The experience

DSC_0107Tonight I was in the mood for Sukiyaki.  I remembered driving by Umeko on the way home from Ferrari’s the other night and thought we’d try that.  I drove home to get Ogre and had to remind him that dinner with his family was more important than work, so we dragged him with us.  We pulled up and found a friendly sign that said $1 sushi on Monday and Tuesday night.  Perfect, it’s Tuesday night.  We were seated right away at a booth in the corner.

We plugged Benji in to his seat and Mina wanted to sit next to Papa.  We looked over the menu.  I looked over it twice.  No sukiyaki.  I whined about it and Ogre again told me that we should go to Awaji and eat it there (I always argue that I won’t be able to order it because I cannot forego the Mamasan roll and other sushi).  I decided I’d go for sushi here, too. 

Mina was busy drawing on the back of the sushi menus.  Looks like we’d need that back.  I dug through my purse to find paper Mina could write on while Ogre and I counted up what we’d order.  Mina made it clear that she wanted to write in the order.

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Meanwhile, Benji was pretty content to play with his Go Diego Go Field Journal. 

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I was surprised to find a “Mamasan roll” on the menu!  Could it be…?  I read the description and it was just like the one at Sushi Awaji.  How weird and interesting, we’d definitely be ordering this.  It was even a little cheaper here than at Awaji.

We decided to order some pan fried dumplings, soup and salad to start and then filled out our sushi menu and turned it in.

We got the soup (me) and salad (Ogre) and I pulled out all the tofu from my soup for Benji and put in a on a little plate.  I swear that by the time I turned around to drink more soup he was done and asking for more.

I asked the waitress if we could have more of the silk tofu and she obliged with a nice big bowl of it.  Mina actually wanted some, too, so it worked out very well. 

Pretty soon after, the dumplings came out.  Benji instructed me to cut his, which I did and he devoured it.  The kids ate so much that we had to order a second batch (Ogre and I each only had one!). 

Our sushi nigiri also came out, but not the rolls.  This is a problem for me because one thing I love about eating sushi is the variety and eating one of each kind.  Ogre makes fun of me for strategizing and rationing.  I ate one of each nigiri that I ordered and then just waited.  During this time is when we ordered the second set of dumplings and I even asked the waitress if they were working on the rolls, she assured me they were, but I have a feeling they weren’t from my sushi chef vantage point. 

The kids were enjoying themselves though because they got their tuna sashimi.  Benji said, “want dat one” and pointed to Mina’s sashimi so I cut some up for him and added it in with his bowl of tofu and dumplings.  He liked that, too!

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Mina told us that she was sad that she did not have her “Chinese Girl” chopstick trainers with her, but she really doesn’t need them, she’s already very adept at using chopsticks.

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Benji fancies himself a great chopstick user as well.

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He then pointed at Ogre’s little soy sauce bowl and said, “want dat one,” so we asked the waitress for one and I gave him a little soy sauce.  He enjoyed dipping his tuna in it.  Meanwhile, dollar signs are flashing before me as I realize how many more years of sushi eating our family has ahead of us and my two children ordering tuna sashimi everytime.  Ack.

We finally got our rolls and these were quite tasty.  Ogre and I wondered about this Mamasan roll.  Was it “stolen?”  Is it the same owner?  Are the owners related?  Did a sushi chef “bring” it from Awaji?  We did have one answer though and that was that it was not better than Awaji!

By the time we got our rolls, the kids were pretty much done with dinner, Mina retreated to playing her DS and Benji just kept being cute (asking me for hugs) and then not so cute when he started to scream for no apparent reason at the top of his lungs (not crying/screaming, just screaming).  I swear that the restaurant got quiet after he screamed before going back to its previous level of conversation. 

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Once we had sufficiently annoyed everyone in the restaurant and could not eat another piece of sushi, we settled the tab and headed home deciding that sushi is just too expensive to risk it not being great. 

 

The food

Sushi and Japaneses entrees -except Sukiyaki.

We ordered the pan fried dumplings.  The kids loved this, so much so that we had to order a second batch.  I thought that they were pretty average, nothing special.  Ogre thinks the kids liked them so well because they were pretty mild in flavor, nothing strong.  They were fried to a golden brown with a nice crispness to them.

I had the miso soup, which was average and Ogre had the Salad with Ginger dressing that he thought was “okay.”  He liked it better at Tomo.

DSC_0103The nigiri sushi was average (tuna, eel, yellowtail, and shrimp).  We ate on a Tuesday where it was $1/piece -definitely worth the price if that makes sense.  The kids had the tuna sashimi and it was very good, but I would say average for sashimi. 

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We ordered the Mamasan roll (shrimp tempura and avocado roll topped with crab meat and spicy mayo), which was good, but not as good as what I believe is the original at Sushi Awaji.  It’s hard to put my finger on the differences, but I know that the orange colored mayo topping has a better flavor at Awaji and perhaps it’s the proportion of ingredients that make the difference.

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We also ordered the Legacy Roll (spicy yellowtail and avocado roll with jalapeno and siracha on top), which was above average as far as rolls go.  Nice spice and flavor to it.  The best part of the meal.

 

The service

Service was pretty good tonight.  I’m not sure if we were actually assigned a server as we had all kinds of people bringing things, refilling things, but it didn’t seem to matter and any one of them was attentive to a request.  The hot foods came out at a quick tempo and the nigiri was soon to follow.  It took quite a long time for the rolls to come out, which I attribute to the decent crowd in the restaurant, but not great when you’ve got kids.

 

The kids

 This spot isn’t really kid friendly, no kids activities or kids menu, but it’s a sushi restaurant.  What can one expect?  It was laid back enough that I certainly did not feel uncomfortable with the kids, even when Benji was screaming at the top of his lungs.  And, our kids LOVE this place.  (Although it made a pretty expensive night out with the kids!)

The sushi here was average.  The tuna sashimi was average for sashimi and above average (as one should expect) for tuna.  We will choose other restaurants over this one when we want sushi, but it’s not a bad choice.

The total :74.30

 

Rants, Raves, and Ramblings

So, I always get this song in my head when I think about sukiyaki, and at this point, this is how I feel…

Sukiyaki (It’s all Because of You) performed by Three Plus:
its all because of you, I’m feeling sad and blue
you went away and now my life is just a rainy day
and i love you so how much you’ll never know
you gone away and left me lonely

untouchable memory
seem to keep haunting me
now the love so true that’s what turned all my gray skies blue
but you disappeared all my eyes are filled with tears
and I’m wishing you were here with me
I’m soaked with love all my thoughts of you
now that your gone i just don’t know what to do- ooooh

if only you were here you’d wash away my tears
the sun would shine once again you’ll be mine o mine
but in reality you and i will never beee
cause you took your love away from me

talk: girl i don’t know what i did to make you leave me
but what i do know is that since you’ve been gone there’s such an
emptiness inside im wishing youd come back to me

if only you were here you’d wash away my tears
the sun would shine once again you’ll be mine o mine
but in reality you and i will never beee
cause you took your love away from me
oo baby you took your love away from… meee…

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