Restaurants & Bars 18

Morimoto Napa

gmk1322 | Jul 19, 2010 09:42 AM

It's long been a dream of mine to eat at one of Morimoto's establishments since he is one of my favorite chefs; I've been a fan since I started cooking/getting into food after graduating and learning about Top Chef. So when I heard that his Napa Valley place was opening the same weekend I would be in the area I knew that the fortunes of fate were shining on me.

The food was phenomenal, I can easily describe the meal as one the best I have ever had the chance to eat and it is my #1 for sushi.

Appetizer: My friend and I started with the signature Tuna Pizza (sliced Big-Eye Tuna Sashimi, anchovy aioli, olives, and jalapenos all on a toasted flat bread) and it was delicious! No component of the dish was muddled or overpowered by any other ingredient; rather they all played together in an awesome symphony of tastes that was indescribable. That was the great thing about this dish, I could savor it as a whole or upon trial identify each of those components and savor them as I wished.

Since it had been so long since I've had sushi in any place I really overindulged and did the $75 Chef's Choice (I chose sushi over sashimi). I received the most expertly prepared and freshest fish to date. The sushi rice itself was great and the chef's were really in touch with the fish since each piece of nigiri had the right amount of wassabi to compliment the entire piece. Here is a breakdown of the $75 plate:
Nigiri (2 of each):
Tamago-like cake


Rolls (6 pieces each):
Shrimp Tempua
Spicy Tuna

My friend went with the $35 sampler and got about 10-12 pieces which was still a decent selection for the price.

The bar had a really good selection of signature cocktails, Morimoto Ales, and Sake; but I wound up going with the Hitachino Belgian White which I developed a taste for at Providence. The space is very modern with a bunch of different dining options available (small table, big 10+ tables) bar/lounge seating, outdoor, etc... Plus the artwork is very avant-garde and adds an element that brings the restaurant together. Likewise, the service was impressive. All of the servers/bussers/hostesses were knowledgeable, nice, and professional. I talked with many of the staff and they all mentioned how much they enjoyed working there (albeit only the 2nd day of service).

In sum, Morimoto is an excellent addition to the Napa Valley IMHO all fills a much needed sushi niche. I will be back in the future to sample the entree side of the menu and partake in more sushi. Plus, I got to meet Morimoto and chat with him for a few, he is a nice guy and I hope to try some of the places back east as well!

Chef's Choice
, Oakland, CA 94601

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