Hachi Ju Hachi- Wow! [Saratoga]
I don't know about anyone else but I just had an amazing meal at Hachi Ju Hachi and I just needed to get out the word. Its hard to find and its not easy to spot but it is worth it. Suzuki San is the real deal. He is a kaiseki trained chef with tons of experience and knowledge. He is also a really fun and interesting guy. The Saba Miso Ni and the pork belly were spectacular. I've been to tons of other Japanese spots and this one really brings it home. Its originality is the fact that they are going back to basics and traditions.
Went last night for the first time and I have to agree. Wow. Great attention to ingredients and detail lead to simple and traditional dishes that strike me as being just what Suzuki-san intends. The food feels very personal, which, given the expertise of the chef, is a real treat.
The grilled mackerel (Saba no ichiya-boshi) is a well-known favorite dish (I think virtually every table ordered one or more) for good reason. Moist meat, crisp skin and great flavor.
Compared to other Bay Area restaurants that I've tried (Kappou Gomi, Kappa Nami Nami and the now-closed Kaygetsu) serving similar types of dishes, I enjoyed the food here the best. When value is considered, it's a place that I'll be returning to regularly for sure.