When you think of Masaharu Morimoto you think precision- when asked about his childhood food memory, he recalls baseball – and how his mother made certain that every rice grain was the same size.

Iron Chef Morimoto Serves up Napa

That same precision went into Morimoto’s in Napa, California, opened just off main street in 2010. With Executive Chef Jeffrey Lunak – his second time around with Morimoto (having been chef de cuisie at Morimoto in Philadelphia). It is difficult to imagine that anything Moimoto would do, would be without continuity, precision, and perfection.

Simply put- the food is precise- the seafood fresh – the vegetables picked properly and locally at the right time – and food cooked to perfection, made to order.  This is food that if not cooked precisely could not hold their perfect blend of smoked bacon with the udon noodle.

The tuna Toro – plated perfectly with garnishes lined up in a single serving dish- to the point where I measured them with my iphone- and the variance between them was less than 1 mm. The combination of wasabi, nori paste, avacado, and nuts- well, I wanted more.

Tuna Toro - precise

There is nothing simple about Morimotos food- while the ingredients are simple, and fresh, and prepared to the right temperature at the right time- in a complex plate with other foods- to be able to bring them together making a perfect blend- but allowing the individual flavors to shine.  Leave those ingredients together for another five minutes and the food would be reduced from that fine melody to a cacophany of taste and smells.

Yes- the rice grains were all the same size.
Some might claim that $60 for Alaskan King Crab leg is excessive– it would be if the leg  was frozen.  But this one was t fresh, a large leg , the  crab must have been flown in as you can  still smells the salt from the Bering Sea. Too often King Crab is obtained frozen, with smaller legs– still a good product, but without the flavor and texture from a fresh, large, King Crab leg. So the unseasoned palate can get crab for less- but to get this quality crab for less you would have to buy it in Alaska – off the boat. The restaurant is not overpriced from value- but this is not the place for those who prefer fast-food sushi, and draft beer.

His cocktail creations are fresh

The lunch sets were complex – but perfectly sized to not stuff one.

The specialty drinks- well- you can’t just have one.

The decor in his restaurant is decidedly minimalist, but not cold – the simple decor is warmed up by the wood. The floor is concrete, and yet the restaurant avoids the look of an overdone loft.

Recommended Dishes:
Alaskan King Crab Leg
Tuna Toro
Any and all of the lunch sets
Morimoto Omakase
Any sushi
Wine List : this is Napa- drink something you can’t find at home
Price Range –
lunch sets are $25 and a great value
Oysters $20 for 1/2 dozen
Dinner entrees range from $23 to up – but the “morimoto Omakase” or Chef’s Choice is $110 per person.
Hours: Lunch Wed-Sun 11:30 – 2:30 pm
Dinner Sun-Thurs: 5pm – 10 pm Fr-Sat 5 pm -11 pm
Lounge Sun-Thurs 5 pm – 12 am Fri-Sat 5 pm-1am
All major credit cards
Wheelchair and Stroller access — all on the street level

Wheelchair and stroller access. JJ will later enjoy the sushi

Pork kakuni with vegetable tempura, shushi, miso soup