The experience

I went to a friend’s baby shower today and one of my children’s favorite people was there, also.  She told me that she had Mina’s present in her car and that after the shower she and her husband were going out to eat.  Since we, of course, were going out to eat, we decided we’d meet up so that Mina could see her.  One of our other friends suggested a sushi joint but it was somewhere unknown to me so I thought we’d try a place suggested awhile back by one of our readers: Sushi Masu.  After the shower, she and I parted ways to meet back up at the restaurant.

Ogre and I packed up the family and brought Mina’s new and not improved sushi (the new one did not come with a lid!) and after making a wrong turn and then a u turn met up with Pia and Will. We all got settled in and Mina was excited to finally open her birthday present from Pia.  She wanted to open it all up right away, but Ogre was able to talk her into putting it away.  She played with her sushi for a bit instead and played with Pia also.

Mina and Pia

 

Meanwhile, the adults tried to figure out what we wanted for dinner.  None of us have ever been here before and the sushi menu is quite lengthy.  By the time you get to the bottom of the list, you’ve forgotten what was at the top.  Will reminded his wife that he is allergic to shellfish and Ogre recalled that I had told him that we couldn’t do seafood or shellfish per special request by Will and asked me why in the world were we eating sushi.  I looked at Pia and blamed her.  She tried to tell us Will was not allergic to shellfish.  I asked Will about it, and believe me, he’s allergic. 

While we were deciding and writing out our orders, Benjamin was TOTALLY flirting with Pia.  I wondered if he thought we were eating with Sarah Geronimo.  It was very cute how smily and bashful he would get.  She came over to sit beside him and he offered her his nasty carrot that he’d been dipping in ranch and eating.  That would’ve ended the romance for me but she took a bite anyway.  Benji was in true love.

Flirting with Pia

Flirting with Pia

 

Ogre took all the orders and then looked at me and said, “Whoa, wait a second.  Did you initial this??”  Well, obviously I had.  I’m a doctor, when I document an error at work, I initial it, it’s like second nature.  He laughed at me and took a picture.  I gave him stinkeye.  He thinks I’m a dork.  All I know is that the guys in Medical Records would be proud (shout out, Rodney and Stan).

Mommy initialing her correction?!

 

Sugar BreadWe put in our order and verbally ordered some Beef Gyoza and some diced cold tofu (like they put in miso soup) for Benji and Pia and I ordered Miso Soup.  While we waited, our waitress brought out some “sweet bread”, which reminded me of a Chinese Doughnut.  I didn’t actually eat mine because I think the soup came out at about the same time.  Of course, Benji wanted “sue” (soup) and kept asking for “mo mo sue” (more soup).  Thankfully, the dumplings came out and Ogre cut some up for him and he expertly ate it with his chopstick (that’s right, he’s so good, he only needs one!).

Benji using chopsticks

 

Food started coming out in a pretty good tempo at this point.  I asked them when we ordered to put Will and Pia’s order on a separate plate and their platter came out next.  Then Ogre’s crazy spicy rolls came out, followed by the sushi pieces and finally my Music Crunch Roll.  After a few minutes, Mina’s beautiful tuna sashimi came out. Ogre took a piece for himself and kept telling me I needed to try it and that it tasted so good.  I’m sure that it did, but as Mina’s mother, I wanted her to eat as much as she wanted so I did not take any sashimi.  Ogre, who is reading over my shoulder is insisting that Mina “gave” him a piece.

Ogre may be telling the truth I wasn’t paying too much attention as he was teaching Mina how to use chopsticks.  She is getting very good at truly eating them with chopsticks without trainers.  She still, for now, typically gives up and just eats with her hands.

DSC_0043

 

Benji started dancing the dance that his Ate Mina (Big Sister Mina) taught him where he points his fingers and swings his elbows back and forth.  I did this with him and he likes to have everyone participate, so he would point to a person and grunt at them until they were doing it, too.  After he pointed at Mina, he pointed at Pia, then Will, then Papa.  He had the whole table rockin’.  The boy was very proud of his control over our table. 

Benji and Mommy Dancing

 

Ogre was very impressed when he looked over to see that Mina had covered her remaining pieces of tuna with ice to keep it super cold.  I looked over to see the fuss and predicted that I would not be trying the luscious sashimi tonight.

Mina keeping her sashimi cold

 

I would be trying their tuna roll though.  I originally did not order this (hence, the correction), but while the Music Crunch Roll was very flavorful, it was TOO SPICY for me -I’m talking my lips were burning!  I needed something inbetween pieces of the Music Roll to cool me down!

