1339 Pearl St, Napa, CA 94559, USA
Photo by Rachel Weill, AFAR Media
KenzoWhen Japanese video game magnate Kenzo Tsujimoto founded Kenzo Estate winery on Mount George, high above the Napa Valley, he dreamed of eventually opening a restaurant that would serve authentic kaiseki, or multi-course, prix fixe dinners. That dream became reality in late 2016 when the upscale Kenzo Napa opened on Pearl Street in downtown Napa. Today, with a fresh Michelin star under their belts, the culinary team crafts a new menu every other month, importing fish, seaweed, and other ingredients from Japan to make the experience feel as it might in Hokkaido. Flavors are simple and refined—dashi broth tastes like the sea itself, Wagyu beef is as smooth as sashimi. One of the highlights of every menu is the seasonal hassun, which consists of small bites that contrast fish and beef. Another is the sushi course, which differs with every meal. Dessert comes in a trio, often featuring flavors such as matcha, adzuki beans, and candied nuts. All of the dishes are served on custom-fired, hand-painted ceramics from Japan, making every course a work of art. Pairings with Kenzo wines are available and can include sake courses, as well. The atmosphere is intimate in the 25-seat dining room. You might even spot Tsujimoto himself; he and his wife dine at the restaurant at least once a month.