Celebrating our 8th with Ichido
This is actually our eighth anniversary and this time around, Szym surprised me with dinner tickets to an Omakase style dinner served by Ichido of San Francisco. I always tell Szym how about there's a difference between "date night food" where I prefer a taco or a grilled cheese sandwich and "smart food" where I like to think about the food and how it's put together. When we sat down at Ichido's dinner table, I knew that Szym had put an enormous amount of thought in picking out the perfect spot for us that evening. I enjoyed it so much, I'm going to go through our menu word for word.
Perhaps the most exciting thing about each Ichido menu is the "foraging" aspect of it. Chef Reed forages and fishes so the catch of the day is what gets cooked. There is nothing stuffy about the environment. Each evening is BYOB so Szym picked up a simple bottle of Sake to go with our meal beforehand. Some couches and seats are placed next to the long dinner table so you are also free to lounge around and you are encouraged to talk to the chef while he works on rolling out a meal for 20+. Most important to the dining experience is to be on time! You don't know want to be the ones holding up everyone from enjoying their first course.
Popcorn and Pickles to start off
Popcorn & Pickles. Salty, savory and very much an appetizer in that it gets you excited for the rest of the meal by waking up your tastebuds in a simple way. The perfect initial condition for a whole rollout of a meal.
Carpaccio. A familiar flavor with a kick. Thinly sliced pieces of fish marinated in a light Asian sauce. The best part of this carpaccio was a bread pairing that was served after finishing up the fish. The bread had the perfect texture to soak up the leftover sauce. I had to stop myself from eating too much bread at that point in order to save myself for the rest of the meal!
Predator and Prey. The catch of the day was actually stingray. I walked over to watch Chef Reed butcher the fish. I saw Chef Reed clean up the fish with swiftness and clean strokes for the whole table. The plan was to turn this into a beautifully built soba noodle dish with stingray as the centerpiece. I was so impressed by how this was going to happen for the whole table. Chef Reed had everything under control and the end result was beautiful.
Dashi. A tofu + fish soup that was light, not too salty and full of Umami. The flavors blended together in a familiar way for me but again with a kick of lemon or acid of some sort. The soup was aromatic, light and even a bit floral. I thought at this point that I had had my favorite portion of the evening.
Shortrib. At this point, I was super full and I was seriously starting to budget the rest of myself for the last course. Yet, I was surprised again with the most tender and perfectly cooked short rib that just fell apart. Seasoned in five spice, it was a bit on the sweet side but was the perfect transition into dessert. That together with potatoes and radish made it again really familiar and different at the same time.
Miso Creme Brulee. This was my favorite. It was so smart. The texture was a homage to miso. The flavor was umami and not too sweet. The showmanship and skill of the blow torch was really super clever. In a way, it was sort of a closing to a beautiful song played by the previous five dishes. It was just wonderful.
All hail the stingray!
Extra little tidbits of creations here and there not described in the menu
Action shot of the hard work put in by one man
Chef Reed explained the story behind each dish before serving it. We were lucky to be seated to a very nice couple and had a wonderful conversation throughout all of dinner. All in all, it was the perfect anniversary dinner :). I'm truly the luckiest :).