Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Morimoto (Napa)

I have my fair share of celebrity chef dining experiences and I thought it would be a good time to share my experiences at Morimoto (Napa) a few years ago.  I was vacationing with a friend in Napa Valley then.  Because of the positive experience I had at Morimoto (Philadelphia), we were glad to try his Napa location!  Morimoto Philadelphia was my first omakase experience and I must say I am a convert since!  It also cured my dislike for aji (mackerel)... in fact, I love this fish so much now all thanks to Morimoto!

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Reservations were hard to get and I think we got ours at 9 pm on a Saturday.  The restaurant is still busy and we were brought to the bar as our table was not yet ready.  They have a huge bar and a good selection of cocktails as far as I remember.  Fresh fruits and juice were used.  And of course, they also have a great selection of wines right from the Napa region!

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I always enjoy watching chefs working in an open kitchen
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Fresh fruits for your cocktails~
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I still remember I got a glass GH Mumm at a good price!
I hope I get to visit the winery again.  It's a lovely place.
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We were finally seated and the area feels open and tastefully decorated.  Yet, it's also unlike what you would normally expect in a more traditional Japanese restaurant. 

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As it was getting late, we didn't get the omakase (bad for digestion) and ordered a la carte instead.

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Really enjoyed this.  Perfect balance of sweet and sour.
If I remembered correctly, we were given one each as a palate cleaner.
I told our server we really like this and he brought a few more for us.
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Hamachi (Yellowtail) Tatare

The presentation is lovely but there was just too little yellowtail.
There was more sauce compared to the tartare...
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I have totally forgotten which should this was...
but it looks pretty~
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Chirashi Sushi
morimoto style chirashi
10-12 different fish and vegetables

It was fresh and all... and it's Morimoto's
But is it worth US$32?  you can be the judge :P
I have comparable chirashi at that price range at other places
So I can't say I was "wow-ed".
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Sea Urchin Carbonara
ianiwa noodles / smoked bacon / crispy shallot

The most memorable dish,
not because it was good but it was simply too salty.
Almost had to send this back.
Just didn't expect that at a restaurant this caliber.

(it could be an exception and the restaurant probably
have adjusted the salinity of this dish by now...
but I was just describing what I felt about that dish during that visit) 

I still like Morimoto a lot and would return for their omakase.  However, I don't think the a la carte made an impression on me.

610 Main St Napa, California 94559
Tel: +1 707-252-1600
Hours: (Mon-Thu) 11:30 am - 2:30 pm, 5:00 pm - 12:00 am; (Fri - Sat) 11:30 am - 2:30 pm, 5:00 pm - 1:00 am (Sun) 11:30 am - 2:30 pm, 5:00 pm - 12:00 am

Morimoto Napa on Urbanspoon

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