocolate cake had more flavor and was moister than the cake I’d ordered the night before at Dulce Patria. Although the dessert was my least favorite of the three courses, it was still tasty.

Unlike Pujol, Raíz and Quintonil, Jaso was very traditional ingredients and traditional French cooking technique. Very little traditional Mexican cuisine influence in this menu which might actually make it more interesting for local residents.

Summing it up, the food was quite good at Jaso and the prices on the menu were about as expected. What a shame that the front of the house doesn’t live up to the standards set in the kitchen. This restaurant needs to hire a professional designer to make some changes, needs to fix the poor lighting, maintain the space and keep it spotlessly clean. Tone down the music and get something a little more pleasant than the electro-jazz mix that was blaring at high volume.

Good food deserves a good place to enjoy it.

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