Morimoto Napa (Napa, CA)
My wife and I watch a lot of Food Network, so no trip to wine country would be complete without sampling the culinary masterpieces created by Iron Chef Morimoto. We made our dinner reservation at Morimoto Napa months in advance. This ensured that we'd have a table for dinner, but also made the anticipation almost unbearable.
Morimoto Napa is a rather ritzy, upscale sushi restaurant located on the scenic Napa riverfront. As you might expect, this place has very modern Japanese decor. It is Napa Valley, so of course they have a huge selection of local wines, but you'll also find a tremendous selection of beers and liquors. Chef Morimoto has his own line of beers put out by Rogue in Newport, Oregon. I had to go full force for this meal, so I opted for a 22-ounce glass of the Morimoto Soba ale.
One of the things I most enjoy about this blog is writing about barbecue in unexpected places and unusual forms. All of the sushi we ordered was, unsurprisingly, spectacular. My wife's favorite was the Shrimp Tempura Roll, but I was absolutely blown away by their Eel Avocado Roll: barbecue eel and avocado.
Of all the different kinds of barbecue I've had over the years, I can honestly say that eel is probably the most unique. There was a very pleasant sweetness from the barbecue sauce. I found only a very, very mild taste of smoke, but it was definitely there. The creamy avocado was a nice compliment to the saltiness of the eel. The rice was soft and sticky, rolled tightly and beautifully. I also liked that it was served only slightly chilled, which I think is the perfect temperature for sushi. This certainly wasn't true oink-and-moo barbecue, but an interesting and very tasty offering nonetheless.
We were both completely stuffed after all the sushi we had scarfed down, but it was impossible to resist an Iron Chef-caliber dessert. The couple next to us had ordered this amazing, modern Japanese take on a s'more, so we decided to try it out for ourselves.
From the menu description, the s'more consisted of a kurumitsu graham, smoked soy chocolate mousse, and toasted marshmallow. It's not often that I'm at a loss for words, but it's actually really hard to describe just how absolutely incredible this dessert was. This s'more was the total package: sweet, salty, chocolatey, smoky. The real "culinary curve ball" to this dish was the smoked soy, which really elevated it to a whole other level.
If you're looking for barbecue in the traditional sense, then Morimoto Napa definitely isn't for you. But, if you're feeling adventurous, come here and let Chef Morimoto dazzle your taste buds. A la cuisine!
|morimotonapa Clockwise from the top: Sea Urchin Carbonara: Uni over Inaiwa noodles topped with smoked bacon and crispy shallots. Seafood Toban Yaki.: Lobster, king crab, Mussels, clams, sea scallops, served in a spicy red miso sake broth. Morimoto "pork chop and applesauce" : juicy double cut pork chop served over a bed of kimchi and a ginger apple pure. Surf and Turf. Hamachi and Wagyu. Appetizers: Bone marrow and soft shell crab sushi. Experience was
Morimoto Napa is a restaurant that serves primarily a background of different Japanese cuisine. This dining establishment is located in Napa CA. Please note that the executive chef here stays late on Sundays and that many customers recommend to try the sushi bar if you're willing to experience something awesome.
Morimoto Napa is recognized for serving a wide range of Japanese cuisine, as many reviewers enjoy ordering the shrimp rolls they offer when visit. While most reviewers would say that the menu prices for this cuisine range from $1-10 many recommend trying out the vegas rolls as well.
While some people don't like that this place can get very crowded with the tables that are put so close together, others love the fact that the lighting is dim and makes it a perfect romantic setting for an intimate date.
Most people will tell you the service here is very professional. The chefs and waiters are dressed like you are eating at an upscale restaurant and they act like it too.