Kappo style Japanese food seems to have two meanings: fine cuisine served over a counter sitting face to face with a chef, or the chef’s ability to master the preparation of food using high-quality, seasonal ingredients artistically arranged on a plate. In downtown Mountain View, this style of dining can be found at Nami Nami where they focus on the latter part. They do have a small counter that is manned by a sushi chef who can hand the plates to you as well, but most people dine at one of the tables.
Nami Nami offers many small plates that can be ordered during dinner service, but at lunch they specialize in kappo style bentos. Their Beef Donburi Bento came accompanied by individual dishes rather than served in a typical lacquer TV-dinner style bento box:
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You know they are serious about sushi when they offer several variations of chirashi and sashimi bentos. This chirashi (sashimi served over rice) bento included hotate (scallop) and uni (sea urchin) which made the selection easy (click on different parts of the picture to check out Lytro living picture refocusing capability):
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In addition to Miso soup, the side bento dishes included a small serving of agedashi tofu, salad and tsukemono pickles:
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The chirashi bowl is an excellent deal at $14 considering the freshness and generous amount of sashimi. True to kappo style, the arrangement was beautiful:
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Because of the higher quality of their food and careful preparation techniques, prices are a little bit higher than a typical Japanese restaurant. The word nami translates to “wave” (think Tsunami), and the restaurant is so named because owner Keisuke Suga loves to surf. Perhaps it may also have to do with the fact that it sounds very close to “nummy nummy,” which it truly was.