Although the modest chef, Toshi-san (who worked together with Sakae’s chef, Hiro-san, in a previous restaurant), says his restaurant specializes in kaiseki, sushi is done to perfection, says K K. Ask for omakase, and be treated to one of the Bay Area ’s sushi masters.
A highlight is scallop nigiri, placed atop a shiso leaf and topped with a thick goopy mixture of uni and miso and a wee bit of caviar. Hirame (halibut) is taken from a large cut, de-skinned, carved carefully and pressed into the rice, with a bit of ponzu on top. Kanpachi comes from Japan, not Hawaii, and is free of the stringiness, fishiness, and sliminess of some kanpachi. Isaki makes a rare appearance: similar to sea bass or suzuki, and totally fresh. One last standout is tamago yaki (egg), which shows off the flavors of ground shrimp and dashi–it beats out other renditions up and down the West Coast.
A bonus is watching the chef’s knifework and his skill in pressing fish into rice.
The one downside to sushi at Kaygetsu is the limited variety of fish. Being primary a kaiseki restaurant, Toshi-san stocks a limited range of ingredients. But the limited variety is a small price to pay for the freshness and skill that goes into the sushi.
Price for one for omakase lunch: $68 plus a mandatory 16% tip.
Board Links: Sushi at Kaygetsu Menlo Park