Authentic Japanese Dining and Decor …
The Insider loves Asian culture and food. Not so much the music. As Anthony Bourdain wrote, “Jeesuuss. Sounds like a cat being tortured. “
It was cool to sit down with Kenzo Napa restaurant’s GM Tomonori Iwao before their dinner rush. Tomonori was a modest and soft spoken gentleman from Japan who worked at the Grand Hyatt in Tokyo earlier.
What was last night’s dinner? I was at home and made some BBQ pork and rice bowl.
Favorite drink? Wine. I love all kinds of wine, doesn’t matter, white, red, sweet, just depends on the situation. If you’re dining here, I’d recommend Kenzo’s Sauvignon Blanc. Lots of good fruit but with a good acidity to balance it out.
Favorite dining spot in Napa and why? I like Charter Oak a lot. Love what Chef Chris Kostow is doing with grilled vegetables and the grilled beef with beets.
Favorite music? I love jazz and 60’s rock.
Favorite thing about living and working in Napa? I’m a certified sommelier, so I just love the wine culture here. It’s so great on my days off to talk with winery owners, wine makers and sommeliers. I get to learn and taste so much.
Any brush with celebrity? Top secret. Our owner Kenzo Tsujimoto is very involved in the tech world so we get a lot of famous IT guys, but we are very discreet.
What makes a great restaurant? A commitment to quality and consistency.
Final thoughts? Well, my visa is for five years, so we’ll see. But I love it here. I intend to enjoy it as much as possible.