OK, so you missed it. But, hey, listen, next time someone suggests a long, delicious, vegetable driven, ingredient powerful, highly seasonal dinner? Say, “OK.”
Last night, at The James Beard House, the formidable Taeko Takagami organized one of the most memorable evenings I’ve enjoyed, and the others there enjoyed, it appeared, in a very long time.
Aided by the chef from EN; Chef Sono Chikara from KYO YA; a bar tended by Shingo from SAKAMAI, with a demo of how-to-make-soba (been there, done that, ate that in Kaga Onsen), it was a long and lively evening of many small and deeply flavorful courses.
These highlighted the ingredients of Japan. To top it off? Dassai sake brought by Kzuhiro Sakurai.
Everything noted below: Bite sized pieces.
Zatsuki: Grilled saltwater eel (anago) with shin-nori sauce.
Zensai: Sesame tofu, crispy white fish puree with yamato imo, simmered burdock root with ankimo, salted multed roe and daikon, roasted duck and yaki-negi, grilled mackerel ham0-zushi, tender abalone shibani style, pickled red and golden beets.
Owan: soba with pike eel (hamo), mizuna greens, and tsuke-dare.
Sashimi: Canadian toro, kagoshima madai, Alaskan botan ebi, Santa Barbara uni.
Yakimona: Grilled shrimp mousse with matsutake, seared Jongiskan style lamb, chestnut duo, taro sesame miso dengaku, broiled Saikyo miso black cod, pan roasted ginkgo nuts, kikuna greens and chrysanthemum ponzu-zuke.
Onmono: Alaskan king crab in poached egg yolk kokabu broth
Oshokuji: Hokkaido kinki and maitake kamadaki rice with shoyu-ikura roe; red miso soup with junsai and homemade pickles.
Kanmi: Chickpea zenzai with shiratama dumpling and sweet potato tempura; sweet bun with Nagaimo mousse, kinako tuples, and matcha sauce.
Oishii desu yo!