Chez TJ: office would tower over gourmet restaurant | June 8, 2012 | Mountain View Voice | Mountain View Online |

Mountain View Voice

News - June 8, 2012

Chez TJ: office would tower over gourmet restaurant

by Daniel DeBolt

For the last five years, Louise Christy has been the volunteer gardener for Chez TJ, the highest-rated restaurant in Mountain View. But soon her kitchen garden and the old Victorian that houses Chez TJ could be overshadowed by a four-story office building.

"It's going to destroy this garden," Christy said. "It's basically going to steal the light from this entire property."

Christy pointed to a tall palm tree near the fence, and said, "Can you imagine a building that tall?"

Los Altos-based developer Roger Burnell has proposed a 61-foot tall building at 902 Villa St., 5 feet from the fence line with Chez TJ. The city's zoning administrator is set to make a recommendation on the project June 13, and a City Council vote is set for July 10.

Christy said the public is invited to walk through the garden and imagine a 61-foot wall next door.

"The new building will loom over the restaurant and garden," Christy said. "What kind of architect, developer, and city review people, could let the design get to so advanced a state without saying, 'Hey, this design isn't right?'"

"It's going to be a huge detriment to what we do here," said Joey Elenterio, executive chef at the Michelin star-winning restaurant where the prix fixe dinner costs well over $100 a person. "There's going to be this large building overshadowing this beautiful Victorian house."

Elenterio said he and 20 interns that he trains every year get a lot of inspiration from the herb and vegetable garden.

"It's extremely important to us," Elentario said. "You can't get fresh coriander seeds from the produce market."

Email Daniel DeBolt at


Posted by William Symons, a resident of Waverly Park
on Jun 14, 2012 at 12:27 pm

I have known about Chez TJ for many years. It is a very rare and internationally renown Michelin star restaurant, which also grows many of it's ingredients right in their backyard! It's a very very important landmark of Mountain View that deserves attention and protection. Especially the garden from which they harvest for their amazing dishes.

The few Executive Chefs that have worked there are world renown.

We enjoyed our 10th wedding anniversary there last year, and since we also have a fully landscaped edible vegetable and fruit garden in our front yard In Waverly Park, a fantastic and rewarding part of our dining experience was walking around their gardens afterwards, knowing this first class dining experience was over the top indulgent,(once every 10 years for us!) but also very sustainable and with a low carbon footprint.Chez TJ sets a high standard for other restaurants to admire and follow.

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