Posted by Max Hauser, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Dec 22, 2007 at 11:55 am
It's good to see Chris Kostow and Chez TJ get this deserved recognition from professionals. (Contrasting with anecdotal anonymous "reviews" you can find online now for all restaurants, short on facts but full of opinion.) Many people I know have enjoyed TJ for special occasions through all of its chefs. Chris has elevated the kitchen's creativity. It's a place that resonates with diners interested in food -- who ask questions, appreciate. Many people find they can establish a good rapport. Usual smart-diner tips apply, of course, to maximize this or any other high-end restaurant experience, like don't go there at the busiest time of week (say, Saturday 8PM), even if that takes work. For nostalgia's sake, below are comments I posted on the US's original Web-based restaurant forum in 1994, soon after TJ McCombie's death.
Max Hauser, Tue Dec 20 18:46:48 1994
Been there 12+ times . . . detailed account on ba.food in 1991 and 1992 and I have it on-line. Consistently inspired, successful modern-French food. Novel dishes sometimes allude to or cleverly play off of rigid classic repertoire of the _Guide Culinaire_ and the _Larousse Gastronomique._ . . . Chez TJ was a partnership between Tom McCombie ("TJ") and George Aviet, who also serves as maitre d'. McCombie died suddenly this fall (soon after I last ate there and chatted with him . . . This place is real: No infinitesimal portions, or attitudes, or flaming desserts, or signed photos of Telly Savalas in the entryway.