Meet our latest RESTAURATEUR OF THE QUARTER: Jason Lee of Jason’s Restaurant, Greenbrae
Jason Lee grew up in the restaurant business initially being encouraged by Sam Lee, his father, who owned 18 Giant Burger fast food operations in the Bay Area. Jason started working in his family business at 15 as a cashier and cook while waiting tables at Pizzeria Uno in Fremont. He then waited tables at Market Broiler in Fremont for a couple of years before attending and graduating from the California Culinary Academy (CCA) in San Francisco. As a prep cook, sauté cook and pantry cook he honed his French technique with Michael Mina at Aqua in San Francisco and mastered Asian flavors at Abbeys’ Yabbies’ Coastal Kitchen in San Francisco, each restaurant well-known for its way with seafood.
In 2002, Restaurant Realty sold a small 50-seat restaurant in San Rafael to Jason, which he changed to Jason’s, specializing in pasta and seafood. This restaurant was very successful and he outgrew it. Subsequently Restaurant Realty sold it and Jason moved to a 170+ seat (+200 seat banquet room) restaurant in Greenbrae, which he remodeled and renamed to Jason’s in 2007.
Jason’s Restaurant has been one of the top restaurants in Marin County since it opened each year enjoying increased sales and profits. Jason brought French and Asian together and threw a bit of Italian into the mix. Jason’s Restaurant is the perfect place to have a casual lunch or dinner with upscale service and impressive cuisine. Their menu has dishes everyone can savor from fresh and light Hawaiian Poke to delicious grilled Blackened Rib Eye Steak. Their full bar serves up signature drinks and fine wine to enjoy in their dining room or out on the patio. Their banquet room also offers a great space for small intimate parties and large events.
Jason decided that he wanted to tone down the hectic demands of operating a large restaurant as Chef/Owner to a smaller venue to spend more time with his family and consequently Restaurant Realty recently sold Jason’s restaurant to Chef/Owner David Monson, a European trained chef, who currently owns Farm House Local in Larkspur which RRC sold to him in 2013. Jason will be opening up a smaller restaurant called JOJA (named for Jason and his wife Joslyn) with fewer operating hours and a smaller menu then Jason’s at the former Joe’s Café in San Rafael within the next few months.
Jason’s success can be attributed to his dedication to maintaining consistent high standards in food and service and the support of his family. Jason’s parents have been very supportive to him throughout the years at home and in business and his high school girlfriend, Joslyn who has been his wife of 10 years works alongside Jason managing the front of the house.
We wish Jason and his family continued success in all of their future endeavors and it has been a pleasure working with Jason and seeing him grow throughout the past 18 years RRC has been associated with him.