Friday, February 24, 2006

Kiss Seafood
As a fan of all things tasting menu and sushi related, I couldn't resist the omakase at Kiss before I left (wow, I really am backlogged). Kiss is located on the corner of Laguna and Sutter, and with an inconspicuous store front, you'd miss it if you weren't looking closely enough. The interior is painstakingly clean and the lighting is intimate.

I have to mention that I left my little foodpad at home, so I have forgotten many of the menu items. I'll try my best to describe what I remember.

Salad with hijiki, tofu, edamame, and watercress

Great salad with fresh ingredients and delicate flavor. The sauce was tangy and savory, which was an appetizing way to start off the meal.

Japanese pears, Asian broccoli, and ____

I don't really remember all the ingredients in this one, but I do remember the interesting texture. The pears and broccoli were delightfully crunchy, while the sauce was grainy. The flavors were also interesting, contrasting the bitter veggies with the tart pear.

The sashimi was some of the freshest I've had in the Bay Area. That night the chef chose snapper, squid, halibut fin, clam, and maguro.

This was one of my favorites of the night. It was cooked fish layered in between pieces of crisp Napa cabbage in a fish broth. The fish was melt in your mouth and the cabbage was sweet and maintained structural integrity. The cherry blossom was a nice garnish (and tasty too!).

This was probably my favorite of the night. Swimming in the vegetable broth was shittake mushrooms, snowpeas, and various vegetables. Beneath all the goodness was the smoothest, silkiest egg custard I've ever had. It was melt in your mouth and so satisfying. However, since the custard was steamed right before it arrived, it was blazing hot. I managed to burn my tongue since I couldn't resist waiting for it to cool. Oh, so I learned about the complexities protein coagulation in making custard in class today, so even more props to the chef for making this perfectly.

The sushi was excellent too. I really liked the proportion of rice to fish. The fresh wasabi was amazing too.

The mushroom miso soup was really good. The red miso was thick and flavorful, without being too salty like many places out there. Kyo-Ya also serves up an excellent miso.

We were then brought canteloupe for dessert. I kinda wish there were a dessert as part of the omakase, but I was really full anyway--so full I couldn't even order some toro and uni as I had planned.

Overall, it was a very good meal. The chef is nice and chatty, and his knifework is amazing.

Weekly culinary class update:

This week I made apple pie and a fruit strudel, which turned out much better than I expected. Yay for maillard browning.

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