Rumors of Jo Jo's demise have been greatly exaggerated. I don't know how this happens, but one person on this board might say ... "they're no good anymore because the staff flew the coop" and it becomes the gospel truth. Well, after lunch there yesterday I'd say they're good as ever. They are still not my favorite Taiwanese joint in town, but they are very very good, and yesterday they were ON.
We had: bamboo shoots in hot and spicy oil, flounder in hot chili, Niu Rou Mian (beef noodle soup), and salted spicy chicken. The bamboo shoots set the tone for the meal, with a crispy crunch and some nice heat. I had seen the flounder on the next table last time I was there and had my heart set on it. I'm glad I remembered to order it -- it's hot, spicy but garnished with some sweet / crunchy veggies for contrast. I'm no expert on Niu Rou Mian, but I think their version is legit, with very good noodles, fatty beef, a little bok choy and a delicate 5 spiced broth. I think it could have benefited from a little salt, but I do like my salt. Speaking of salt, the best dish of all was the salted crispy chicken -- really the yummiest chicken nuggets in the world. What I like about these little gems is they are on the bone (unlike MuLan, which also does this dish) and they are hot, crunchy and virtually greaseless. I wish my picture could capture the basil waft coming off the top of the pile of nuggets, it would curl your hair.
Last few times I've been in to Jo Jo I've noticed that everyone is eating a hotpot, and I need to begin to explore those dishes now. Any suggestions from other erstwhile hounds?
If this meal is indicative of Boston's food culture or lack thereof, I'm good.
There was definitely a somewhat shaky period immediately after the original chef left, and I think many of us in the immediate neighborhood were gun-shy after what happened to Gitlo's, which simply never recovered after its original chef left. But it's clear that the storm has been weathered.
The three cup dishes are served in hotpots, and that probably accounts for many if not most of them. I'm particularly fond of the three cup tofu.
They have the best soup dumplings in the area. They are called Jo Jo special Mini Steamed buns at JJTP.
Other recommendations include:
three cups tofu (or any other protein, but I like the tofu best)
beef with longhorn peppers
beef with chinese watercress in sa-cha sauce
shredded pork with dried bean curd
pea pod stems
baby ribs with black bean sauce (under the fusion dishes, usually not my thing but a friend insisted and they were delicious)
eggplant with basil
twin lobsters with ginger and scallions
They are also one of the few places that does smelly tofu. They have it under apps as well as in a hot pot. It is pungent so beware.
A good list of recs here- probably too late for you now, but I'd just add to this a couple of our other favorites:
- Crispy daikon cake
- Spicy pork kidneys
- Salt & pepper squid
- Fried eggplant pockets
(Can you tell that we often end up with lot of fried things there? :) )
One thing that we haven't really found to be so excellent are their hot pots... (And the soup dumplings have been kind of inconsistent/weak lately, sadly, probably due to the staff changes mentioned below- but I'm still a sucker for them)