Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Morimoto Napa


A perfect day of decadence getting our tan on at the Francis Ford Coppola's swimming pool built the appetites of three ravenous sunburnt girls.

An equally decadent dinner at Morimoto was the perfect venue to wrap up this perfect day in the Wine Country.

Three very hungry girls: one's vegan, one's carnivore and the third one is an occasional pescetarian (me.)

VEGAN GIRL: "This is so amazing! This is absolutely delicious!"
She had the:
-OCTOPUS CARPACCIO $21 as her appetizer
-BRAISED BLACK COD (in ginger -soy reduction) $32 as her main entree

CARNIVORE GIRL: "These are too salty. Good but salty!"
She had the:
-PORK SHORTRIBS $32 as her main entree

PESCETARIAN GIRL (Me): *Slightly Disappointed* "These are okay."
I did not try any of my friends' dishes but I had the:

-BRAISED OCTOPUS $21 (with sushi rice and "refried black beans)
*The flavors and textures of this appetizer were made eclectic by the fried sushi rice squares which were crispy on the outside and tender on the inside like rice cakes; crispy "refried bean" chips" and the very soft octopus tentacles. Octopus meat is supposed to have a "bite"-- like al dente pasta. The octopus was like a spaghetti that was boiled a little bit too long. The flavors were interesting but nice.

CRISPY WHOLE FISH $31 (tofu sauce and papaya salad)
*The fish for the night was a Branzino (aka European Seabass). This is one of my most favorite fish for its light tender meat. Some parts were not very crispy although lightly fried. It was served over cubes of bland tofu. This dish was a disappointment for me since I could have just gone to any Ranch 99 and had a whole fish fried for me on the spot. The bland tofu and light fish meat did not compliment one another. The papaya salad provided a little bit of flavor but not enough.

DUCK CONFIT FRIED RICE $12 (with perfectly fried egg on top)
The idea of eating a whole fish without rice (the Asian in me protests) was too unbearable for me. Luckily I decided to order the duck confit fried rice which was very delicious! The rice was very flavorful with bits of very flavorful tender duck meat. It was great by itself and was an overkill eating it with the fish. The bland fish was overpowered by the strong but nice flavors of the duck fried rice.

TOTAL: $216 including tip and 3 beers ($72 per gal)

Who has not heard of the "IRON CHEF" or "CHEF MORIMOTO"? Even for someone like me who is not a big fan of the show, the anticipation of dining at Morimoto conjured up images and imaginary flavors that tantalized my tastebuds before the actual dining experience.

Maybe I did not order the "right" dishes. The oyster with uni, bacon mochi, foie gras and bone marrow dishes teased me. However, I vowed to "eat well but eat right" so I chose healthy seafood.

I do not mind a return visit if my friends insist to go back. For now, I will just be happy to watch Chef Morimoto do his magic on the flat screen. The dishes at Morimoto Napa were just not "ironclad" for me.

- "East meets West"
- The lobby of Morimoto Napa was like the Asian Art Museum in SF with Asian artifacts and artwork
- Modern Asian furniture of beautiful wood, glass and clean lines
- Al fresco dining by the Napa Riverfront
- Loud chefs at the open chaotic kitchen just like in "Iron Chef"
- Casual, festive and packed.
- Superb service was very friendly, professional, knowledgeable and attentive.
- Portions were generous that we could not find room for dessert

Morimoto Napa on Urbanspoon

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