For Vinomaker's birthday dinner I made reservations at Eiko's, a Japanese restaurant in downtown Napa that opened last summer. Eiko's has received some good reviews in local publications, most notably for their table-side preparation of liquid nitrogen ice cream lollipops. Yes, really.
Eiko's doesn't just offer sushi. Vinomaker and I shared a tasty calamari, with spicy aioli, appetizer. For his entrée, Vinomaker ordered seared scallops, atop a sunchoke puree, which he seemed to enjoy. Both of these dishes paired very nicely with a bottle of 2007 Chimney Rock Elevage Blanc, that we ordered after a little difficulty, which was an unusual blend of Sauvignon blanc and Sauvignon gris.
The decor is rather quite pleasant, though a tad utilitarian, but is unfortunately spoiled by a large flat screen TV that was showing a college basketball game. Sure, a feature like that would be right at home in a sports bar, but Eiko's seems to be striving to be more than just another, average eatery. I could not ignore the TV as my seat faced a mirrored wall that reflected the screen right back at me. Eiko's seems to be a restaurant with an identity crisis, a feeling that was blatantly reinforced by the blaring 80s and 90s rock music. Would madam care for a side of Guns N' Roses with her sashimi? By far, the most interesting feature for me was the koi fish painted on Eiko's otherwise plain cement floor.
Overall the quality of the food was good, however, I would like to offer a cautionary word of warning - hold on to your plate. As Vinomaker took a sip of water, and I gazed out of the window at the trees blossoming on First Street, our busboy breezed in and cleared away the calamari dish without asking Vinomaker if he had finished, which he hadn't. Oh well, it's one way to diet I suppose.