Quietly hiding in a shopping center, Wakuriya is a Bay Area treasure. It's also a true mom-and-pop restaurant-Chef Katsuhiro Yamasaki cooks while his wife, Mayumi, manages and serves with equal passionate and skill. The straightforward setting features stone floors, wood furnishings, and counter seating offering views into the immaculate kitchen and the chance to appreciate the chef's meticulous details and deft skills. The experience of dining here may seem casual and low-key, but each guest had to work hard to score that reservation. Expect to see plenty of foodies hovering iPhones over every beautiful dish. Each month, the chef presents his own new kaiseki-style nine-course menu. This may begin with a delicate crystal goblet of vibrant asparagus purée (suri-nagashi), topped with succulent lobster tail, garnished with pink peppercorns and a steamed asparagus tip. Following a parade of superb sashimi, sample a springtime offering of cherry leaf-wrapped shrimp cakes that are tempura-fried and served with cherry blossom-infused salt. Desserts may bring fresh fruit suspended in a sweet, crystalline gelée with orbs of strawberry mochi drizzled with excellent vanilla crème anglaise.
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