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Wendy-san | May 6, 200202:21 PM     1

I'd heard a lot of good things about Cafe Kati (Sutter Street near Fillmore near Japantown) over the years but had never been there. At the last minute we called at 6:30 on Saturday night and managed to snag a reservation for 8:00 for two. I assume that was unusual because the place was packed when we got there but we were seated right away.

The food was excellent and reminded me of Hiro Sone's fusion dishes at Terra (St. Helena - Wine Country). I had the soup of the day, a delicious, light asparagus puree with chicken stock. My husband had one of the towers they're famous for, this one with asparagus wrapped in prosciutto. For entrees I had the miso glazed black bass in a dashi broth, udon noodles, shanghai bok choy, and tempura kabocha squash. Most of the Japanese restaurants in Japantown could learn a thing or two from this wonderful, authentic-tasting broth! My husband had quail with wonderful fruity cous-cous (raisins, dried cherries, etc.). Very delicious.

The place isn't cheap (our appetizers, entrees, and a bottle of Santa Barbara Pinot Noir came to $99 not including tip) and while the decor is warm and fun, it's rather noisy. However, the food is excellent and well worth a trip, even if you may not be a particular fan of Asian fusion cuisine. The tough parking situation is eased by using the nearby Japan Center garage.

Link: http://www.cafekati.com

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