A new Iberian restaurant with Michelin cred arrives in the Bay Area
One of the Peninsula’s newest restaurants is looking to bring more exposure to Portuguese cuisine.
Jarad Gallagher, who earned a Michelin star as the chef of Chez TJ for eight years, recently opened Broma in Mountain View, inspired by a soul-fulfilling trip to Portugal and Spain.
“I tell people that my heart’s in Spain and my soul is in Portugal,” he said. “I want to enter into that stratosphere because it’s the food there that motivates me to cook.”
Gallagher was particularly in awe of the rich, vibrant culture in Portugal, with its hearty cuisine and passion for the arts. He wanted to bring that to the Bay Area with Broma, located at 1625 N. Shoreline Blvd., alongside executive chef Aubree Arndt, previously of Loma Brewing Co.
Broma means “joke” in Spanish, which Gallagher said is a reminder for his employees to not take themselves too seriously and to focus on serving “big, bold, rustic Spanish and Portuguese cuisine.”
The 13,000-square-foot restaurant features banquet rooms, two patios and Spanish artwork. The restaurant is part of the Shashi Hotel, which also includes the Emerald Hour, a craft cocktail bar; Carte Blanche, a coffee shop; and Belle Terra, a fine dining restaurant.
Diners will choose among a three-, four- or five-course meal ($74-$120, not including 20% service charge). The restaurant has also added shareable appetizers and a la carte entrees on Thursday.
Broma’s rich, seasonal menu demonstrates a keen interest in Portuguese culture while allowing for experimentation. Some options, such as a Portuguese clam and braised pork stew, hail from Alentejo, a vast region in the southern part of Portugal that produces most of the country’s wine, and also known for its inventive food combinations.
The Broma menu changes daily but might channel Alentejo with a squid ink pasta served with Carabineros shrimp — a deep red, giant variety often called “scarlet prawns” that’s hard to find in California — or grilled octopus with spinach.
Other potential dishes include a small fried croquette topped with Serrano ham; dry-aged steak with ramps and fava beans; and crema catalana, the Spanish bruleed custard, topped with seasonal fruit.
Broma features a cocktail bar that focuses on mezcal, Tequila and gin. The bar also experiments with fresh fruit and some Spanish ingredients including Spanish olive oil and Sherry to create popular drinks like sangria.
The restaurant’s format — focused on tasting menus at three lengths and price points — speaks to Gallagher's vision of creating a simplified dining experience that doesn’t sacrifice quality. He said that creating a less time-consuming yet still special dining experience is important to him.
“When COVID happened, I left my job at Chez TJ, a long-format restaurant. The experience there was meant to be for four or four and a half hours,” he said. “And although I love it, it’s not something I want to do anymore.”
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Broma Restaurant is a culinary journey.
1625 N Shoreline Boulevard, Mountain View, CA 94043.
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