5A5 – 5 senses/ the A5 experience (A5 is the highest grade beef in the world!)
I first heard about 5A5 from A, who told us to try it out since we liked Alexander’s in Cupertino. 5A5 was opened by Alexander’s previous Executive Chef and is pretty much a duplicate of Alexander’s. The only main difference is that is doubles as a lounge. Also 5A5′s Wagyu is imported from New Zealand whereas Alexander imports theirs from Japan directly AND the items on the menu are all relatively cheaper than Alexander’s.
After the good reviews, I figured this would be a good place to try out for V’s Advance Birthday Dinner. We made reservations for 8 pm since we were driving from Vacaville after shopping on a weekend.
The restaurant is not as big as I expected and had a very contemporary feel to it. Last seating for dinner is at 9, after that about about 10 pm the restaurant transforms into full on lounge and starts filling up with people and loud music. We were seated right next to the fairly “open” kitchen.
Menu is very well laid out and had just the right amount of description per item.
Dessert & Cocktail menu
Complimentary Bread: Sour Dough & Bacon
Both breads were served warm and were delicious! Great crust with soft centres.
Amuse Bouche : Chawanmushi w Shiitake & Dungeness Crab
Definitely a great amuse! It was a great way to start with smooth savoury steamed eggs with generous amounts of crab and mushrooms. One of the best chawanmushi’s I have tried to date.
3 Hamachi Shots $12
Avocado, ginger, yuzu, tobiko & ponzu
They definitely forgot to note “chilis” in there too! The shot were tasty but definitely had a kick to it. I didn’t get as much avocado but it was still well balanced with great texture. That being said, the fish chunks were in random sizes unlike the even nice chunks that we got in Alexanders’.
Truffle Fries $10
Fries with truffle oil & Srirachi aioli
Fries were nice a crispy with soft centres. It got a tad greasy halfway down the bowl but still very good and addictive. Nice aioli (simple blend of mayo and Sriracha) that complimented the fries well.
Intermezzo: Raspberry Gelee
I didn’t care much for it. Good flavours but odd texture.
Bone in Ribeye w Foie Gras $64
25 oz. Ribeye with roasted red onion & Aged balsamic demi glaze & Seared Foie Gras
The rib eye was a tad disappointing. It was cooked a lot more rare than requested. The fat was still raw and so made it very tough to eat as we had to chew and break down the fat. It was seasoned well and the demi glaze was rich and tasty but the steak was suppose to be the star.
The foie gras was not bad. Not the best quality but still good. Seared well but still had some veins intact.
Colorado Lamb Duo $38
Lamb chops & loin w cranberry gastrique & Shiitake spring rolls
I was surprised that my favourite of the night turned out to be the lamb dish. The lamb was cooked beautifully and was seasoned well. The gastrique was nice and tangy, giving it a nice contrast since the sauce was salty and rice along with the umami packed spring rolls.
The spring rolls were delicious! So crispy and delicate. The filling was a type of shiitake mousse that had texture of ground meat which was a surprise.
Cream Corn $10
Corn w Chorizo, Edamame & Kaffir lime leaves
I was skeptical about ordering creamed corn since I am not a huge fan of creamed anything but this was delicious! It definitely was not your typical cream corn. The corn was still crunchy – sweet, salty with hints of lime. It was refreshingly different but much needed side to the rich meat.
Maitake, Golden Enokitake, Eryngii, Honshimeji w Sherry wine & garlic
I have to say, the sides impressed me all night. The mushrooms was delicious as well! I loved the variety and how simply prepared it was but seasoned so well. Great accompaniment to the meat.
Mac & Cheese $9
Macaroni w Gruyere, Mozzarella & Cheddar
To be honest, I am not a Mac & Cheese girl. I found this to be OK – it just taste like the average mac & cheese. That being said, the other 2 diners thought it was excellent.
Creme Brulee $9
w Pecan Praline & Toasted Phyllo
I was very disappointed with the creme brulee. Presenation was great – it came with a nice tuile that was heated with the torch at the table. That was the only good part of the dessert. The brulee was not smooth nor creamy – it was lumpy and egg-y. It didn’t help that dessert was disappointing AND I didn’t get served the dessert I ordered and the bill came.
Nicholas Fullt te Brut Rose $16
Cht L Aulee $10
Total Damage: USD$259 (Including tax & tip)
Personal Rating: 3.25 out of 5 ( Good)
I was pretty torn when it came to deciding what the final rating was. Food was good but service was dismal.
After getting seating at about 8.20 pm, our orders were not put in till 8.50 pm (I have proof in the receipt). We waited forever for our server to appear and had to flag down other servers to get him. And when we finally got him and ordered; bread came but waters and drinks did not get to us for another 15 minutes (again, we flagged down a different waiter for waters). I would have been more patient if it wasn’t for the fact that I was starving!!
We got our mains at bout 9.35 and by then we were so hungry, we filled up on bread and truffle fries so we barely got to enjoy the mains and left more than 50% of each on the plate.
Also, I walked up to our server after we ordered to inform him that I wanted to order the 7 degree dessert with a “Happy Advance Birthday to V” but he ends up remembering the Birthday part (not the name nor the dessert) on a complimentary dessert (We appreciated it but we never got the dessert we requested!).
If the service were better, the whole experience would have been better and I would not have been disappointed with the meal.
244 Jackson Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 989 2539