Benji ended up eating 3 little bowls of tofu.  I think the waitstaff was impressed by Benji’s enjoyment of the cold tofu.  Mina ate all of her tuna.  Ogre and I did not fare so well.  I left 2 pieces of the Music Roll behind (which Ogre may have eaten) and Ogre did not eat one of his yellowtail sushi

This deserved some dessert so we ordered Mango Ice Cream for the kids.  Benji finished off his and Mina came close to finishing hers.  After we fought a little bit about the bill, we settled our bill and headed home.  It was later than any of us thought and some of us (me) have to work in the morning!

Team Phipps with Pia and Whale

 

The food

Beef GyozaThe food was excellent here.  The beef gyoza we ordered was very flavorful with lots of onion flavor.  Mina had to eat two of them and was disappointed when the waitress removed the vinegary-sweet sauce it was served with too soon.  The were nicely fried with a crisp wrapper.

Tuna and YellowtailThe Nigri sushi was very fresh and tender.  Even though one piece was left behind, it wasn’t for a lack of effort.  Too many of the excellent rolls were consumed, however.

Lots of rollsWill and Pia order quite a few rolls.  They were both impressed with the sushi and will apparently didn’t even want to eat seafood!

 

Music Crunch RollThe rolls were extremely well executed and very creative.  The Music Crunch Roll was very good, but a beware it is pretty spicy.  Ogre thought it was only medium spice, but he’s not a good judge because he enjoys spicy foods. This roll was unique. It had a mix of crab and crunch on top of the roll as a kind of crown.

The tuna roll was an excellent choice to cool down the palate.  The tuna was extremely fresh.

White Dragon and Blazing 151 RollOgre ordered the White Dragon roll which was a yellowtail cucumber roll topped with flounder, miso chili sauce and sliced jalapenos.  It was actually less spice than the Music Crunch Roll once you removed the jalapeno.  The miso chili sauce had a definite miso flavor with a sweet vinegary bite to it.  The fish, again, was very fresh.

He also ordered the Blazing 151 Roll.  It has fried crab with cream cheese also topped with a chili sauce. This was also a very good roll.  Ogre and I don’t even particularly enjoy rolls with cream cheese, which they go a bit heavy on at Sushi Zushi, but this one was very good.  There wasn’t too much cheese and Ogre enjoyed the spice.  It was the hottest roll of the evening.

Tuna SashimiMina’s sashimi was the star of the show.  This was perhaps some of the best tuna.  Ogre was amazed at the texture.  With Nigri tuna sushi, even when super fresh, you can always feel the grain of the meat.  These amazingly sliced ruby red pieces were tender throughout.  Even creamy.  VERY good tuna sashimi.  Mina devoured it.  Sparing a tiny piece for Papa.  She would have given some to me but I took one for Team Phipps.

Mango Ice CreamThe ice cream was typical of your sushi restaurant.  Maybe they all get it from the same place.  It always seems about the same everywhere you go.  But do you really go to sushi for the dessert?

The service

One of the best I’ve ever experienced.  I think he was a manager, but he was very helpful and not in in an overwhelming or pushy manner.  He let us peruse the sushi menu and then came over to help us with recommendations based on what we told him we liked.  They kept the table uncluttered (which is a difficult task with all the items  that we ordered).  When Ogre dropped his chopstick on the floor, he was right there to offer another chopstick.  They kept Benji’s bowl full of tofu and did not even charge us for it.  They were also very kind to the kids and talked to them and did not seem bothered by their presence.  Although, I think the adults might have been louder than the kids tonight.

 

The kids

Definitely excellent food and definitely a kid friendly restaurant!  The restaurant is small and casual and very laid back, there were a couple of other tables with kids and I did not feel uncomfortable here at all!  We did not order off the kids menu, but there was four selections, 3 of which were Japanese and one that was basically chicken nuggets -great for kids. 

This is a great choice for excellent sushi in an unpretentious setting.  We still like Sushi Awaji more for both the MamaSan Roll and their kid friendliness, but this is a great alternative and is very “roll heavy” if that is something that you are looking for.  Ogre and I both like the rolls here over Sushi Zushi, which makes this a great suggestion (Natalie) and a great find!

The total: 159.90 ($30 worth of sake, 4 adults and 1 little girl with a very expensive palate)

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