DINING OUT ... WITH FRIENDS AT
by Mike Sanchez Photos by Tony Scotino
Gilroy is home to a number of quality restaurants , but one of the newest eateries , Jellyfish Seafood Bar , located at 773 First St . in the Town Plaza Shopping Center , offers something new for the community — Louisiana Style cuisine .
The restaurant houses a comfortable , modern environment — intimate enough for a date but also good for group gatherings .
We asked our friends Amy Tran and Vincent Van to join us . Amy and Vincent are Morgan Hill residents , and young professionals with thriving dental practices located in the Wren Commons in Gilroy . Amy ’ s practice is My Gilroy Dentist , located in Suite A114 . Vincent ’ s practice , Gilroy Pediatric Dentistry , is in Suite A111 .
Amy is currently in the Leadership Gilroy Class of 2021 and , when not working , loves arts and crafts and staying active . When not at work , Vincent is an avid table tennis player , plays piano and guitar , and enjoys experiencing different cultures and cuisines .
For a night of Louisiana inspired food , we couldn ’ t think of a better pair than Amy and Vincent . These guys are fun , so we knew we ’ d have a great time . We are also “ Jacob Garcia groupies ”— we ’ ll patronize any establishment he ’ s involved with .
At Jellyfish , Jacob was tapped to build out the bar complete with a rotating custom cocktail list , which he has done in style with his trademark creativity and flair . He also manages the house floor a few nights a week . ( That ’ s where we found him when we stopped in .)
We always start with the drinks — for research , of course . Upon arrival , we cried out , rather , we asked , to see the drink menu . Jacob merely pointed to the table with a smile . Bam ! There they were — right in front of us the whole time .
After perusing the list and asking plenty of questions , I went with the Jellyfish version of a classic drink — the Man O War ( rye , cointreau , bitters , splash of absinthe , orange twist over a large cube of ice ). The drink was just the right balance of spice and nice . I enjoyed it thoroughly .
On Jacob ’ s suggestion , Deb ordered a “ Jelley from the Block ” ( spicy margarita with blackberry and serrano pepper , house-made chamoy on the rim ). She loved it , but be careful with this one . The deep red , sweet-looking drink packs a savory punch .
For good measure we ordered a “ Stinger ” ( tequila , grapefruit juice , sprite , splash of orange juice , float of Hawaiian dark rum , with a lime-and-Tajin-rimmed glass ), which is the jellyfish version of a Paloma , for our camera guy Tony . If his smile was any indication , he loved it .
Amy ordered a “ Crystal ” ( Bombay Sapphire gin , Elderflower tonic , rosemary , blueberry and grapefruit juice , topped with an edible orchid ) specialty drink — the secret menu stuff ! It was visually spectacular and delicious .
Jacob rolls specialty drinks in and out of the line-up on a regular basis . If you don ’ t see what you want on the list , just ask and they ’ ll serve it up .
Vince ’ s drink captivated us most of all . His “ Heart of the Sea ” ( Ocean organic vodka , peach schnapps , blue Curacao , club soda , with “ edible glitter ”) was like a light show in a glass . The glitter acts like an illuminated silver dust inside the glass and shimmers when stirred . We just kept stirring it ! Vince enjoyed the drink as much as we enjoyed playing with it . We caught a glimpse of a couple Mai Tais on deck . They looked amazing , but were headed for another table .
For appetizers we opened with the raw oysters and the char-grilled oysters ( sizzling grilled Texas coast oysters , parmesan cheese in a garlic butter sauce ). It was a great start !
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