Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Morimoto Napa

i've always been a Morimoto fan. but maybe i'm biased because from the moment i first saw him on the original version of Iron Chef i thought that he and my dad resembled each other. naturally i rooted for (in eccentric Japanese version's host voice) Masaharu Morimoto! my parents and i always said that if we happen to have a reason to go to Philadelphia, we would visit his restaurant there. lucky for us he opened Morimoto Napa a couple of years ago. i first went when it was brand spankin' new. i tried to omakase (tasting menu) because what better way to experience a restaurant than explore the chef's best offerings? let me tell you, it. was. awesome! this time around, with faith that the rest of the menu would be pretty damn delicious, i was able to explore some interesting, fun things.

toro tartare
the most famous Morimoto dish! tartare with nori, fresh wasabi, sour cream, chives, guacamole and rice crackers. also on the side was house made soy sauce. i looooove this dish. it's interactive and you can make it whatever you want. i personally like a little bit of each of the accoutrements with the toro.

Morimoto sashimi
seared toro, salmon, eel, tuna, hamachi 
red pepper, yellow pepper, arugula, yuzu and some sweet sauce
another fun, interactive dish. the use of pipettes for the sauces is a really cute idea, don't you think? some of these i ate as a whole and some i ate layer by layer with various sauces. 

on top: nori, daikon, guacamole, roe, mushroom, sun dried tomato

oh toro
market price for this once single piece was $16 so we just split this loner. it was oh so fatty yet light. mMmmm!!! 

i'm not a huge dumpling fan, but damn were these spot on! the wrapper was light and had just enough chew or bite to it. the pork inside was also very light and was super juicy. the dumplings were pan fried in a brown butter and some other goodness so that it had a nice crisp to it. the salad consisted of pig ears (yum!), peanuts, beansprouts, carrots and a whole mess of other good stuff to cut the richness.

uni carbonara
oh good lord this was absolutely the best thing i've eaten in a while. i love me a good carbonara. an uni carbonara? even better! uni noodles (with the perfect amount of bite. cooked to perfection!) with uni sauce, bacon, peas, and a quail egg yolk tucked nicely underneath that sliver of fresh uni. i die! i could have ordered a couple of those for my meal and been perfectly happy.

ice cream sandwiches
green tea and white chocolate, cardamom banana dark chocolate, sesame milk chocolate
the ice cream in these sandwiches were super creamy and the cookie to ice cream ratio was just right. the consistency of the cookie made it so that when you bit into the sandwich your lap wasn't met with ice cream that has squeezed out from the other end. my favorite was the sesame milk chocolate.

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