I first learned of Two Birds/One Stone when perusing The New York Times’ “52 Places to Go in 2017,” which listed Napa Valley, Calif., as No. 31 and gave a shout-out to the yakitori-inspired restaurant.
In that moment, I immediately thought to myself: I need to go there.
Bringing Californian-Japanese-fusion cuisine to St. Helena, Calif., since June 2016, Two Birds/One Stone restaurant is must-stop for visitors to wine country (as well as locals, for that matter).
It’s helmed by an impressive duo: distinguished chefs and good friends Sang Yoon — also known for Los Angeles’ Lukshon and Father’s Office (the latter of which touts arguably the best burger in L.A.) — and Douglas Keane, owner of Healdsburg Bar & Grill, an American comfort food haven in Sonoma County, Calif.
My friend Linda and I feasted with mirth and reckless abandon during our May visit to Two Birds/One Stone. Especially delicious are the savory Japanese pancake with green onion and sambal mayo; the crispy Sonoma duck leg with a “Peking gaze” and plum sauce; and the coconut-milk panna cotta dessert with passion fruit curd and green tea rice pearls. On my inevitable next visit to the restaurant, I plan on adding the wagyu short rib with scallions and Korean barbecue to my sure-to-be-even-bigger spread.
Given its Napa Valley location, Two Birds/One Stone’s wine program is expectedly fantastic. Called “Wines By,” it features exclusive blends from local winemakers, and complimentary corkage is offered on one Napa or Sonoma wine per guest (afterward, corkage is $25 per 750-millimeter bottle and $50 per magnum). However, the cocktails are on point, too, such as the “hot & sour gimlet” made with Monopolowa vodka, Thai chile and basil, lime and “shiso” (mint-like herb).