Morimoto Napa

I took a sip of my water and said, “I remember being about 14 years old and coming home from marching band shows at two A.M., and flicking on the Japanese network to watch Iron Chef– without dubbing! And I remember the one episode where they introduced the new young Iron Chef who’d studied traditional Japanese cuisine and then went to America and was combining the two traditions in new ways that usually pissed off the judges. I’ve been wanting to taste Morimoto’s food ever since then.”

My sister nodded and said, “I’m here for the bragging rights.”

Morimoto Napa -- 100 year old vines mounted on the wall behind the bar

I had my mother drive me down the mountain to town so I could meet Sister at Morimoto Napa for a dinner I’d gotten reservations for back in September. That’s when I started saving the money to eat at Morimoto Napa, also. Because if something’s worth doing, it’s worth overdoing.

Thankfully, Morimoto-san was not there that night, because I would have done a full contact Fangirl Squee and we all know that way lies madness and blushing.

I’d saved up my pennies and was ready to go for the omakase: the $110 seven course meal. Sister opted to pick from the regular menu, going for the tuna pizza and a rice and fish dish served and cooked tableside in a 450 degree stone bowl. It was called the ishi yaki buri bop, which became the running joke for the evening.

“What are you having?”

“I’m having the Iki Yabby Dabba Doo . No, wait, it’s the MmmBop.”

The large table behind us had all opted for the omakase meal also, and were about a course ahead of my dinner, so we spyed on them. And at one point, I perked up considerably. “Are they bringing them fire?”

You bet they were.

Morimoto Napa- Olive oil and anchovy paste over a candle, assorted vegetables.

This was one of my favorite dishes of the entire omakase. Because who doesn’t love cooking your own food over fire? Sillyheads, that’s who.

Six of the seven courses were just that perfect mix of fun and flavor to make the meal fantastically enjoyable. The one that didn’t scan was the palate cleanser, a seaweed tea that I took one sip of and said, “This tastes just like Fisherman’s Wharf smells.”

(If you’ve never been to Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, let me be more specific: It smells truly rank. But hey, it came in the cutest teeny tiny teapot, so that was fun. Although they wouldn’t let us take the teeny tiny teapot home. Even though we asked nicely.)

There were a few little hiccups in service, as in they kept trying to give us other people’s food. But it was a very relaxed atmosphere, and Sister and I had a very nice time catching up.

And I spent the rest of the week trying to convince someone to take me down the mountain again so we could go to Morimoto’s for lunch, because I really wanted to have the ishi yaki buri bop for myself. No one took me up on that. Sadface.

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