Please read this with the foreknowledge that I have been to Japan, and eat Japanese food extensively, so I may seem a little harsh.
Now having said that, Morimoto Napa was just vile. Upon entering you are greeted by a nauseating stench of fried food fumes, akin to the smell of old fried chicken fat. The decor was nice, well nice enough. It was trying to be modern and hip with exposed ceilings and an open floor plan (including the kitchen, explaining the smell). We sat as far away as we could from the kitchen, by the window, overlooking the patio. Now, I am not one to complain about prices, but even for napa it was a little outrageous. $30 for a bento box lunch? well, I thought, this should be good… It tempted me with its seemingly complete offering miso glazed cod, sushi, salad, and tempura.
When the food arrived, I immediately was disturbed. There was no rice- A BENTO BOX STYLE SET LUNCH WITH NO RICE!? Thats like having Lasagna with no actual pasta. That aggravated me in addition to the strange but I guess innovative “tempura sauce” they served with the food. A white tangy sauce with yogurt, wasabi and lemon juice. Now it was not the fact that they did not have regular traditional tempura sauce that irritated me the most, no… it was that they had dumped this sauce into the bottom of the cup holding the tempura, rendering the contents at the bottom mushy, soggy and inedible.
The miso glazed cod was utterly blasphemous. Repugnant. Downright slimy. It had the texture of curdled eggs. The skin was congealed, flabby and fatty, whilst the flesh was limp and extremely fishy. It was also swimming in store-bought tasting teriyaki sauce. Moving that plate aside, I sampled the salad, which was ok. Leaves were fresh, dressing interesting. The sushi was mildly acceptable, though I have had better sushi at airports. All in all it was a miserable set lunch. Furthermore, it did not come with dessert. Not even green tea ice cream. Given the quality of the main course however I was almost glad there wasn’t any.
2 / 5 stars Morimoto Napa, and I’m being generous. This place will likely stay open because its the perfect tourist trap.
If this is the quality of the food representing the culinary technique of an Iron Chef, I’m glad I canceled my Tivo subscription to the show.