I’ve always been intrigued by the concept of Japanese Italian cuisine having tried it a few times at Japanese restaurants, but nothing has really stood out. When I was last in San Diego, I heard about Ristorante Kaz and decided to check it out. Located on Convoy, parking is inevitably crazy and I don’t suggest going during peak hours. Go early or later, otherwise you’ll be utterly frustrated! We arrived for a late lunch and decided to go with the Prix Fixe Lunch ($12) which comes as a 3-course meal, but allows for add-ons if you choose to select something fancier than the one proposed. The House Salad was a simple green salad with a light dressing, nothing special, while the Marinated Vegetables (+$2) were a far better choice — essentially roasted vegetables drizzled with a balsamic reduction glaze. I loved the pumpkin and caramelized red onions. A soup of the day is offered as well as two others: Pumpkin Soup, or soupe du jour, was delightful with only a touch of cream. It is amazing how silky the texture considering how light it was. Cream of Corn (+$1) utilizes the fresh corn in season and possessed a wonderful sweet finish. Again, the luscious texture is not heavy, and I could have had an extra bowl of this it was THAT good! There were quite a few selections for entrees but we gravitated towards Crab Roe, Salmon Roe and Squid Cold Spaghetti Japanese Style (+$3) since it was a super hot day. This cold pasta was umami-filled with the salty crab roe coating every strand of the angel hair pasta. Salmon roe and raw squid strips added another layer of flavors and textures as well as julienned shiso leaves for an aromatic finish. We absolutely loved this! Creamy Sea Urchin with Spinach and Salmon Roe (+$4) is a must if you love uni. I can’t even describe how exquisite this turned out to be. The spaghetti sits in a savory-packed sauce with a hint of cream allowing the natural nuances of the sea to shine through. The uni was only warmed, not cooked, thus not compromising its delicate texture. I was really blown away by how something so simple can blow my tastebuds to a whole new level. How something utilizing around five ingredients can pack such a punch is beyond me. If you get a chance to check it out, please do, especially if you love Japanese food and are willing to be a little adventurous. I can’t wait to return!
Ristorante Kaz 3904 Convoy Street San Diego, CA 92111 Tel: 858-565-8861