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.