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Urban resort meets Michelin stars at Mountain View’s Shashi Hotel

Written by
Sara Hayden
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Urban resort meets Michelin stars at Mountain View’s Shashi Hotel

Written by
Sara Hayden
The exterior dining room at the center of the Shashi Hotel in Mountain View.  

Urban resort meets Michelin stars at  Mountain View’s Shashi Hotel 

Chez TJ alums launch Emerald Hour with Iberian-inspired fare and fresh cocktails
Sara Hayden 

Justin Rodriguez and Jarad Gallagher were on the hunt. They’d embarked on a road trip,  driving hundreds of miles through Spain and Portugal tasting dishes throughout the region.  When it came to finding the specific dish they were searching for, the two just weren’t having  any luck. 

“We were driving down this road, looking for this whole roasted suckling pig, but hadn’t found  it in the way we’d hoped,” Rodriguez says. 

Finally, there it was in Albufeira — in “a little restaurant with a sign of a suckling pig on it.”

Chef Jarad Gallagher delicately slices thin pieces of jamón ibérico while making a charcuterie board in the Emerald Hour kitchen in the Shashi Hotel in Mountain View on Aug. 4, 2021. (Photo by Magali Gauthier)

“It was probably the best food we had,” Rodriguez says. That’s high praise, coming from  Rodriguez and Gallagher, who both come from Michelin-starred restaurants,  including Mountain View’s Chez TJ. Now Rodriguez and Gallagher are bringing flavors from  those experiences to the Peninsula at the Shashi Hotel in Mountain View. “That was something  we really identified with as an outstanding cuisine where we thought we could add to the  conversation,” says Rodriguez, the director of food and beverage operations. “We’re basically  trying to be true to the intention of the dishes and the products we’re taking from those areas,  but putting our own interpretation on them in the way we’d want to eat it.” The Emerald Hour is open now, with three other food establishments to follow. 

A charcuterie board made up of jamón ibérico de bellota, salchichón ibérico, a raw tomato sauce, Pasamontes manchego  cheese, redondo iglesias jamón serrano and cornichons. (Photo by Magali Gauthier) 

The Emerald Hour 

The Emerald Hour is both a drinking and dining destination. There are tapas-style dishes like  Marcona almonds with Périgord truffles, sea salt, lemon zest, and gildas with manzanilla olives, boquerones and guindilla peppers. There are also charcuterie boards with cured meats  and Spanish cheeses, as well as sandwiches featuring fresh and local ingredients like the Mt.  Tam & Fig Melt, and A5 Miyazaki Wagyu with lettuce cups and Vietnamese-inspired nước  chấm. Much of the menu is based on seafood. “That’s what I like to eat, that’s what I like to  cook,” chef Gallagher says. The Emerald Hour offers such dishes as black cod with truffle,  grains and squash blossom and oysters with green apple mignonette. 

Cocktails feature recipes developed by Rodriguez, with a focus on clear spirits like tequila and  white rum. A base spirit lays the foundation for each cocktail. Then, for anything else that’s  added, they use cooking and kitchen techniques for house-made syrups, tinctures and bitters. “We make everything fresh,” Rodriguez says.

Clockwise from top left: Bartender Michael White makes the “Everything’s Peachy” cocktail at the Emerald Hour in the  Shashi Hotel. The “Everything’s Peachy” cocktail is made up of white rum infused with Snowbrite peach, a brown butter pecan orgeat, lemon juice, lime juice, Peychaud’s bitters and Amaro Nonino, as well as cardamom seed and grains of  paradise; The Emerald Hour in the Shashi Hotel in Mountain View. (Photo by Magali Gauthier) 

Seasonal cocktails showcase this. For a seasonal take on a sidecar, the team previously used a base of Chateau Dudognon Grand Champagne Cognac. Then they took a pound of Rainier  cherries, and put them into a Cryovac vacuum chamber. They cooked them in sous vide for two  hours at 130 degrees before bringing it all together and finishing the cocktail with orange.  Currently, for the Snap Pea on the Rock cocktail, they’re extracting solids from sugar snap peas  by running them through a centrifuge to create a pea gin that’s refreshing and light. “We have centrifuges going all the time … and a lot of modern techniques,” Rodriguez says. “It  is certainly equipment you’d see in a lab, but we’re just making drinks with it.”

The Emerald Hour Bar’s Crema Catalana is infused with orange and cinnamon. (Photo by Magali Gauthier) 

Carte Blanche 

Serving coffee from San Juan Bautista’s Vertigo Coffee Roasters, the cafe Carte Blanche will  also have a technological twist. 
“(The cafe’s) got all the bells and whistles, and integrations of some technology, like a self-pour  robot machine for pour overs,” Gallagher says. (“Starbucks has already filled the market with  what they do. There’s no reason for us to duplicate that,” Gallagher explains.) The white and gold cafe will have two signature desserts: one will be an affogato, and the other  will be inspired by European baguettes and Nutella. “If you’re a traveling student, you buy a  big batch and that’s what you live off,” Gallagher says. Carte Blanche makes this dessert extra  decadent with brioche. “Think of a lobster roll, filled with chocolate ganache,” he says. 


As a casual spot for Spanish fare, Broma will complement The Emerald Hour Bar. “Broma” is  an expression that means to “banter back and forth,” says Gallagher. “It’s kind of like giving  each other a hard time.” 

He wants a meal with more of that, and less screen time and Googling. “I like the idea of a  group of people sitting around a table…bantering back and forth about sports or whatever it  is,” Gallagher says. “Now, conversations are a little more pointed and direct, because everyone  has the answer to everything.” 

Gallagher isn’t afraid to shake up the dining room vibe as needed. “One night, it was getting a  little stuffy in that area. I went out there and rang a big gong to make everyone laugh. I need it  to be fun,” Gallagher says. “It’s supposed to have a fun, positive energy.”

Views of the Shashi Hotel in Mountain View. (Photo by Magali Gauthier)

Belle Terre 

Belle Terre will offer a different atmosphere — the fine dining restaurant was “designed like a  gold meteor slammed into the earth and petrified into it.” A dining room looks toward a  doorless kitchen with a smoker and hearth. There’s a parlor with crystallic details in the back  for people seeking privacy, and a wall-to-ceiling wine cellar that runs the length of the  restaurant. 

The aim is to be exclusive, Gallagher says, and there’s a price tag to match: items will start at  $85 on a prix fixe, a la carte menu that features French, Italian and German cuisine with  Californian influence. He emphasizes that it’s “all really exclusive food” — they’ll eventually  grow some of their own produce, aiming for fruits and vegetables that can’t be found  elsewhere. 

Something else that can be hard to find? “We’re trying to give a three Michelin-starred dining  experience in one-and-a-half to two hours,” Gallagher says. 

Expediting the fine dining experience is a practical consideration for serving Silicon Valley. 

“People are traveling, they’re tired, they’ve got long work meeting days. People aren’t that  interested in having a meal that goes past three hours,” Gallagher says. “I like my five-and-a half hour long meals, but in Silicon Valley with the traffic and the way schedules work, it’s not  very realistic.” 

But banter over good food and drink? That just might be more realistic. 

The Emerald Hour is open now at the Shashi Hotel in Mountain View. The team hopes to open  Carte Blanche and Broma before the end of the year, and Belle Terre in 2022. 

Urban resort meets Michelin stars at Mountain View’s Shashi Hotel | by Sara Hayden | Aug, 2021 | THE SIX FIFTY

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