RUFINO ONG PHOTOGRAPHY | Rufino & Josh's {SECRET} Birthday [Morimoto, NAPA]

Rufino & Josh's {SECRET} Birthday [Morimoto, NAPA]

July 02, 2014


{Dinner LocationMORIMOTO, NAPA

Images by Rufino & Jenny, of Rufino ONG Photography


What does a photographer do - when he is treated by his most beautiful blessedly awesome wife - to his favorite type/style of food? Sometimes - he just sits back and enjoy the show and the meal... nay this time? - this guy wants to document and jot down notes! My lovely & gracious wife - got us reservations at the world class - MORIMOTO, restaurant in Napa. Which is now, one of my top shelf favorite, need to drive for a bit,  celebratory excellent dining experience places.

Please allow me to share my experience and thoughts while savoring the Morimoto Omakase - their tasting menu, the Sake tasting menu {that perfectly matches with the Omakase} + adding a few items that I always Have-to-have in a Sushi serving restaurant + and of course the fun items my partner in crime has ordered! And yes - I did jot down notes, I had a small pen and paper set with me, and later on the wonderful lady attending to us, happily gave me a exert of the tasting menu. Enjoy! 


1st Course ~ Toro Tartare ~ fatty Tuna lovingly mashed and made into a rectangle to be snacked with wasabi, nori paste, sour cream. A very curious and tasty starter - I wish'd they'd gave me rice with this! Very tasty and very good way to start the evening! 

Sake number 1: Morimoto Junmai Daiginjo, Ishikawa

A little snack from the Toro Tartare

Sake number 2: Yuki no Bosha, Yamahai Junmai, Akita

2nd Course: Kanpachi Carpaccio ~ adorned with hot oil, garlic, chives, ginger. This is easily my favorite item that I will give a few Josh-Michelin Stars! Perfect in everything except for the fact that there are only four pieces of it! 

Jenny order: Miso Soup with Manila Clams.

Sake number 3: Morimoto Junmai, Ishikawa

3rd Course: Bagna Cauda ~ garlic + anchovy, the local veggies - the dish that gave us lots of fun - you poke those items and dip them in the heated olive oil + garlic anchovy paste - super yummy! Jenny and I - very sweetly shared this surprisingly joyful plate.

4th Course: House Made Tofu - this guy looks simple - but don't let its simplicity fool you - this has kakis, scallions chili curls, parts of an asparagus, and sweet tamari. One of the surprise items - it is one of our favorites.

~ Intermezzo ~ a berry-ish smoothie sorbet over a perfect meringue. 

Unagi - a Rufino Classic Favorite Nigiri - not part of the tasting menu ... part of the Joshy Special

Uni - part two of the Rufino Classic Favorite Nigiri - Joshy Special

Soft shell crab roll - Jenny's special order

5th Course: Chef's Choice Sushi - (maybe) O Toro - Fatty Tuna

5th Course: Chef's Choice Sushi - (Confirmed) Sake - Salmon

5th Course: Chef's Choice Sushi - (maybe) Saba - Mackarel

Sake number 6:Fuku Chitose, Yamahai Junmai, Fukui - my recollection, at this point of the meal & the sake tasting - I am already smiling my happiness and my light-weightedness in consuming alcoholic (fermented) drinks. In other words, I am very greatly snockered. Something that my wife seems to find funny.

6th Course: Gulf Red Snapper - Thai curry, mussels fiddlehead ferns, bell pepper relish. This is one of those dishes that we both wished we have an almost unlimited amount of. The flavor of each item is superb to excellent - joining them together is best "umami".

7th Course: Surf & Turf & Turf - pork belly, flat iron wagyu and some very angry shrimp - another one of those dishes they would keep sending out... 

There were a total of nine sakes at the end of this ... And this wonderful dinner is happily topped off with a couple of delectable sweets.

8th Course: Tofu Cheesecake - apricot sorbet, strawberries, hibiscus champagne foam - discovered the champagne at first bite :)

MORIMOTO, NAPA. I give you the best thumbs up - this guy can give! Thank you for the awesome birthday meal and the superb information about your extensive menu and sakes. I find that we shall be back quite soon! And YES - thank you to my loving wife - for recognizing my love and appreciation for the Japanese cuisine and sushi items, and materializing the best place to aid me in celebrating my (SECRET)th birthday! Thank you so much! 

Oh and incase you are wondering where Sienna Aeris is .... she was happily K.O. at grandmas house. Later - I realized that we could have brought her to the restaurant - I thought she would enjoy the place and a stroll thru Napa.




Rufino Josh ONG - a husband and now a dad with a camera, is an international award winning photographer from the San Francisco Bay Area,  offering photography coverage in San Francisco, the Bay Area and destinations worldwide. Rufino Joshua is mentored by the Internationally acclaimed master photographer, Scott Robert Lim.


Jenny Jang ONG - is an awesome best friend and wife of Rufino Josh. She is an amazing wife, mother, and works in a secret industry. Her extensive background in the Wedding Videography as a video lady and master of editing and processing has earned her the top associate shooter position in Rufino ONG Photography and crew. She is also responsible for keeping our lead photographer in check, when he is having too much fun.


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