We're lucky enough to have friends across the globe, so when we visit them we get taken to all the best local places!
After a fantastic night at the California Academy of Sciences for Nightlife, my head may have been in pain from too many G & Ts…so I was looking for greasy satisfaction. Namely bacon. We were recommended Kitchen Story.
We started with the famous millionaire’s bacon. Finally! Proper bacon!! I’d been in the States too long and had been disappointed by what they call bacon (hardly any meat, just crispy fat). Each to their own I know, but definitely not for me. So I was overjoyed when this meaty bacon came out. To be honest, I would have been happy with just a bacon butty, but the menu was a bit fancier than that so we tried something a little more exciting.
We shared the California burger and the okonomiyaki (modernyaki) from their menu. We were excited about the okonomiyaki because we’d been wanting to eat it all over the place, but it can be quite hard to find outside of Japan. Usually okonomiyaki (where we lived in Japan, anyway) is a bit like a pancake but with pork, shrimp and cabbage mixed in, and then a sweet brown sauce and loads of Japanese mayonnaise and dried fish flakes on the top. It’s very satisfying, and probably with the amount of sauce on it, very naughty calorie-wise. But when one is hungover, that is what one is looking for. The modernyaki was very thin, with no naughty sauce on top, but oranges and strawberries instead. Inside the batter was cabbage, scallion (spring onion), asparagus, carrots, mushroom and red onion. It did taste good. Very fresh and healthy. If I was in the mood for being healthy and wanting to try something a bit different, this is what I would go for. However, in the state I was in, it just left me wanting regularyaki.
The California burger; a Wagyu patty, caramelised onion, tomato, avocado, sprout, arugula (rocket), balsamic glaze and mild goat cheese. It was good, although I would have liked to taste the goats cheese more. Again, it felt a bit too healthy and fresh for what I wanted, but on any other day this would have been appreciated. The waiter was also kind enough to cut the burger in half for us to make sharing easier, which was appreciated. He was also very good at promptly refilling Casey’s bottomless Mimosa order (not so appreciated by me, but very much so by Casey), so he definitely got his money’s worth there.
In summary; if you are not hungover this is a great place for brunch. The food is good; and if you want to get trashed during brunch, the bottomless mimosas are a very reasonable price. It is worth bearing in mind that Kitchen Story is as an Asian-American fusion restaurant, and so really they are doing their job very well by mixing Asian flavours and traditions in new ways, and the mix of flavours did taste good, so I believe they are a success.
I was a little disappointed with how thin the okonomiyaki was when it arrived at the table, because I like it thick. But it was the only place we have been in a long time that actually serves it. Yes, this is a ‘fusion’ restaurant, and yes, they called it ‘modernyaki’, so I guess I have to expect the unexpected. I wanted savory, it was zesty with slices of orange on top. I wanted meat, but there was scallion, asparagus, carrots, mushroom and red onion. I wanted what it was not, but the dish was still good. I would order it again, but I would not pick this over traditional okonomiyaki or the Abeno Special at Abeno in London as my last meal.
The California burger was good for a gourmet burger, but I have had better. See Kuma’s. We ordered it rare, like always, but it seemed like this meat would have been better if it were more cooked. Which means it is not the burger for me. The toppings were average, but fresh. All in all, not the best burger I have had, and definitely not something I would even consider for my last meal.
We also got a side of their famous millionaire’s bacon. It was really thick and cooked perfectly. If I could substitute this bacon with all other bacon, I would.
Oh, the bottomless Mimosas were fantastic. They did their job. I would have these as my last drink because I would want something that never ended…