Dinner at n/naka

Hadn’t had a big splurge dinner in awhile, but with a Saturday night in LA, MK managed to secure us a spot at n/naka – if you haven’t watched Chef’s table yet, be sure to check out this episode:  Niki Nakayama is one of the only female Kaiseki chefs in the world.

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We thought we would get a menu at the end of the meal so we didn’t take notes – and then we didn’t get a menu, so I don’t remember exactly what some of these were.  But a sample menu can be viewed here, and some are the same.  Otherwise, just enjoy the pics!

Saki Zuke :  (A PAIRING OF SOMETHING COMMON AND SOMETHING UNIQUE)

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Zensai   (SEASONAL INGREDIENTS PRESENTED AS AN APPETIZER)

GRILLED SQUID STUFFED WITH SNOW CRAB SQUID INK SAUCE, FRIED RENKON LOTUS ROOT WITH LOBSTER

BLACK COD MARINATED MISO, TUNA AVOCADO

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Modern Zukuri :  (MODERN INTERPRETATION OF SASHIMI)

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Owan “Still Water” :  CLAM, SEAWEED, GINGER, CARROT, KAIWARE, DASHI

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Otsukuri :  (TRADITIONAL SASHIMI)    O-TORO, KAMPACHI, KINMEDAI, SHIGOKU OYSTER, NAMA TAKO

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Yakimono (GRILLED)

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Mushimono/Agemono  (STEAMED/FRIED)      CHAWAN MUSHI WITH SNOW CRAB, SHITAKE, MITSUBA

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Shiizakana   (NOT BOUND BY TRADITION, THE CHEF’S CHOICE DISH)

SPAGHETTINI WITH ABALONE, PICKLED COD ROE, BURGUNDY TRUFFLES

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Niku   (MEAT COURSE)   JAPAN MATSUZAKA WAGYU BEEF A5      (Halibut for me & JJ!)

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Sunomono

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Shokuji   (RICE DISH- SUSHI)

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Dessert

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Dinner was delicious – so fresh, well-paced, great combinations, excellent wine & sake pairings. Highly recommended.

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Dinner at Backyard

Another recommendation from Mark, another small town restaurant, this one Backyard, in Forestville.  Not quite on the level of Glen Ellen Star yet, but will probably be a wait to get into within the year.

On Wednesdays they do a special fried chicken dinner so of course we indulged in that for our anniversary. but first we had to try the local cheese plate with a sangria:

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Next came salad:

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then the chicken, mashed taters and kale:

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a bucket of biscuits!

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and a plum panna cotta  to close things out:

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I was so full at the end but it was so good!

 

Dinner at Glen Ellen Star

On the recommendation of Mark & JJ we spent our first evening in Sonoma driving about 25 miles down the road to the small town of Glen Ellen where we found a small wood fired spot of deliciousness, Glen Ellen Star.  So many charred fresh veggie options!

We started with the cast iron quick bread, zataar oil:

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followed by romano beans,  brown sugar-bacon marmalade:

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corn kernels, mayonnaise, cotija, chipotle, fresh lime:

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and wood oven roasted zucchini, sheet music, shaved radish, tzatziki:

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Then we shared the fresh fish, today was dorado from Cyprus:

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and ended things with salted peanut butter ice cream:

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All of the veggies were amazing – wood firing really perks them up!  The zucchini and tzatziki was especially good, and of course bacon always makes beans yummy.  Overall, a great diner!

Lunch at Wayfare Tavern

I’ve always had a little crush on Tyler Florence (don’t tell BK!) so I was excited to fnally try out Wayfare Tavern.  Lunch started with popovers – awesome!  And BK got an Iced Tea that came with a little scoop of lemon sorbet – genius!

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Next, I got roasted corn soup with a lobster fritter while BK got their infamous Deviled eggs:

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and then we shared their famous fried chicken and some pole beans – the chicken was really good, nice & herb, not too greasy, juicy:

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Dinner at Incanto

Anniversary dinner #1 over in Noe Valley, jus down the street from Julie’s old apt.  Started with some yummy bread and then a heckuva a deal on a salumi platter  this small one was $14, I can’t imagine how big the large option was:

 

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Next, I got a grilled sausage or polenta while BK got one of Chef Cosentino’s signature dishes, blood sausages, oysters, egg:

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for entrees, I got an eggplant ravioli while BK got lamb:

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and to cap things off, an olive oil cake with pistachio mousse & roasted strawberries:

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Breakfast at the Dogwood Diner

Crossing over the border into California yesterday I started checking Yelp for a breakfast recommendation.  The one that caught my eye was the Dogwood Diner in Dunsmuir, and it turned out to be a great choice.  In a cute old historic building just off the main street by the train tracks, we arrived early and beat the rush.

The first thing we shared was the peanut butter roll:  their house-made cinnamon roll, split in half, smeared in the middle with peanut butter, then pan fried like a sandwich – so gooey and warm:

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Next we shared the Breakfast Sandwich which we chose to have on their own house-made croissant, another winner:

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and last, we topped it all off with an order of their pineapple French toast, which was like dessert – caramelized pineapple, custardy bread, brown butter caramel-ly sauce – so good!

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