January 2012. – I had heard good things about Jax Kitchen on North Oracle and so, when I received a Groupon offering Lunch for 4, I was reasonably certain I could talk three friends into dining with me for the purpose of a review.
With me for lunch last week were Ms. Karen, Ms. Sue, and Ms. Marcia. Always pleasant to dine with the ladies. Once seated and our drinks ordered, we had a chance to observe.
In broad daylight, Jax doesn’t look like much. I know that some of the reviews on Yelp and TripAdvsior referred to the interior as “trendy” but Jax is located in a strip mall and appeared to be one step up from the ubiquitous Tucson greasy spoon.
Ms. Marcia said that she had been to Jax for dinner once and the ambiance at night is much nicer: dimmed lights and lots of candles. I could imagine how that could be an improvement. Otherwise the place is fairly sterile. I mean, along North Oracle, there are many fine restaurants, such as Wildflower, with much more interesting interiors. Jax just lacks imagination. An inventive restaurant owner can take a plane open space and turn it into something dazzling, like Elvira’s in Tubac.
It was mid-day, and we all had to get back to work after lunch, so none of us ordered wine. Thus, I cannot vouch for Jax selection.
The young man who served us never mentioned his name, so I assume he didn’t want us to know it. Perchance he is a Super Hero working incognito. He took our hors d’oeuvre order. Some restaurants refer to such as appetizers. Jax has a far more pedestrian designation: Jax Snacks. Apparently they missed an opportunity to use the term: Jax Snax.
Out of three choices we ordered two. Baked Goat Cheese with tomato confit, olive tapenade, served with fresh house bread.
The other was Duck Confit Street Tacos. If any of you know the difference between a regular taco and a “street” taco, please enlighten me.
Jax Snacks arrived in short order. We dug in. Oh! Aaah! Very good!!!
Our “snacks” didn’t last long and soon it was time to order a real meal. By the speed with which the ladies devoured the hors d’oeuvres, it was apparent that I was dining with 3 alpha females who had not eaten for at least a week.
Ms. Marcia ordered the Crispy Salmon with mission fig + Madeira sauce, sautéed fingerlings and greens ($14).
Ms. Sue ordered a chicken sandwich ($10) that comes with a salad. Ms. Karen ordered the beet + arugula salad (shaved and roasted beets, goat cheese, cocoa pecans, and a lite orange vinaigrette. She was offered the choice of chicken or the crispy salmon with her salad. Salmon it was. ($15)Continue reading