Monday, August 6, 2007

Botan Restaurant post #2: This review no longer applies due to management change since original post

My Heart goes out to you.....


A personalized Salmon Bake reminded me of pacific rim 'volcano' sushi but in pretty bites......


Sushi & Sashimi platter: a visual reminder that sushi is an art form as many try and not many achieve. Achieved beautifully here.....


Jalapeno Poppers - even if you don't like spicy; this one beckons......


Ice Chilled Organic Sake: you don't have to twist my arm


Dear TasteMemory.com readers - ownership has changed since I have written this post earlier in August 2007. I returned to Botan in October 2007 to find the management had changed, the sushi chefs mentioned in this post have changed as well as a different menu.....


I am convinced and my senses are finally stirred.

BOTAN JAPANESE RESTAURANT has arrived to town and may be the ONE savior and sanctimony to Jacksonville's dining scene that needs *oh so much* to strategically define this city as a hopeful dining & cultural destination that is GLOBALLY SAVVY and someplace to come back too.....

It was Wednesday night and my scheduled girl's night out with a gal pal *m* had taken an unexpected turn (which I'm used to btw....). I had a rough week of dining profiles, unexpected darts thrown and recovering from some food experiences so was looking forward to a play date at a "tried and true" spot (defined by consistency, able to produce a quality dining experience with exceptional produce/product, savvy details and awesome client service); so this meant either crush, bistro aix or bb's.........but NOOOOOOOOO my pal *m* had another GREAT IDEA.

Apparently she had discovered the BEST SUSHI in Jacksonville "ahem* as well as northeast Florida according to her comment on my voicemail.

With ABSOLUTE reluctance and my stomach fearing in cringe (please understand I've been dragged to the "best sushi" excursions since living here on so many occasions - and understand I'm from San Francisco et SoCal and shed time in Hawaii for the BEST SUSHI and have been literally blown out of the water by pacific rim sushi masters; so what I've experience here in Jacksonville thus far is well.....never mind.....)

UNTIL I was introduced to BOTAN JAPANESE RESTAURANT.

If you have only tried sushi in Jacksonville and think you don't like sushi - think again and think outside of the box and sway over to BOTAN; esp. if you need a little tingle on the tongue and some excitement on that palate.

I had *m* try several things she said she normally does not like; and she tried it at BOTAN and experienced the fiery baptism of a new palate.

I am convinced if BOTAN continues to present and produce the finest they presented moi and *m* last Wednesday night - they will help launch a much needed food revolution required to elevate a standard & quality for not only sushi but the experience of 'dining' in ethnic cuisine to a high standard for this area.

I pray for consistency and longevity.

The master sushi chef at BOTAN is Andy Chen. Chef Andy is an artist and extremely gifted in the art of sushi. He has trained with SUSHI MASTERS on the California Coast, Las Vegas and Manhattan before making his arrival here.

His work is consumate, detailed and did I say FRESH?

YES FRESH!

To make a long story short: we did not order off the menu. To make a long story short Chef Andy created the dishes pictured here off the menu.

We gave him a list of our favorite items, typical girls stuff: maguro, yellowtail, salmon, roe & black caviar, etc.

I also challenged him with materials rare or not found in Jacksonville and I was shocked when he included: daikon, baby pickled carrots and white tuna.

Here's a brief descrip:

HEART SUSHI - lovely with tidbits of magura with finely diced daikon and japanese pickled carrots topped with delicate fish roe and black caviar

SALMON BAKE vs. THE VOLCANO - sweet baked salmon with delicate cream sauce, caviar and finely shredded scallions

SUSHI & SASHIMI platter - too pretty to eat but the damage has already been done

JALAPENO POPPERS - refined preGame eating; perfect for tailgating crowd

COLD SAKE - mild & wild in a globally blue chiller

There is also a full Japanese cuisine menu aside from the sushi menu.

The restaurant is located where the previous Lily Bistro hailed and right next to the former Sierra Grille. There is no website as of present yet details below.


Dear TasteMemory.com readers - ownership has changed since I have written this post earlier in August 2007. I returned to Botan in October 2007 to find the management had changed, the sushi chefs mentioned in this post have changed as well as a different menu.....


Please find and dine at:

Botan Japanese Restaurant
4076 Belfort Rd. #9
Jacksonville, Florida 32216

Tel 904.296.0770

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