Money Cat offers a menu that specializes in "new Japanese" cuisine and beverages, "created with adventurous diners in mind," according to a Jan. 3 news release. The grand opening will feature Lion Dancers and sake tastings.
Guests entering the venue are greeted by a group of golden money cats waving in unison, an image that also calls back to the eatery's name and logo. The dining room features a semi-open kitchen, high-top sushi bar and a pastry station that allows diners to watch as chefs prepare desserts. A private chef's table provides a full view of the kitchen.
The menu is based around Yeung's culinary philosophy of sparking all five senses, according to the release. Staff at Money Cat will be trained to educate diners on the history and preparation of dishes. The phrase "new Japanese" refers to regional American foods experienced by first- and second-generation Asian Americans.
“We didn’t want to offer straight, traditional Japanese food,” Yeung said in a statement. “First, that’s not who we are. We’re part of a new age of restaurants. We’re young and want to do something new that pays tribute to and builds upon tradition.”
Menu items include the Hotate Chawanmushi—steamed egg custard with corn and chive taiyaki—and Chutoro Toast, squid ink milk bread served with burnt honey cream cheese, cured chutoro and dill. Desserts include the Nashi Kakigori, which layers pear milk snow with corn ice cream, compressed Asian pear, honeycomb candy and koji cream sea foam.
The cocktail menu will change seasonally and make use of Japanese tea and produce. Offerings will include new versions of classic cocktails, such as the Japanese Old Fashioned—made with Suntori Toki and black tea syrup—and the Calpico Fizz, a version of the French 75 with sparkling sake and a tangy, milky Japanese soft drink.
Yeung's past culinary work included stints at the Michelin-starred Birdsong in San Francisco and Smyth in Chicago. The chef de cuisine at Money Cat will be Jiolo Dingayan, who also worked with Yeung at Tobiuo and whose past credits include time at n/naka and n/soto in Los Angeles.