I love food / Kenzo Napa
Kenzo Napa | Jessica VerSteeg image 1
May 11, 2017

Kenzo Napa

Sushi is my favorite food, and when my husband told me about Kenzo Napa it was immediately put on our must-try list. Kenzo is the latest venture from the owners at Kenzo Estate (Kenzo and Natsuko Tsujimoto), an exceptional, authentic Japanese restaurant featuring a traditional pre-fixe Kaiseki menu as well as a pre-fixe sushi menu -featuring seafood flown in from Tokyo daily.
Jessica VerSteeg kenzo napa sushi

The decor is about elegance and simplicity, incorporating a clean contemporary design keeping the focus on the food. From the smooth light wood counter to the relaxing lighting, everything captures the elusive qualities of symmetry and simplicity. While dinning I found out that Kenzo’s wife, Natsuko Tsujimoto, handpicked and imported everything in the restaurant from Japan. Everything from the black orb light fixtures created just for the restaurant by a well-known Japanese architect called Toyo Ita. Every piece of wood that was hand-tooled in Japan and shipped to Napa only to be installed under the supervision of Japanese artisans.

keno napa chop sticks
clean and simple

Service at Kenzo was amazing as they provided meticulous attention to detail with everything, from the moment you walk in to the moment you walk out. Dinner at Kenzo feels like a choreographed ballet as the chef gently places his creations on the counter followed by waiters that stand behind you waiting to bring the masterpieces down to the wooden mats on your level of the counter. This process adds a ceremonial quality to the experience.

Michelin sushi kaiseki keno napa chef Hiroyuki Kanda

Head Chef Hiroyuki Kanda (earned three Michelin stars for his Tokyo restaurant nine years in a row) left for Japan the day before to source fish from the Tsukiji Market in Tokyo, but he trained the chefs and we had an amazing chef named Shuhei Shimazu.

Michelin sushi kaiseki keno napa chef Hiroyuki Kanda

It was my husband’s birthday and it is expected at such a restaurant to give you a daily customized menu, but to add Happy Birthday at the top was an unexpected little touch that made this dinner even more special.

Michelin sushi kaiseki keno napa chef Hiroyuki Kanda menu

Now that we have drinks and our customized menus, I will walk you through our dinner.

Michelin sushi kaiseki keno napa chef Hiroyuki Kanda Michelin sushi kaiseki keno napa chef Hiroyuki Kanda

Poached Blue Shrimp, Shiitake Mushroom and Asparagus – with Kenzo estate-grown olive oil dressing

Michelin sushi kaiseki keno napa chef Hiroyuki Kanda

Assorted Appetizers – strip jack sashimi, Japanese egg omelet, king salmon sashimi, abalone and broccoli with wasabi gelee

Michelin sushi kaiseki keno napa chef Hiroyuki Kanda Michelin sushi kaiseki keno napa chef Hiroyuki Kanda

Chef’s Daily Pressed Sushi – Japanese mackerel, white sesame, ova shiso leaf and pickled ginger

saki

Michelin sushi kaiseki keno napa chef Hiroyuki Kanda Michelin sushi kaiseki keno napa chef Hiroyuki Kanda

Grilled Chiba Golden Eye Snapper – with premium dash broth

Michelin sushi kaiseki keno napa chef Hiroyuki Kanda

Rice Cracker Crusted Aomori Greenling – egg yolk sauce and pea tendrils

kenzo napa michelin star restaurant

Preparing my favorite course

Michelin sushi kaiseki keno napa chef Hiroyuki Kanda

Toro

kenzo napa michelin star restaurant sushi

Bluefin Tuna

Michelin sushi kaiseki keno napa chef Hiroyuki Kanda

Stripped Jack

Michelin sushi kaiseki keno napa chef Hiroyuki Kanda

Sea Bream

Michelin sushi kaiseki keno napa chef Hiroyuki Kanda

Garfish

Michelin sushi kaiseki keno napa chef Hiroyuki Kanda

Mackerel

Michelin sushi kaiseki keno napa chef Hiroyuki Kanda Horse Mackerel

Horse Mackerel

Michelin sushi kaiseki keno napa chef Hiroyuki Kanda gizzard shad

Gizzard Shad

Michelin sushi kaiseki keno napa chef Hiroyuki Kanda wasabi

When Chef Shuhei was low on wasabi, he made fresh wasabi the traditional way by rubbing the wasabi root over shark skin.

Michelin sushi kaiseki keno napa chef Hiroyuki Kanda ink squid

Ink Squid

Michelin sushi kaiseki keno napa chef Hiroyuki Kanda blue shrimp

Blue Shrimp

Michelin sushi kaiseki keno napa chef Hiroyuki Kanda salmon roe

Salmon Roe Bowl

Michelin sushi kaiseki keno napa chef Hiroyuki Kanda bluefin tuna and scallion roll

Bluefin Tuna & Scallion Roll

Michelin sushi kaiseki keno napa chef Hiroyuki Kanda red miso soup

Red Miso Soup

Michelin sushi kaiseki keno napa chef Hiroyuki Kanda

Michelin sushi kaiseki keno napa chef Hiroyuki Kanda

Michelin sushi kaiseki keno napa chef Hiroyuki Kanda

Michelin sushi kaiseki keno napa chef Hiroyuki Kanda green Tea

Green Tea

Michelin sushi kaiseki keno napa chef Hiroyuki Kanda

Birthday Boy

Michelin sushi kaiseki keno napa chef Hiroyuki Kanda

Michelin sushi kaiseki keno napa chef Hiroyuki Kanda

And in the end your chef will sign your menu, in our case he also wrote happy birthday

Michelin sushi kaiseki keno napa chef Hiroyuki Kanda
With Chef Shuhei Shimazu

Might be one of the top 10 sushi restaurants in the US, I highly recommend making a reservation for this amazing place.

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