The breathless but merely overheard praise for the California-inspired Japanese cuisine at Restaurant Mitsunobu in Menlo Park seemed perhaps too good to be true, and though a query on the SF board last fall sparked chatter, the first diner’s-eye view didn’t appear until now.

takuhead and a companion enjoyed a meal of “creamy and decadent” seafood clay pot rice with shrimp, clam, and kinki (a.k.a. kichiji fish); Tasmanian ocean trout with burdock and dried bonito; and a Japanese vegetable sampler that included spinach with sesame, warm carrot and burdock root, and hijiki with lotus root preparations.

While the chawanmushi’s texture was too loose for takuhead’s tastes, two desserts showed a skillful hand. Jidori tamago flan was creamy and rich, perfectly offset by the deep flavor of Japanese molasses. Ginger- and jalapeño-spiked yuzu sorbet earned a standing ovation; takuhead says the sorbet alone should be enough to compel a visit to Mitsunobu.

Restaurant Mitsunobu [Peninsula]
325 Sharon Park Drive, Menlo Park

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