Friday, December 30, 2011
On my second and last day in Napa I chose to eat at Morimoto since my cousin Sidney and Mary couldn't stop raving about the food there.
There were so many excellent restaurants in Napa but I really wanted to try Morimoto since Masaharu Morimoto is my all-time favorite Iron Chef for both the Japanese and American shows. I just admire his creativity and attention to detail.
Upon entering the restaurant there was a casual dining area which served light meals and snacks.
There was also some merchandise for sale.
When you go in to the main dining area you will pass the open kitchen.
The interiors were very modern and eclectic. I liked it!
Behind the bar are 100 year old stripped grape vines.
I've never seen translucent plastic chopsticks before. Very Muji!
Kit had a pisco sour. With the help of Google I learned that pisco sour is the national cocktail of Peru and is made with pisco brandy, lemon juice, sugar and an egg white.
pisco sour $14
There weren't as much choices in the menu for lunch so I ordered something familiar. Rock shrimp tempura is my favorite dish from Nobu where Morimoto was once the head chef. In Nobu the rock shrimp tempura was made with creamy spicy sauce. At Morimoto it was dressed two ways. In the first way the crisp battered shrimp was tossed in spicy kochujan (Korean hot pepper paste) sauce . The second way the shrimp was coated with a wasabi aoli sauce. Both sauces were mayonnaise based and a bit spicy but not too hot. I really liked both but I loved the wasabi aoli more.
rock shrimp tempura $18
We all ordered the lunch sets which consisted of tofu miso soup or salad, vegetable tempura w/ yuzu wasabi yogurt and sushi. We ordered different entrees so we could try each others dish.
If you are a regular reader of my blog you will know I've been on the Cohen diet and haven't eaten any rice, noodles or bread. In short no carbs. I've been pretty good avoiding those three but I gave in and ordered the uni carbonara since it was the favorite dish of my cousin Sidney and my nephew Kevin.
First let me tell you about the rest of the food. The salad may look like your ordinary green salad but the dressing was out of this world fantastic. It had shaved bonito on top and the dressing was kabosu vinaigrette. Kabosu is a Japanese citrus related to Yuzu. It has a strong and incredibly bright flavor that burst in my mouth. With the salad I was already swooning with happiness.
The vegetable tempura wasn't as hot and crisp as I would liked it to be but it was very well seasoned. It didn't even need tempura sauce like we are used to. There was yuzu wasabi yogurt underneath the veggies and it turned out to be perfect together.
I didn't eat the sushi but I dunked my sashimi in my uni carbonara. Yum!
sea urchin carbonara set $25
I love uni. I love the briny, creamy texture. You would think that uni and carbonara would be overkill in richness but surprisingly it complemented each other. I loved that udon noodles was used and the sauce wasn't nakakaumay or too rich. It was a really unusual experience eating al dente udon noodles with a Western style sauce that still tasted Japanese. The lunch portion was also the perfect size for me. Anything more than this would have been overwhelming for my first and last noodle dish for the entire trip.
Kit had the loco moto which was washugyu beef, sunny side egg and hayashi gravy.
loco moto set $25
It tasted like Japanese style premium beef chili to me. There was rice on the bottom.
Ariel regretted ordering the miso soup after he tasted my spectacular salad.
pork kakuni set $25
He just loved the pork kakuni or pork belly cooked for ten hours. It was super tender and a bit sweet. Really perfect for our Filipino taste buds. This too had rice at the bottom which was a big plus for Ariel.
Goodbye Morimoto. We will definitely be back for dinner next time. We loved, loved everything we ordered and can't wait to try more dishes. Until we meet again. Too bad I missed Chef Morimoto by a few minutes. That would have been a great photo op.
610 Main St, Napa, CA 94559, USA
telephone: (707) 252-1600