The experience

We had not seen our good friends, Ashish and Reina, in quite some time, so Ashish and I made plans for dinner tonight.  Ogre never believes that we are getting together until we’re actually together.  We were iffy on the restaurant as I thought we’d try a place suggested to me by a colleague, but I could not remember the name of the restaurant, I though it might be Fuse, and apparently there is a Fuse, which Reina had eaten at downtown.  That didn’t sound quite right, but I thought it’d still be fun.  We were still trying to finalize details earlier today and, of course, Ashish was not answering my texts.  We’d already decided on 7:30, so when we left at 7pm, I still had not confirmed with Ashish nor had he returned any of my calls/texts.  Awesome.  FINALLY, I was able to get a hold of him and when I asked if we were still meeting for dinner, his reply was, “uhhhh….yes.”  Hmmmm, turns out he was just getting out of the OR.  Shouldn’t be too much of a problems since they live close and we still had a 30 minute drive.

We found the restaurant and had to circle to find a spot.  Valet was 5 bucks!  We did not have any cash, and I’m glad that we didn’t settle for valet as we ended up finding a spot right around the corner.  How annoying, though, that they chare for valet!  We arrived and were seated right away.  We got the kids settled in and before I could sit down, Mina needed to use the restroom.

The restroom deserves its own paragraph.  The door to the restroom is marked M/W.  You walk in and there is one sink and 4 stalls in front of you.  At the other end is a corridor and a sign that says “Men ->”. Weird, just plain weird.

Ogre ordered an appetizer so the kids could get to eating and that showed up just as Reina and Ashish did.  Mina was very anxious for Ashish and Reina to show up and they did and received hugs from Mina.  I taught Benji their names and told him to say hi and he obliged.

I realized while we were waiting for the Patels that the dish Reina wanted was not on there and she found out that they couldn’t make it.  She was quite sad about that and would have to opt for the Seitan tacos.

After we ordered, Ashish and Ogre took the kids upstairs to check out the rooftop deck and pool.  Turns out the restaurant is in an apartment building.  Again, weird.  At one point, someone walked their HUGE great dane in to get to the elevators!

While the kids were gone, the waiter brought over some crayons and some old menus for them to color, which I thought was very nice.  Ashish colored a picture for Mina, which Mina declared was not good enough and set out to show him how you’re SUPPOSED to draw a lake and mountains.

Ashish coloring

Playing with Ashish

Then Benji wanted Ashish to draw a picture, also, and Ashish did of a ?race car.  Our food came out pretty soon after that so we all dug in.  Mina ate tuna sashimi and Benji ate some of my fried rice.  I gave him one of my rolls because he asked, but he ended up giving it back.

After dinner, Ogre offered me a piece of Mina’s tuna sashimi as she was done.  Unfortunately for me, Benji said, “I want tuna.”  He ate the last piece.  I’m such a martyr.

Mina snuck over to where Ashish and Reina were sitting and pretty much played with them the rest of the evening.  Mina LOVES the attention she gets from them!

Eating with Ashish

Mina and Reina Dancing

Benji was a little jealous and would call out to Ashish, but when he said his name, it sounded more like, “Aw, sh*+.”  Hee hee.  We all got a good laugh from that!

Benji got in on the fun by playing some variant of peek a boo with Reina.  It was super cute.

Where's Benji?

We decided to order dessert and we were so glad that we did.  Our server broke one of the cardinal rules of dining with children, which is to give the utensils to the kid to early.  Once Benji had his, I couldn’t take it away.  He was sticking it in his mouth, dropping it.  Argh.  It took a bit for the dessert to come out, but the kids continued to be entertained and we were all enjoying conversation.

Silver spoon is his mouth

We ate up dessert and we’d paid the bill when a “second dessert” came out.  It was fried wontons filled with dark chocolate.  I don’t like dark chocolate so I (and Benji) did not love it, but Mina did!

Chocolate Ganache Dumplings

We finally decided to head out after one more visit to the crazy bathroom.

 

 

The food

So it’s fusion cuisine: Tex-Asian.

We started with Brisket Dumplings.  The kids and everyone else liked these.  I did not try them. 

Steak and Eggs Fried RiceI ordered the Tiger Shrimp Roll and the “Steak and Eggs” Fried Rice.  The Tiger Shrimp Roll was excellent.  The rice was prepared well and the eel sauce was a nice addition.  The “Steak and Eggs” Fried Rice was just “okay.”  I thought there was too much soy sauce.  Shimp Tempura RollOgre thought it was great (I think that a lot non-Asians like a lot of soy sauce!).  It did come with a lot of tri tip steak though.  Again, Ogre thought this was a good thing, I did not.  I did not think that the ratio of rice to other things was appropriate. 

Yellowtail and Bigeye Tuna Sashimi and Kobe Beef RollOgre ordered a Kobe Beef roll, big eye tuna sashimi and yellowtail sashimi.  He really liked the Kobe Beef Roll (it seared) and the beef had good flavor.  It supposedly had kimchee, but he did not think there was any spice component.  He also thought the sashimi was fresh tasting.  The kids also had tuna sashimi and ate it up!

Seitan TacosReina, unfortunately, could not order the Enchiladas she ordered the last time she was here and was left with its replacement the Seitan and Jack Cheese Tacos.  She thought these were good, but not as good as those enchiladas!

Red SnapperAshish ordered the Snapper, which our server remarked was one of his favorites and has been on the menu for four years.  He did say that he liked it, but I didn’t get much more detail.

The desserts were out of control!!  I ordered the Vanilla Bean French Toast served with bananas and ice cream.  Delicious!!!  They also ordered the Asian Fried Breads, which is served with an orange cream sauce and commented it was excellent.

Asian Fry Bread

Vanilla Bean French Toast Dessert

 

The kids

Not too kid friendly, but they were certainly kid accommodating.  No kids menu and not much to work with on the menu.  Our waiter was kind enough to find some paper and crayons for the kids to color on!

I think it’s probably better to leave the kids at home, but if you brought them and they liked the food, I wouldn’t think you’d be uncomfortable here.

The total: 180 bucks (“it wasn’t cheap” Ogre said) 4 adults and 2 bottles of sake

Mina's artwork

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