We took friends to Totoraku for their first experience. I had warned them that there was zero ambiance, that it was run as a private club, that it was smoky and that basically it is beef and more beef.
Melon and Prosciutto
Asparagus with walnut paste
Fresh White Turbot
Hard Boiled Quail Egg topped with Caviar
Broccoli and Blue Cheese
Fresh Bamboo Shoots
Smoked Salmon Roll with avocado and sprouts
Steak tartar – to be mixed by the diner
Beef Tongue (to be eaten with lemon sauce)
Ashima, Kaz’s wife now brings out the grill.
Filet Mignon with onion, pepper, mushrooms
The filet on the grill
Crudites – a bowl of veggies – carrots, lettuce, cucumber, cabbage with a small bowl of miso dipping sauce or more like a paste.
“Salad” of cut up tomatoes
Outside of the Ribeye
Inside of the Ribeye
Not pictured – soup for me
We BYO’d wine from my husband’s cellar. He picked unusual things that our friends might not have tasted before as they aren’t from the US.
NV – Gruet, Brut Blanc de Noirs, Albuquerque, New Mexico
2002 – Edi Jimiic, Chardonnay, Slovenia
200 – Pinot Noir, Santa Ynez Valley, Melville Vineyard, Lane Tanner, California
1988 – Ch. Cos D’Estournel, Saint Estephe, France
1992 – Ridge Vineyards, Cabernet Sauvignon, Montebello Santa Cruz Mountains, California
1988 – Essenia, California Muscat, Andreww Quady, Madera, California
The menu doesn’t change that much from one time to another so this is not the sort of place you would go to once a week. But Kaz and Ashima are wonderful hosts, the beef is superb and it remains an unique and wonderful experience.