One of the Greatest Things About Napa’s Food Scene
It would be easy to focus on three great things about Eiko’s modern Japanese cuisine with an American twist. First, this is a tight-knit family-owned and managed business; second, this June 24 marks the group’s ninth anniversary; and third, there are now three great locations along 1st Street in Napa.
Owner Rick Zaslove and his daughter, Allison Hallum, general manager, pointed out there’s a significant fourth thing that’s actually the greatest thing about Eiko’s three locations—unbeatable, high-quality, and sustainably sourced seafood.
THE WORLD’S BEST FISH
Rick said, “I love food and I’m a good business guy.” In 2011, those qualities, plus a longtime wish to open a restaurant, came together in Downtown Napa as Eiko’s Modern Japanese.
There’s no mistaking the passion. “We serve only the best of the best seafood,” said Rick. “We’re talking about triple-A grade ahi tuna that’s individually line-caught in the Philippines and creamy, delicious farmed King salmon from the cool, deep water of remote Marlborough Sounds in New Zealand. Our scallops, petrale sole, swordfish, scallops—all meet the highest standards of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch® program around seafood that’s fished or farmed in ways that support a healthy ocean, now and for future generations.”
EIKO’S EXPANDS TO OXBOW
In 2014, Eiko’s at Oxbow Public Market opened their second location at the 40,000-square-foot destination food hall as a full-service seafood marketplace and sushi bar. The new concept introduced several options: seafood by the pound from the retail fish counter to prepare at home, grab-and-go Japanese deli selections, and a sit-down sushi bar, plus Japanese beer and sake to accompany. Classic sushi rolls, fresh poke bowls, seasonal sushi and sashimi offerings are some of the most talked-about menu favorites.
NAPA NOODLES JOINS THE FAMILY
And then there were three. In 2017, along came Napa Noodles, just two minutes’ walk from Eiko’s Sushi Restaurant on 1st Street in Downtown Napa. The casual eatery with dishes priced $11 to $16 has a “super high standard, and the fresh poké bowls are absolutely the best,” said Rick, who added that
he “loves fish but not fish that tastes fishy.” Napa Noodles offers a menu of pan-Asian cuisine that spans dishes from all over the Pacific Rim, plus popular Japanese potstickers and papaya salad. Kakigori is coming as well; it’s a Japanese shaved ice machine that produces a snow-like dessert that “melts in your mouth, like cotton candy,” said Rick.
A SHOUT OUT FOR NAPA
Despite having overcome previous hurdles in the company’s nine-year history—fires and an earthquake included—Allison Hallum and her father are especially impressed with how the coronavirus crisis has brought the community together. “The Napa community is always looking out for one another, sharing resources, and offering emotional support.”
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Article By: Laurie Jo Miller Farr // Photos By: Lowell Downey