As an aperitif, I choose Jizake Tenzan Genshu from the nine-item sake. It is bold and rich, with a palate of toasted rice scented with caramel. It pairs quite well with Chef Matsu's Special, seared big eye tuna topped with micro mixed salad, chili ginger sauce, and green scallion oil ($28).
Next, I try three whites with the highly recommended seafood sunomono. This dish is seasonal sashimi (today it included shrimp, octopus, salmon, and vinegar-soaked cucumbers) with Taz Chardonnay (Santa Barbara), Dog Point Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough, New Zealand), and Dr. Thanish Riesling from Germany's Mosel region. You will find the best pairing is the Sauvignon Blanc (the sharp, pink grapefruit and citrus flavors of the wine match the sharp, clean sunomono), though I appreciated the contrast between the rich, honey and yellow-fleshed fruit flavors of the off-dry Riesling.
Now the delicious Tom Yum Goong Soup (hot, sour, spicy prawn soup with shimeji mushrooms, $14) is made to order. Patrons can choose a spiciness level from one to five. I choose the hottest level, which is a mistake when it comes to wine pairing. Why? One's tongue is so on-fire, beer is the best possible pairing, and you will find six beers/ales on the menu.
As an entree, I encourage you to try Steamed Rockfish with ginger and scallions (market price). It is a whole white-fleshed fish, steamed with the scent of ginger and scallions, and quite toothsome. It was a great match with both the Sauvignon Blanc and the Chardonnay. As an experiment, I also tried it with the Cloudline Pinot Noir from Oregon's Wilamette Valley. This is the best pairing if you like a red wine with fish, yet I must admit that this medium-bodied red overwhelmed the subtle flavors of this incredibly delicious fish.
The Pinot Noir is best paired with the Thai Beef Salad, ($18) a generous and lively presentation of various exotic lettuce and beef in a chili mint dressing. Red wine lovers will also find this salad substantial enough to pair with the Northstar Melot from the Napa valley, with its rich fresh berry flavors, and the Joel Gott Cabernet Sauvignon, which is lighter than the typical California Cab.