Monday, December 23, 2013


smile, Asian Man(!), smile!!!

Jeremy proposed our family eat at Wakuriya for my birthday. this was an excuse of course but i wasn't going to argue. we pretty much went because we figured why the hell not. you really have to premeditate having dinner here. they take reservations one month to the date and call-in time begins at 12am. lucky for everybody else, Laura took the responsibility of making the reservation which involved  furiously dialing with two phones simultaneously (thanks for doing that, Laura!). 

Wakuriya is a small restaurant run by a husband and wife duo. he cooks, she serves and they've got one other person who acts as busboy (for lack of a better term). they offer a kaiseki style dinner which is a traditional multi-course meal served on a tray. over nine courses the night's dinner showcases seasonal and local ingredients, progressing from cold, light dishes (ex. sashimi and appetizers) to hot, heavier dishes (ex. steamed and grilled). the tiny space holds only about fifteen people at a time. they've got two staggered seatings each night  allowing for a maximum of thirty diners. this narrow number of guests allows for complete control and the dishes to reach their guests at the precise moment the last garnish is plated. at $95 for the experience of this style of dining, i completely recommend it. the wife is charming, funny and there is a sense of ease about her. the husband conceptualizes and executes the dishes purposefully. you can tell he really cares about his passion. 

milky sake starter

sakizuki (starter)
oven grilled sesame tofu with uni
they poured a hot watery "sauce" over the scalding hot cast iron skillet which ferociously bubbled about for a few moments. the tofu was some of the most soft and smooth i've ever had. the uni was super fresh

zensai (appetizers)

japanese taro with two styles of miso sauce
a pretty average dish but done well. not overly sweet or salty. 

lobster with egg yolk sauce, salmon roe and avocado
maybe the best bites of the night. the lobster was just barely cooked, giving it a different texture than you typically find with lobster. the egg yolk and salmon roe added a luxurious richness to the dish.

snapper, fuji apple and seaweed soy sauce
also maybe the best bites of the night. the snapper was mild and provided a nice foundation for the slight sweet apple and deep seaweed. ugh...i could eat this all day.

on mono (hot dish)
duck meatballs, mochi, tofu, mushrooms in clay pot
the meatballs were light and fluffy as was the mochi. a good dish but nothing to write home about. 

tsukuri (sashimi)
scallop and trout with a yuzu/sudachi citrus dressing
the besssssst raw scallop i've ever had. damn that texture was on point! but so was the trout. they get their fish direct from Japan, so i wouldn't expect any less. oh and the citrus was a nice addition as well. 

muchi mono (steamed dish)
steamed Alaskan black cod, shiitake mushroom, brussel sprouts, sesame sauce
a nicely steamed fish but also nothing to write home about

satsuma and sweet ginger sorbet

yaki mono (grilled dish)
wagyu sukiyaki with mushroom and tamago 
sitting in the hot sauce, the thin slices of wagyu overcooked. too bad...

gohan mono (rice dish)
ebi tempura donburi
nothing special here. sort of wish this wasn't how the savory portion of the meal ended.

grean tea and white bean mousse with taiyaki 
cute. light. a nice subtle ending to the meal. 

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