Although JaJa Bistro has been open for eight years, we just discovered it earlier this month. Spoiler Alert! It was AWESOME!!
JaJa Bistro is fairly easy to find. It is located in downtown Littleton just off Main St and Nevada. There is a dedicated parking area next to the restaurant and a pay lot less than a block away.
Oh, how we love Denver Restaurant Week! We were surprised to find that JaJa Bistro had extended their Denver Restaurant Week menu. This allowed us to sample more of their cuisine than we expected. We just love it when a plan comes together.
The marinated confit garlic and olives were excellent. We found them to be mild and not overly garlicky. They played off each other well by picking up flavors from each other. Both the garlic and the olives spread easily on the bread served with the appetizer. It was toasted with fennel, and drizzled with balsamic vinegar. The dish had a nice salty and sweet flavor that we really enjoyed.
We also ordered the flavoured fries with rouille sauce. Given the choice between truffle or walnut oil, we chose the truffle oil. The fries were crispy, salty, and in addition to being cooked with truffle oil, they were sprinkled with parsley. These were incredible. The truffle oil added a new dimension of flavor and the dipping sauce was very similar to mayonnaise. This was a very large serving and was one of our favorite appetizers.
Our next choice was the Charcuterie plate. This consisted of duck liver mousse terrine, dry cured meats, confit grapes, cornichons, olives, and onion marmalade. These meats were served with the same toasted bread we had with the confit olives and garlic. We enjoyed this dish, especially the onion marmalade.
If there is one thing that sets JaJa apart from other restaurants we have tried, it is their amazing sauces. Although sauces are a staple in French cuisine, compared to other French establishments, JaJa Bistro is the master of sauciness. No kidding, people. They are amazing.
For dessert, we tried most of the menu as it is our way.
Aside from tiramisu, we tend to order crème brulee whenever possible. It is one of our favorites and although a fairly simple dish, we are surprised how many places get this one wrong. Not JaJa. We left dinner that night knowing we had found the best vanilla bean crème brulee to date. This was a perfect custard with a thin layer of carmelized sugar, not burnt or too thick or hard to get through. It was served with a beautiful twill cookie of spun sugar that was a tasty and fun garnish to this light and playful dish.
The berry tartlet was served on a flaky pastry alongside goat cheese and fresh whipped cream. This was a nice dish. Admittedly, we are not fans of goat cheese due to the strong flavor; however, this was a wonderful and light way to end a meal.
Next up was the chocolate mousse. A decedent dark chocolate confection topped with fresh berries. The balance of dark chocolate and light airy cream made every spoonful resplendent. Absolutely heavenly!
The thing we enjoyed about all JaJa's desserts was the wonderful garnishes. Fresh berries and fresh whipped cream were a part of each dish.
Also, the coffee served at JaJa is our favorite restaurant coffee thus far. It is served in a French press and is absolutely astounding!
We admit it. Sometimes, we tend to be a server's nightmare. We promise it is not intentional, but we do ask a lot of questions regarding the menu. As a group, we ask about ingredients, the history of the restaurant, add-ons, substitutions, food allergies, information about the owners, the chef, and the staff. Also, we were so disorganized for this dinner. Since all of us were arriving separately and not in a group, it took us an entire hour to assemble our party. Our server, Patrick was patient and courteous throughout the evening. He checked on us at regular intervals as our party wandered in. Although we did manage to stump him a couple times, he admitted to not knowing the answers and returned with the information rather than making something up. Integrity goes along way with us.
We also had the pleasure of meeting Janelle who is half of the Poullier husband/wife team that own JaJa Bistro. She was delightful, energetic, and upbeat with a relaxed happy smile. She came by to check on us and to take away some of our empty plates. She was gracious and took the time to really talk to us. Once again, a highly valued trait in an owner or manager. Before we left, Janelle came by again with her husband, Chef Stephan. He was kind, down to earth, and engaging. Not many chefs come out to chat, so it was such a special treat for us. Janelle, Chef Stephan, Patrick and the whole staff of JaJa Bistro were so welcoming and kind that they have made us patrons for life. We love you guys!
Chef Stephan serves dishes from his childhood in the south of France. They change their menu as the season's change so there are plenty of good dishes to try.
Of course, we gave JaJa Bistro the coveted golden spoon because of the excellent menu, staff, atmosphere, and experience.
Once again, we thank Janelle, Stephan and the entire staff of JaJa Bistro for a wonderful and unforgettable dining experience.
The Officially Unofficial Voting Legend
Take it with a grain of salt, we're not professionals.
Awesome place, we’ll shovel more food in our face!
It was okay. Not our favorite, but we’ll take another stab at it.
Didn’t make the cut.