Each week on the Food Chain, we ask a chef to describe a dish he or she recently enjoyed. The chef who prepared the dish responds and then picks his or her own memorable meal. On and on it goes. Last week, former Isa chef Luke Sung told us about the monkfish liver sushi he loves at Ino Sushi in S.F.'s Japantown. What's been a favorite of yours recently, Ino-san?
Who: Noboru Inoue, chef-owner at Ino Sushi
What: Vegetable appetizers and agedashi tofu
Where: Kappou Gomi, San Francisco
When: At least once a month
"I don't go out to eat very often, but when I do I go see my friend Gomi-san at Kappou Gomi. I love all of the vegetable appetizers that he does, like the nozawana sauté, which are pickled Japanese green vegetables, or the mizuna ohitashi, which are mixed vegetables in a bonito broth, or the agedashi tofu, which a deep fried and very soft. I've had so many of his small dishes, which are meant to be enjoyed with sake, that I can't pick a favorite. Gomi is an excellent chef, and he also makes a very beautiful yellowtail sashimi served with the full head and tail of the fish."
Gomi-san (chef Masahiko Gomi) responds:
"The kind of food that I try to do at my restaurant is special, what you find only at a kappou in Japan, which is a restaurant owned by a chef who has achieved a certain level of knife skill and technique. Ninety percent of people in Japan have never eaten at a proper kappou. The vegetable dishes I make are the kind of thing that one has with drinks, as a first course in one of these restaurants. The nozawana sauté is usually eaten cold, with rice. For the agedashi tofu, I use Tacoma Tofu, the soft variety, and flash-fry it in a light batter."
The nozawana sauté.
Earlier: The City's Most Exciting Japanese Food At Kappou Gomi? [7x7]