based on recent reports from mike lee, vidia & payorplay, i decided to dine here for my birthday with mr. creosote. i liked the idea of a progression of small dishes, the varied pottery & porcelain, a relaxed & slowly paced meal (about 3 hrs).
very pretty setting. serene. the hostess & our server were very nice & welcoming. we ordered the small house sake-$27 (we picked out sake cups from an assortment offered. i'm a sucker for this sort of thing). i had the shiawase zen meal ($53) & mr. creosote had the ume yu zen meal ($78). considered ordering a la carte but thought why not do the whole thing-something like ten courses.
i won't repeat every little detail-others have already mentioned the salad, sushi & the basics-but there were definite high points:
from husband's menu- cold yuba w/osetra caviar served in a martini glass. the silky, fine folds of the soymilk skin were like the best thin-style scrambled egg texture, with little bursts of salty/marine flavor from the caviar.
a mixed dairy/tofu with edamame. delicious. tasted ultra creamy like panna cotta. (this was one taste of several from a ribbon-tied wooden box)
1/2 lobster tail & one claw, steamed with soft tofu & shiitake mushroom. place in bowl w/ponzu. very yummy.
from my menu-the yuba skin & spinach in soymilk (from wooden barrel). very good with added sesame seeds & ginger. i love this texture & body with residual milkiness.
fried yuba & shrimp w/lemon. nice combo of skin resistance & interior creaminess.
we both loved the wasabi sorbet & the fresh tofu cooked on the table w/2 sauces (esp. the vegetable sauce). i liked the siu mai (mr. creosote thought the drop of mustard ruined the dumpling with a commercial taste (french's?)). his biggest disappointment was the "kobe" steak-nothing special.
for dessert i ordered the black sesame soy ice cream. it captured the lovely nutty flavor of toasted sesame. the texture was definitely oilier than a dairy ice cream, but smooth and pleasant.
excellent service, warm & attentive. fun evening. $177 includes 2 set dinners, sake, ice cream, tax.
443 n. canon dr, beverly hills