Sea Saw chef Nobuo Fukuda's cutting-edge sashimi creations and luxurious omakase dinners have earned him not only legions of devotees, but a prestigious James Beard "Best Chef: Southwest" award. And since the opening of NOCA last August, chef Chris Curtiss has gained a cult following for his stunning crudo dishes and innovative seafood presentations -- along with a "Best New Restaurant" semi-finalist nod from the James Beard Foundation.
Put the two of them in the same kitchen, and you've got NOCA's Crudo Tasting Dinner, scheduled for Thursday, June 25. It's the first installment in a summer series of collaborations with Fukuda, who will also join Curtiss for tasting dinners in late July and late August (dates TBA).
"This is like a dream come true to have Chris and Nobu cooking together," says owner Eliot Wexler, who was an enthusiastic Sea Saw regular long before he opened his own restaurant.
The June event will feature a six-course dinner of all crudo and sashimi, with an amuse-bouche and three courses from each chef, for $78. (The menu will be announced next Tuesday.) There will also be a special 9 p.m. seating for an eight-course omakase dinner, currently limited to eight seats, for $125 (with $50 wine/sake pairings).
Wexler says he's so excited that he's tempted to sit in on the omakase himself.
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The dinner's nearly a month away, but in the meantime, the restaurant is doing another special event, an Heirloom Tomato Tasting Dinner on June 11, featuring tomatoes from McClendon's Select and Duncan Family Farms ($50, four courses): NOCA Heirloom Tomato Tasting Menu with Wine Pairings.doc Interestingly, they'll have tomatoes for sale at the event.