Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Gozen@West Hollywood ★★★

Exquisite Omakase Course. Previously Raku. Grand opening night with discount. Preceded by an impressive tour of the restaurant artwork, showcasing 200 year-old-artwork from Japan. Staffs with face masks and face shields on. Greeted with welcome sake drink after the tour. The kaiseki-style omakase course was amazing. Their menu is seasonal. The meal was very enjoyable with their recommended iced green tea plum wine, which tasted like green tea ice cream. Some plates were 200 years old with detailed artwork. Dessert included in the course. I recommend their House-Made Blancmange with Persimmon Purée. Light and fluffy. Dinner ended with a small surprise gift. Omakase course only, ranges from $100-$300.

Welcome Sake

Green Tea Plum Wine (tasting)

Green Tea Plum Wine

Green Tea Plum Wine (Iced)

5 Appetizers: Kabocha Pumpkin Twists, Mackerel Marinated in Spicy Sweet Vinegar, Simmered Duck Loin, Eggplant Tomato Festival Skewers, Chilled Mushrooms with Grated Daikon Radish

Seasonal Vegetable Roll
toro and avocado roll

sea bass and tuna


Tuna Topped with Grated Mountain Yam and Caviar

Seasonal Vegetable and Seafood Tempura

Seasonal Vegetable and Seafood Tempura


Steamed Egg Custard with Salmon and Salmon Roe

Chilean Sea Bass Marinated in Sweet Miso

Aged Miyazaki Beef Steak

Lamb Steak Marinated in Sweet Miso
with grilled vegetables

Claypot Matsutake Mushroom Rice

Miso Soup

Yuzu Japanese Citrus Cheesecake

House-Made Blancmange with Persimmon Purée

Gozen Japanese Sake Bistro
521 N La Cienega Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90048
(213) 308-9393

Friday, July 3, 2020

Morimoto Napa@Napa Day 1 ★★

Napa Road Trip during Pandemic. Went during July 4th weekend, when all wineries and bars in LA shut down again. Had our struggles, but ended up going. (Now indoor restaurants are closed again after our trip Was asked about the trip, so I decided to blog about the experience and share the itinerary. We left LA at 6am and arrived Napa at 12pm. Were able to sit at sushi bar without reservation. First time eating out since pandemic in March. Felt uneasy. Nervous to sit at sushi bar facing the sushi chefs. Luckily, we brought face shields to eat with them on. We also brought hand sanitizer. Pretty fresh sushi. Temperature checked upon check-in.

Sushi Lunch Set $47

Negitoro Roll $16, Soft Shell Crab Roll S15

Eating with Face Shield on

Morimoto Napa
10 Main St
Napa, CA 94559
(702) 252-1600

JaM Cellars@Napa Day 1

Not worth it. Wine tasting with cool music vibes, but wines were too salty with mediocre service. Menu available to scan via QR code. We had the Napa Exclusive Tasting of 5 glasses for $30 per person, which included sparking, Chardonnay, 2 dry Rosé, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Everyone in the group needs to have the same tasting. We had face shields on the whole time. Our server spent a lot of time chatting with the table behind us and neglected us. Free glass pour of your choice with Yelp check-in. Temperature checked upon check-in.

JaM Cellars
1460 First Street
Napa, California 94559
(707) 265-7577

Kenzo Estate Winery@Napa Day 1 ★★★

Exceptional Private Tour & Wine Tasting. Kenzo is the founder of Capcom (think Street Fighter). Limited to 3 groups each time due to pandemic. Must wear mask during tour. We wore our face shields on top of that. Tasting was outdoor. Very safe and distanced. Did not have to wear face shield during tasting. Aaron booked our reservation and also led our private tour. He was very friendly and knowledgeable. He let us decide if we wanted him to introduce all wine at once so that he can leave us alone during tasting (while still checking on us occasionally). It felt safer that way. He would suggest a dish pairing with each of the wine we were tasting. All their wines were amazing. Yui and Muku were some of my favorites. Taking WSET certificated wine course helped me understand wine much better. Aaron warned me that taking Level 1 make me keep going Level 2. He was also very helpful in terms of answering my questions related to WSET. Tour was $80 per person. One of our fees was waived because we bought so many wines. Our tour was at 2pm (booked a month prior). Went to their kaiseki restaurant for dinner the same night. Temperature checked upon check-in.

Aaron Ramo, our private guide

Wine Tasting after Tour

Spacious Environment with No One Nearby

Wine We Bought

Kenzo Estate
3200 Monticello Road,
Napa, CA 94558
(707) 256-1555

Kenzo Restaurant@Napa Day 1 ★★★

Exquisite Kaiseki Fine Dining. 1 star Michelin. Went to their restaurant after visiting the Kenzo Estate winery (2 separate locations). Our 2nd time returning. Exceptional service from Joan (same person as last year). $225 pp. Had fantastic wine pairing for $150. Customers were properly spaced out. We ate with our face shields on at the sushi counter. Our reservation was at 7:30pm (booked a month prior).

Seasonal Hassun
sweet corn tofu with shrimp soboro and okra, sonoma duck breast string beans with cream cheese and sesame, eggplant and sweet potato

Hyogo Horse Mackerel
cucumber, cherry tomato, japanese yam, myoga ginger buds and pickled plum gelee

Junmai Ginjo Minakata

Hokkaido Scallop Shinjo Owan
dashi broth, wakame seaweed and spinach

Miyazaki Grouper Sashimi
shiso leaves and ponzu gelee

Chiba Sea Bass Okakiage
zucchini and yuzu pepper sabayon

Shizuoka Freshwater Eel Mille-Feuille
carrot, shiitake mushrooms, edamame, mitsuba pasrsley and burdock root coulis

Slow Roasted Satsuma Wagyu Tenderloin
japanese kabocha squash, kale and green onion inflused red miso

yui 2019

Face Shield on While Eating



Junmai Daiginjo Mizubasho

Chef's Selection of Sushi

Uni Sushi

Chef's Featured Desserts

Kenzo Team

Kenzo Restaurant
1339 Pearl Street
Napa, California 94559
(707) 294-2049