Mom and Mako
My mom likes Mako, and for good reason. They consistently serve flavorful Japanese food with slight Mediterranean/Californian twists. My complaint is that it's pretty expensive for what you're getting ($95 with tax/tip for 1 sake, 2 appetizers, 1 entree, 1 side, 1 dessert).Presentation is always elegant and refined, starting with the sake. Served in a ceramic hot-water-filled base, the small pitcher fits cleanly in the center and is topped by the sake cup.We started with the shrimp spring rolls which are served in a martini glass half-filled with ponzu sauce and cherry tomatoes. The batter was light and the shrimp flavor was pronounced.All the dishes come out piping hot, which I think is why my mom likes it so much.
Following that was the seared ahi and baked red crab with cucumber salad. All the dishes are served on a banana leaf, which adds to the overall presentation. The combination of warm ahi and cold cucumber is a nice juxtaposition.
We ordered one of the specials (opted against the $55 4 ounce Japanese Kobe), white salmon on snow peas topped with carmelized onions. The fish was perfectly cooked with crunchy skin and delicate flavor. The onions were sweet to match the peas.
The Szechuan string beans were very tasty as well, not too oily with a good crunch.
My mom can't end a meal without dessert so we had mango sorbet, four big scoops.