Wednesday, February 22, 2006


kaygetsu black codDinner tonight was a treat as I went to Kaygetsu. Kaygetsu is run by Toshi and Keiko (formerly of Toshi’s Sushiya) and was opened almost 2 years ago. They have an average location (tucked behind the Sharon Heights Shell), but they have excellent food as their 27 Zagat’s rating suggests.

Kaygetsu serves Kaiseki dinners as well as sushi and an ala carte menu. Tonight we selected from the ala carte offerings and were delighted by their variety and preparation. At Kaygetsu, Keiko runs the front of the house, Toshi presides over the sushi bar and two younger chefs, Yamasaki and Shinichi Aoki, run the kitchen. The menu is seasonal and the fish is among the best on the peninsula.

We started with a spinach salad in a tofu dressing and then had red miso soup. After the soup we had hirame sashimi, usuzukuri style. We followed the sashimi with beef kaygetsu style – very rare Kobe style rib eye served with mustard, wasabi and soy. It came with some greens but I would like to convince Toshi to serve this as nigiri. The meat was excellent.

kaygetsu sushiNext up were black cod with white miso (above right) and a grilled salmon marinated in sake. I’ve concluded that salmon is best smoked or raw, but the black cod was firm, moist and sweet. After these warm dishes we ordered Toshi’s excellent sushi (left). The shima aji was particularly noteworthy.

With dinner we had a sampler of early spring sake. These un-pasteurized sakes are produced in small quantities to mark the end of winter. Kaygetsu offers: Harushika Shiboribana, Koshinohomare Shiboritate and Kamikokoro Tokagen. The last was the most unusual and my favorite. Brewed with peach yeast, it has a refreshing flavor and a crisp long finish. All three sakes were consumed before we had their special dessert, a peach yeast sake flan with fresh fruit.

Kaygetsu is versatile restaurant. One visit you can have a 7 or 8-course Kaiseki dinner to sample high Japanese cuisine. The next you can keep Toshi-san company at the small 6-seat sushi bar. In both cases reservations are recommended.

Kaygetsu: 325 Sharon Park Dr, Menlo Park, CA (650) 234-1084


At 7:23 AM, Blogger Emmanuel said...

I highly recommend Kaygetsu. I agree that the location and outside of the restaurant are unimpressive and in fact the place is easy to miss.
I had dinner there a few times and was always very happy with the a la carte selection. I also took my wife last summer for our last anniversary and greatly enjoyed the Kaiseki dinner. Once of the best meal I had in a long time. In fact I don't think I had such a great Japanese dinner since my last trip to Tokyo. The sake pairing was awesome too!


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