Los Altos is the Silicon Valley city that has been home to elite residents including Sergey Brin, Steve Jobs, and Mark Zuckerberg. Nestled in the heart of downtown Los Altos is a Japanese restaurant so low-key, it’s easy to miss when walking by.
The concept is the brainchild of Hiroshi Kimura, a chef who started his cooking career in Osaka and Tokyo before settling down in Hawaii. For the next 28 years, he ran a Yakiniku restaurant in Honolulu where diners grilled their own beef at a table. Although the restaurant saw a lot of success and popularity, especially amongst celebrities, rising rent caused him to move to California and eventually open the Los Altos location in 2017.
His restaurant, eponymously named Hiroshi, starts at $575 per person (excluding drinks) with a required minimum of four people. To compare, Atelier Crenn, a three-star Michelin restaurant in San Francisco, costs $335 per person. Hiroshi seats just one party a night and requires booking reservations at least one week in advance with a mandatory $1,000 deposit.
A prix fixe menu, or “omakase,” is the only dining option available at Hiroshi. The course meal focuses on Japanese Wagyu beef, Chef Kimura’s specialty that he’s spent over 40 years perfecting, and seafood flown fresh, and sometimes even alive, from the Tsukiji Fish Market in Japan.
So you could imagine my excitement when I was invited to dine at the exclusive restaurant a few months ago.
Hiroshi has reportedly hosted the likes of Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, but when I asked the 61-year-old chef if he can reveal any other big names he’s served, he was tight-lipped. However, word on the street from my friends in Silicon Valley is that “anyone who’s anyone has either been to or knows about Hiroshi.”
“So, if secret service needs to come here, where would they go?” one diner in our party cleverly asked Chef Kimura as we sat down.
“We have a back entrance,” Kimura replied after a slight pause and a chuckle.
The outside of the restaurant is very inconspicuous with a small sign that simply says “Hiroshi” near the door.
No opening hours are available on display aside from a small sign that says “by appointment only” with their number.
The lone table in the small dining room seats up to eight people and is made with Keyaki wood from an 800-year-old zelkova tree, the same type of wood used to build Japanese temples.
Kevin Biggerstaff, the restaurant GM, said that it took 10 people to move the $100,000 table inside the restaurant.
Behind the painting in front of the dining room is a TV for entertainment and presentations.
Chef Kimura works alongside his second chef who prepares the seafood dishes due to Kimura’s seafood allergy which he unfortunately developed in his 40s.
In terms of design, Kimura did not skimp on anything. Outside of the bathroom is a $15,000 cylindrical lamp. The inside of the bathroom has an infinity mirror made by Hisao Kurosawa, son of the legendary Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa, and an upscale TOTO electric toilet.
Fifteen minutes after walking in, the GM motioned all of us to sit down for our meal.
Beverages are served in Kendo Kiriko Kagami Crystal glassware, a luxury glassware company that supplies the Imperial Household Agency who represents the Japanese imperial family at official receptions.
First course: Hokkaido tofu with scallion and bonito flakes.
Hokkaido scallops with miso and trout roe, one poached and the other seared with a blowtorch.
Tempura Kisu topped with Ossetra caviar. Light, crispy, and full of flavor.
Chawanmushi topped with uni. Divine and heavenly.
Takiawase Nimono — Kabocha squash, purple yam, bamboo and pea shoots.
Wagyu tatake, uni and smoked shoyu.
Look at that uni…
Wagyu Katsu Sando — Fried Panko crusted Wagyu sandwich. The toasted bread perfectly balanced the fattiness of the Wagyu beef.
Yuzu Sake Sorbet to cleanse the palette.
Mixed green salad with Chef’s Goma vinaigrette.
From there, the manager brought out the main attraction: A5 Wagyu beef steak from Kobe, Kimura’s specialty.
It even included a certificate. This particular steak is called “drunken wagyu” because the cows are fed with residual yeast from fermenting sake, which gives it the signature marbling on the meat as well as the sweet flavor.
Look at the marbling on the steak!
We were also each given our own personal grill in case we wanted to cook our meat more thoroughly with Binchōtan, a type of charcoal used in Japanese cooking.
The utensils provided were created by Ryusen Hamomo Co., a Japanese cutlery brand which has been around since 1948. All knives are created by hand going through a 38-step process following the Echizen Uchihamono swordsmith technique dating back to 1337.
Hibachi grilled Wagyu beef with grilled asparagus, shiitake mushroom and truffle salt.
Heating up a piece on the Binchōtan grill.
Some housemade ponzu sauce to dip the beef in.
Cold Somen noodles, probably the best I’ve ever had outside of Japan.
Kyoho Grapes and Japanese Pear.
And for the final course: Monaka, a green tea ice cream sandwich.
Special thanks to Chef Lawrence Chu and Larry Chu Jr. for the awesome invitation!
328 Main St,
Los Altos, CA 94022