Elegant, discreet, and romantic, Keiko à Nob Hill blends unique culinary style with traditional appeal. Cushioned banquettes wrap the square dining room, outfitted with subdued lighting, fabric-covered walls, and heavy brown trim, resulting in a space that is lovely (if of a certain age). It is always best to be prompt: the formal service team is gracious but handles each night's single seating with precision, serving all guests at once. Arriving on time is crucial as this kitchen takes its work and its mission rather earnestly. Chef Keiko Takahashi's nightly tasting menu is a twelve-course progression of French culinary technique with subtle hints of Japanese flavors. Her success is undeniable from the first taste of Japanese spiny lobster presented in a martini glass with lobster-tomato water foam and a chilled layer of fruity bell pepper mousse. Moist, fragrant, and remarkably delicious Cornish hen arrives tucked with razor-thin shavings of black truffle beneath its skin, complemented with parmesan foam, Ibérico ham-cream sauce, and asparagus. A simple parfait is an extraordinary finale that includes coffee pâte de fruit, marron, and bits of crunchy meringue atop Mont Blanc cream with grilled pears.
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