Sunday, February 17

Morimoto Napa + Bouchon Bakery - Napa and Yountville

Do you know which is my favorite cooking show? Not Top Chef and nothing with Gordon Ramsay -- it's Iron Chef America. And I enjoy the episodes with Chef Morimoto the most. His food has been on my "To Eat List" for ages. Finally the man I married, after almost 7 years of this relationship, agreed to take me to Morimoto Napa! It's about time...

($16) Morimoto bone marrow - roasted bone marrow with teriyaki sauce. There were teriyaki flavored piece of onion on top of the marrow which was then breaded and roasted, I think.

This was quite delicious but so fatty and the bones were much larger than expected. About 7" long and 2.5" wide. This was my first time having roasted bone marrow and I was really expecting the red bloody kind that you spread on pieces of crostini. This was the clear and fatty kind? We were told the kitchen sent us two orders by mistake, no wonder there was a whole lot of bone marrow to go around. Teriyaki onions and bread yumbs.

($28) Toro tartare - That's one pricey appetizer! This is really the coolest tartare I've ever had. Well worth the experience. Raw toro is chopped and molded into the clear rectangular form,and served on ice. Using tiny metal spatulas, we would scrape some toro, and dip it in any or a combo of any of the sauces in the wooden block. From left to right:

1) nori - the best sauce. Tastes like seasoned seaweed
2) fresh wasabi
3) sour cream - I didn't really care for this.
4) chives
5) avocado - 3 to 5 are like a salad
6) rice crispy balls

The best combination is 1 with 6

($32) Morimoto style chirashi - 10 to 12 different fish and vegetables over rice. Super good. Fresh fish and lots of it. The rice wasn't even needed. It's like someone handing you a magical bowl of sashimi cubes. Phil ordered this, he's a simple man.

($28) Sea urchin carbonara lunch set - If I'm going to dine at one of my culinary idols' restaurants, I'm going to order something mind-blowingly complex and expect to be mind-blown. I am not a simple woman, BUT bonus points for me ordering a cheaper dish than Phil. Ah, she is not a gold digger afterall...=)

I was really happy with my lunch set. 
Top right: The sea urchin carbonara was creamy and savory. It's made with some type of udon noodles with bits of uni in the sauce and of course look at that big fat mother piece of uni on top. mm I love uni. Bottom right: Bonito and pomegranate seeds on a salad with pink daikon?!?! Yes, please! 
Top left: Nigiri and tuna rolls, can't go wrong.
Bottom left: I gave most of my tempura to Phil. I'm not a huge fan of tempura in general. In exchange I mooched off a bunch of his sashimi pieces. Happy wife, happy life.

($1) gummy candy - The front of the restaurant had a candy section where we bought this gummy candy with a toasted grain of rice inside. I really thought this was an insect larvae and we bought it for this reason. It was disappointing to be told it's just a grain of rice. Ugh just a ginger ale-like gummy candy.

Left: angel wings
Right: incomplete mustache

Well if non-insect larvae gummy candy and gingerbread mustaches weren't enough for dessert, we hopped on over to the famous Bouchon Bakery to buy 9 macarons the size of Phil's palm ($3.75/each). Don't worry, we didn't eat all these, they were for family.

...and I do consider myself to be part of my family. Told you they were big. Too sweet for me though. Pistachio and raspberry are the best but I want them to be reduced to one fifth the size and price -- sounds fair.

Morimoto Napa:
Service and food were great. I actually thought the prices were pretty fair given Morimoto's fame. Lunch put us at around $104 total pre-tax and tip and I was stuffed. But again, this is more than twice the usual budget for lunch so you judge for yourself if this is up your alley. I would recommend Morimoto Napa. I should write a suggestion to him to make candies with insect larvae inside. I was extremely let down by the lack of its existence, as you can tell.

Bouchon Bakery: Macaron review only
I would say only get these if you're already nearby and if you really love macarons. I was not nearby and I do not love macarons, so it was just a so-so experience.

Morimoto Napa on Yelp
Bounchon Bakery on Yelp Morimoto Napa on Urbanspoon


  1. I'm planning on taking Matt here during our stay for New Year's Eve since he really loves Japanese/Asian Fusion. I was looking into reviews and stumbled across yours! Hi there. =]



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