Japanese celebrity chef Masaharu Morimoto is getting set to open a second restaurant in downtown Napa called Morimoto Asia, which will focus primarily on Chinese cuisine.
Chef Morimoto's new restaurant, as the Chronicle reports, is set to open within weeks at 790 Main Street — in the same Napa riverfront complex that is home to Morimoto Napa, the Japanese restaurant he opened in 2010 that is one of six across the globe. Morimoto Asia's Napa iteration will be the third location of the concept — others have opened at Disney World and in Honolulu — but this location will be more focused on Chinese dishes than the previous two, as his team tells the Chronicle.
The Napa Valley Register first broke the news of Morimoto Asia back in May, and confirmed this week that it's aiming for a mid-November opening.
"The dishes at Morimoto Asia Napa will showcase my travels, and I can’t wait to bring a little slice of Asia to Napa," said Chef Morimoto in a statement.
At 170 seats, this will be a similarly large and splashy restaurant to Morimoto Napa, and it will highlight dim sum as well as dishes like Peking Duck, Szechuan mapo tofu, orange chicken, and black pepper steak.
The space, formerly home to Fish Story (2010-2014) and Basalt (2016-2020) has been vacant since early in the pandemic, as the Chronicle reports. Morimoto Napa, meanwhile, has enjoyed a solid 12-year run in the base of the Riverfront Residences condo complex, which also opened back in 2010. Former Chronicle critic Michael Bauer reviewed it that year, giving it three stars and giving special praise to the Angry Chicken and the sushi platter.
After making his name in the U.S. at New York's Nobu in the mid-1990s, and becoming a near-instant celebrity thanks to the Japanese TV show Iron Chef and the subsequent American version on Food Network, Chef Morimoto opened his first eponymous restaurant in Philadelphia in 2001. 18 more restaurants have followed, including, Morimoto restaurants in Maui, Doha, and Mexico City, and most recently, his ramen-bar concept Momosan opened at San Jose's Santana Row in September.
The first Morimoto Asia debuted at the Disney Springs resort at Disney World in 2015, and it was followed by a second location in Waikiki in 2018.
Morimoto's second cookbook, Mastering the Art of Japanese Cooking, came out in 2017.
Morimoto Asia - 790 Main Street, Napa - 707-699-1737 - Opening mid-November
Top image courtesy of Morimoto Napa