365 Restaurants, 2 Kids, 1 Giant Fiasco
I’m a very excited to share with you one of our favorite restaruants in Plano. It’ll be awhile before we return because of this whole blogging thing so I savored every moment…
There is one thing that Mina does not let us forget when we go to Sushi Awaji. Her bento box. This toy is one of the best presents she (we) has ever received! We bring it every time we have sushi. So before we left the house, we all made sure and double sure that we had her wooden sushi.
On a weekday night, it’s not too busy. On the weekends there is sometimes a little bit of a wait, but we have never had an outrageous wait there. We like to sit in the back where we can spread ourselves out and feel a little less conspicuous. Joining us again tonight was Dusty, Ogre’s best friend. Normally, a sticking-only-to-burgers-kind-of-guy, we have converted him to love sushi!
We pretty much know what we want and only sometimes do we stray from our normal order of 3 Mamasan rolls (mine and Dusty specify “mild”, Ogre requests ”extra extra spicy with jalapenos”), a few tunas, a few halibuts, and a few yellowtails. I usually get a tuna roll and shrimp sushi and Dusty likes the albacore tuna. Today, instead of the tuna roll, I had to order a tuna handroll. You see, I was doing research for my Halloween costume. I am going as a sushi handroll!
To start, we ordered a shrimp tempura appetizer, mainly for Mina. Mina gets the chicken kare-age. This dish comes with miso soup. Benjamin can identify the miso soup and knows that he will get all the tofu from it. The kids like the tofu so much that we usually order a second small bowl of tofu pieces for them to graze on through dinner. Anything that is not messy and the kids can pick at the whole meal is a blessing. This is also where the sushi toy comes in to play. We let Mina and Benjamin play with their wooden sushi until the food arrives. They are very content and the three adults can actually have a normal conversation! I only had to speak to Mina in an ultra-strict tone once when she decided to hang off of Benji’s chair, which she knows, but often forgets is a huge no-no.
While we wait on our sushi boat, Mina eats both of the shrimp tempura and starts on her broccoli tempura. Benji eats some of the veggie tempura as well, but his focus is mainly on the tofu and miso soup. Our sushi boat arrives after about 15-20 minutes.
Unfortunately, this is about the time that Benji is becoming disinterested in his surroundings. After all, we’ve probably been in the restaurant for 30 minutes or so. He really would like to get his hands on the sushi boat. His inability to do so makes him very irritated and I must shovel soup into his mouth to get him to piper down. Ogre gives him some crab meat and we discover that he enjoys that. In fact, he likes it so much that he obliges when I instruct him to say “sushi.” Out of my sweet little boy’s mouth, “Suuu.” Bad behavior forgiven. As we tantalize our taste buds with sushi piece after sushi piece, Dusty proclaims he’s done, having left almost half his Mamasan on the boat. Ogre says that is probably because he is full from the one pound burger he had earlier that day and Dusty nods his head in agreement. We let Benji have a piece of the Mamasan roll and he is delighted to be eating sushi like the big folks. Mina then asks for a piece of yellowtail sushi. Ogre and I like this interest in the fish, she has tried and liked the tuna before. She takes a bite plain and likes it. I let her pour herself some soy sauce into her saucer from the ceramic dispenser, which she is very proud to do. She then throws some ginger in there with a splash. Okay, whatever. She dips her yellowtail and takes a bite with the soy sauce. “What do you think?” I ask. No surprise with her answer, “I think it’s better with ketchup.” Okay, whatever.
About this time, Michael Phelps breaks another swimming record and our conversation revolves around their new suits. Sushi consumption is starting to die down. Mina finishes off her broccoli. Great job! The manager, who Benji has always had a soft spot for, comes over to joke with Mina about her glittery Hello Kitty shoes and our waitress brings out special, pre-chopped up pieces of orange for Mina and Benji. There are two toothpicks and she wisely asks if it’s ok for Benji to have a toothpick. No, but I appreciated her forethought. Benji is now in his own slice of heaven.
Mina always gets mango ice cream at Awaji when she eats well and apparently Benji will, too. I asked Mina if she would share her ice cream with Benji and she said no. Fair enough, I’m not going to make her share the dessert she earned. So we order one for Ogre and Benji to share. The manager comes over again to play with Benji as we pay our bill. Ahhhhh, sushi, I love you.
Ogre has been going to Sushi Awaji since his bachelor days and we have tried many different sushi spots. We both think this is the best sushi in DFW. It is very consistent and the fish is fresh. They have your usual rolls and this one unbelievable roll that you have to order if you go. The Mamasan roll. Note that each one of us gets our own. We are incapable of sharing. It is ten pieces of yummy goodness, a shrimp tempura roll wrapped in crab meat with some kind of tasty mayonnaise based sauce on top. Let me wipe off the keyboard, I am drooling as I write.
The kids menu has chicken kare-age, which is deep fried white chicken meat, chicken teriyaki, beef teriyaki and a tempura dinner. Their meal is served on a super cute plastic “koala plate” with rice, fresh carrot and broccoli with ranch drizzled on them, and fresh fruit (typically cantaloupe and an orange slice). It is not hard for us to get Mina to eat well here!
I have always enjoyed the service here. I think the “water guy” has worked here for years. That’s what he does, he makes sure your water glass is full. He even grabs sodas for me once in awhile. The waitresses are all very kind. The waitresses are very attentive and they have never seemed overextended. Most of the staff have been there for quite some time and they always remember us.
Sushi Awaji has excellent food and remains unpretentious. The menu selections can allow for a healthy meal if desired. Most kids don’t eat sushi and their children’s choices are not too “weird.” It’s nice that they thought of providing plastic plates.
The staff is always kind to our kids and other children, I’m sure. In fact, a child at another table spilled his glass and their family was quite upset about it. The waitress went over and told them not to worry, cleaned up, and then made an origami frog for their son. Now that I mention it, they’ve made origami for us in the past. I wonder if we were misbehaving…
Total price: 129.79 (3 adults and one child’s menu item. Uh, yeah, we eat a lot of sushi)
I absolutely have to rave about my family. Anyone who knows me, knows that I would not be able to live my life the way I do without the help of my family. As an on call hospital physician, I have a very unpredictable schedule and am often found at the hospital at all hours of the night. Maybe I am where I am today because when I make strange requests and have outrageous ideas, my parents respond with “Okay, let’s do it!” And so they did when I decided that our family would be sushi for Halloween.
I was double lucky that my grandfather was visiting from Hawaii. He just happens to know how to upholster and sew very well. My dad and he actually called me from Hobby Lobby having found “the perfect fabric.” And it really is perfect, looks just like nori! I searched the ends of the internet and found a nice set of pictures for making a sushi costume that I used to base Benji’s costume on. I have almost completely finished it as of today and am ready to work on mine. The tuna handroll.
Childsplate.com chronicles our journey to find the perfect family restaurant. We are looking for restaurants with excellent food and a great attitude towards kids, even the whiny, cranky ones! We will be headed out to a different restaurant every single day to provide ourselves (and you) with some entertainment and good information about DFW area restaurants. We hope you will visit frequently and use our experiences to create some fun dining experiences of your own! Watch out, DFW, the Phipps family is going out to eat!