It was one of those recent weather mixed days when I found myself in San Rafael's Montecito shopping center around lunchtime. It had been some time since visiting Kamikaze, so I decided to make it my lunch destination.
I was very impressed with the Miso soup that came with my lunch special. It had complexity and had a flavorful dashi (fish stock) base. In the US miso is typically served at the beginning of the meal, however, in Japan it is one of the finishing courses. One of the advantages of our cultural switch about is you can get a preview of good things to come when you see the care taken in the soup.
So I was surprised when the presentation of the bento box I ordered was less than attentive to the details. Rice is revered in Japan as it's staple, lifegiving food. I can't imagine ever being served a bowl that has the rice carelessly flattened and rice sticking to the side in Japan. Nold Egenter has written an informative piece on Japanese Rice Culture if you are so inclined to learn a little more about Japan's relationship with rice. The rice did taste fine despite the presentation. The salad was fresh and dressed with a light dressing. The salmon was marvelous, a generous meaty piece. It is one of those where the teriyaki sauce is poured over, rather than being a marinade if this difference is important to you. The tempura was a bit oily and hard for my taste as well, but the overall box was a good lunch value.
I had lunch while waiting for my car's regular maintenance, so found that walking to Montecito from the Toyota dealership yielded some interesting views that I had driven past many times, not noting my surroundings. I was clueless that there was water between the dealerships and Montecito Plaza!
October 12, 2006