Teppanyaki chefs twirl their knives and ignite towers of flame while cooking meals tableside inside Hana Japan Steak & Seafood. They slice new york steaks, chicken, and salmon and toss scallops onto the grill alongside chopped veggies and mounds of rice, all without ruffling their tomato-red toques. Each hibachi dinner comes with a shrimp appetizer, a bowl of soup, and a salad with organic Hana dressing imported from the organic part of Japan.
This upscale eatery incorporates fresh, local ingredients from local suppliers into an impressive menu packed with modern American dishes. Brannan's uses beef from Marin Sun Farms, oysters from Hog Island Oyster Co., and oxygen piped in directly through windows. Diners may initiate meal sequences with Thai curry mussels ($12) steamed in coconut milk and flanked by herb-buttered toasts. Main course entrants such as Idaho trout picatta with wilted spinach ($18) and hanger steak with wild mushrooms and chimichurri sauce ($25) vie for blue ribbons from opinionated taste-bud judges. A smooth glass of regional wine and a side of sweet corn risotto ($6) provide belly-pleasing backup to any meal, rendering patrons defenseless against Brannan's signature chocolate lava tort, a warm dessert that cloaks sweet teeth in robes of saccharine silk. The rich wood fixtures, stone fireplace, countryside murals, and soft lighting lend this wine country restaurant a refined and relaxed air conducive to good eats and friendly debates over the artistic merits of the painting Dogs Playing Poker.
Nestled in Napa Valley, FlatIron Grill soothes trembling tummies with a menu of succulent, hearty fare vitalized by artful culinary flourishes. Wake drowsy taste buds with a surf-meets-turf appetizer of dungeness crab cakes, accompanied with mixed field greens and citrus vinaigrette ($12.95), or sample slow-roasted pork tacos with pepper-jack cheese ($9.95) to provide the palate porcine pleasure. Entrees offer elegant spins on comfort fare with the buttermilk-fried chicken wing manned by italian-sausage gravy ($17.95) and the signature FlatIron steak, beefily robed with chimichurri sauce ($19.95). Should envious sweet teeth begin wailing from mouth-caves, swaddle them with one of FlatIron's whimsical desserts. Partake of an of-age sip of dessert wine ($8–$10) for a smooth finish at a peaceful meal or tasteful spit take at a surprising one.
As a youngster, Latif Lamnaouar learned classic Moroccan dishes by watching and helping his mother in the kitchen. After moving to America, the homesick Latif started cooking those meals himself, a process that reduced his homesickness and propelled his culinary aspirations. He now crafts Moroccan specialties at Lateeva's Cafe, from veggie sandwiches with eggplant and split pea hummus spread to lemon chicken paninis with pesto and spinach.
Before noon, Latif assembles plenty of breakfast treats, too, including wraps chock-full of eggs, hash browns, salsa, and a choice of turkey sausage or turkey bacon. Complement feasts with coffee drinks or the apple juice, strawberry, and tamarind blend of the Road to Casablanca smoothie, named for its resemblance to Humphrey Bogart's naturally fruity scent.
Featured on Best of the Bay, Kobe Japan's menu of colorful sushi plates and entertaining hibachi draw in streams of steak- and seafood-lovers. After an appetizer of bacon-wrapped Tsunami shrimp ($7.50), patrons may peruse the six-page sushi menu, which showcases a creative collection of seaweed-and-rice roll-ups. The Titanic roll balances shrimp tempura, tuna, spicy crab meat, and salmon ($14.95), and the Hippo roll snuggles yellow tail, tuna, and salmon tighter than a scuba suit's bear hug ($8.95). Those feasting from the hibachi menu can pair sips of house sake ($7) with certified-Angus New York steak, served hot off an iron griddle to flame-kiss mouth-buds with juicy flavor ($22).