Swooning Over Japanese Authenticity in San Mateo, California
The San Francisco Peninsula is blessed with two kaiseki restaurants that prepare spectacular multi-course dinners. One of them, Wakuriya, sits quietly in a small shopping center in San Mateo, but its authentic Japanese flavors are meticulous and memorable. The space is intimate: there are three tables for four, a table for two, and several stools at the bar, which overlook the open kitchen where owner and chef Katsuhiro Yamasaki prepares the courses. Feast on zensai (appetizers like duck, squid, spicy cod roe, and rolled egg omelet above), as well as the freshest sashimi and most intricate flavors you may ever taste outside of Kyoto. Choose from the six- or nine-course menus, which change each month. I prefer the latter, which is $85 per person. A nice way to wash down each dish is to sip a light, fruity sake flight.