Eating Out

Luxury Japanese Private Dining at Hiroshi – Los Altos, CA

I have fond memories of my meal at Hiroshi when it first opened in Spring of 2017. I was impressed with the quality of their A5 wagyu (still my favorite to this day!) and the carefully curated interior decor.

Earlier this month, I was lucky enough to revisit the Los Altos spot to try Chef Hiroshi Kimura’s new washoku menu which incorporates more seafood.

Ambiance

Hiroshi’s entrance has a short zen walkway which opens to a single private dining room with a stunning wood table. The hand cut crystal collection is displayed along the right corridor leading past the kitchen to the bathroom. Opposite the crystal is a wall of wine and sake. Local Napa Valley heavy hitters are prominently displayed including Stones, Fairchild, and Alpha Omega. The bathroom features an infinity mirror that could go in an art gallery.

Menu

For the preview dinner, we started with a bento box of six small courses highlighting fresh seafood flown in from Hokkaido. Typically these would be served individually. Having Hokkaido kegani (hairy) crab was a rare treat. Served both chilled and in warm chawanmushi, the crab is known for its sweet meat.

Lightly blanched Hokkaido scallop topped with trout roe and sweet miso was another highlight. I’m also a big uni fan, and I liked the Hokkaido uni over wagyu tatake marinated in smoked shoyu.

Balancing out the seafood was a takiawase nimono (simmered vegetables) of kabocha squash, purple yam, bamboo, and pea shoots in a light broth.

Hiroshi - Bento Box - Hokkaido Tofu, Takiawase Nimono, Wagyu Tatake Hokkaido Uni,
Bento Box – Hokkaido Tofu, Takiawase Nimono, Wagyu Tatake Hokkaido Uni, Hokkaido Scallop, Kegani Crab, Chawanmushi with Crab

The generous bento box could have been a meal in itself, but we were just getting started. Next was a tempura of kisu, a lean whiting fish, topped with ossetra caviar. The tempura batter was airy and delicate, allowing the fish to shine, and the premium caviar gave a nice salty kick to the fried dish.

As much as I loved the tempura, the next course of wagyu katsu sando managed to top it! Katsu is typically made with chicken or pork, but having it with wagyu was a delightful change. The fried panko coating was excellent and contrasted nicely with the deeper wagyu flavor. Soft milk bread and umami heavy katsu sauce rounded out this deceptively modest sandwich.

Hiroshi - Tempura Kisu, Ossetra Caviar
Tempura Kisu, Ossetra Caviar
Hiroshi - Wagyu Katsu Sando - fried panko crusted Wagyu sandwich
Wagyu Katsu Sando – fried panko crusted Wagyu sandwich

Following these two fried winners were a light sorbet palate cleanser made from a Yuzu sake, and a fresh salad with an addictive sesame vinaigrette.

Hiroshi - Yuzu Sake Sorbet
Yuzu Sake Sorbet
Hiroshi - Mixed Greeen Salad with Chef’s Goma Vinaigrette
Mixed Green Salad with Chef’s Goma Vinaigrette

Next was the main course of hibachi-grilled A5 drunken wagyu, served with grilled asparagus, shiitake mushroom, truffle salt, ponzu sauce, and real wasabi. The wagyu quality was as good as I remembered – a rich yet delicate texture, and dare I say textbook melt-in-your-mouth. The cows are fed sake mash, hence the drunken name. Individual charcoal grills are provided for warming up the meat again, as this was a course to be savored slowly with a killer bottle of red. The raw steaks were also presented before the course, and the leaf-like marbling was remarkable.

Hiroshi - A5 Drunken Wagyu
A5 Drunken Wagyu
Hiroshi - Hibachi grilled A5 Drunken Wagyu, grilled asparagus, shiitake mushroom, truffle salt, ponzu sauce, real wasabi
Hibachi grilled A5 Drunken Wagyu, grilled asparagus, shiitake mushroom, truffle salt, ponzu sauce, real wasabi

Cold somen noodles in a simple shoyu, dashi, sake broth were a light way to end the savory courses. I enjoyed the firm chew of the noodles.

Hiroshi - Cold Somen Noodles
Cold Somen Noodles

For dessert, a green tea monaka ice cream sandwich was served along with Kyoho grapes. The ice cream satisfied my sweet tooth, and the large, seeded grapes made me feel healthy at the same time. Sencha green tea concluded the meal.

Hiroshi - Green Tea Monaka Ice Cream Sandwich, Kyoho Grapes
Green Tea Monaka Ice Cream Sandwich, Kyoho Grapes
Hiroshi - Sencha Tea
Sencha Tea

Drinks

The meal started with two junmai daigingo sakes – first a light, dry Nechi Otokoyama followed by a bolder and sweeter fruity bottle of Fukukomachi Bisuikan. These paired nicely with the seafood courses. For the wagyu, a big 2013 Alpha Omega Era came out. The Bordeaux style cabernet blend was bold and smooth, with nice cherry oak. A worthy pairing for the premium wagyu.

Reservations

Hiroshi currently takes reservations by phone for the entire dining room. They are flexible with the number of diners, as long as a minimum is met. Due to the premium pricing, they are able to customize and add on courses accordingly.

A meal here is not cheap, but the quality of the ingredients and the intimate experience make for a memorable dinner, should you choose to indulge!

Chef Hiroshi Kimura
Chef Hiroshi Kimura

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