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Entries in Sushi (7)

Tuesday
Jul102012

Miyoshi, Bakersfield

Thursday night, in-and-out of Bako on business. A Thursday in Bakersfield usually means restaurants get their deliveries from LA that day; translation: fresh fish. And Miyoshi had a special, Uni or sea urchin.

While I’m a sucker for the ubiquitous spicy tuna, I also ordered some basic nigiri for my meal and hot tea to wash it all down.  The spicy tuna was what I expected, a good offering, not too spicy and the fish didn’t taste funky as Miyoshi could very well be using older tuna or blood lines so as not to waste anything. Neither was the fish a heavily mayonaised style either. A fine, bulk pedestrian starter.

Upon initial inspection, my unagi seemed to be previously broiled rather than immediately broiled prior to service. I’ve had it both ways and I think I like immediately broiled because it adds a bit of texture to the eel. The flavors were fine, but the texture was limp and temperature was sushi-case cold. Not bad or poorly prepared, just not what I care for with my unagi.

The albacore nigiri was previously seared and peppered before put into the sushi case. The albacore was sliced, placed on rice, garnished with green onion and dressed with ponzu. Solid offering. Once again, I’ve eaten albacore completely raw and slightly seared. Again, like the unagi before, if the chef decides to sear the tuna, then I would rather have it freshly seared rather than pre-seared. Otherwise, just give me the fish raw and garnish and season appropriately.

But of course the highlight was the uni or sea urchin. Uni is one of those that needs to be eaten fresh. Fortunately for me, I was the first one to order uni that evening as the sushi chef eagerly pointed out.

Fresh and lovely, I ordered two rounds. Somewhat briny, mouthfillingly rich and unctuous, uni is not for everyone I realize, but it is for me. There was no way anyone could have screwed this up. Remove uni, place on rice wrapped in seaweed. Serve.

I’d say my overall experience was fine. Everyone was pleasant. While I can quibble about preparation styles and worry about other “Developed-World Problems” in my life, I wouldn’t hesitate to come back to Miyoshi. They did use a caulking gun to pump out their wassabi, which might be interesting if you're a contractor (you @Custom_Drywall). However, I might adjust my ordering style to purely fresh, non-pre-prepared sushi and nigiri fish.

Miyoshi Japanese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Tuesday
Feb212012

Oka Japanese, Fresno

This may be the most brief review I’ve ever done. 

If I had gone to the bathroom to wash my hands before I ordered anything, I would have walked out before eating. Absolutely the most filthy bathroom I’ve seen since I was in a roadside stand in Morocco. I was disgusted. 

No soap in the Men’s bathroom. So I hope to God there was soap in the Women’s restroom as it seems to be all women rolling your sushi. 

Good luck.

Oka Japanese on Urbanspoon

Wednesday
Mar022011

Shogun, Mammoth Lakes

A first for me in Mammoth, sushi in the Mountains; perhaps risky business. I was calculated though, I went on a Saturday night with the assumption that a weekend would bring people from LA and a fresh delivery of fish. I’ll tell you what, a pleasant surprise. I dined at the sushi bar among a full house of hungry diners.

None of the rolls were elaborate, no real showmanship behind the counter either, just efficiency. The spicy tuna was a highlight, made without mayonnaise, rather with Japanese hot pepper; a nice touch. A simple ahi tuna and cucumber salad, while heavy handed with the soy, was flavorful once the tuna was removed from the bath of dressing. A yellowtail and green onion roll was another solid offering. The unagi sushi was simply glazed, rather than dredged in the sweet sauce...bravo.

I was happiest with a sashimi plate of yellowtail and albacore, both with clean flavors. I love albacore to finish. Delicious fish, creamy, and with just a hint of soy and green onion is a favorite of mine. Add one 22oz Kirin to this meal and I walked away a happy man.

If you're craving sushi, there aren't many choices in Mammoth, so who knows when the delivery days are in the middle of summer or what type of volume they do during the week, but on a Saturday in the middle of winter, it's probably a good bet your getting fresh fish and they're busy doing volume.

Shogun Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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Friday
Feb042011

Sushi Bar at JW Marriott, Lima Peru

The Sushi Bar at the JW Marriott was a no-brainer when combined with our late checkout and late flight back to the States. Yes, Americanized, unadventuresome, and pricey by Peruvian standards, but easy.

Peruvian inspired rolls dominated our selections and the ubiquitous Cuzquena filled our bellies nicely. Traditionally wrapped sushi in seaweed and fresh local fish selection, however, the sauces and seasonings were more Peruvian than Japanese. Sauces that we had throughout the trip adorned many of the orders. The only sauce we didn’t care for was a creamy Ranch style blend. I don’t think we had Hidden Valley Ranch at any restaurant in two weeks. I’m exaggerating a bit, the sauce wasn’t Hidden Valley, but it certainly tasted like it. The pace of the meal was great, we weren’t in any rush to get to our flight and the flavor of all the dishes, minus the ranch dressing, was a deft use of fusion. Chef was there experimenting with appetizers and large sharing plates for the upcoming New Year’s festivities, which he was generous enough to share with us.

A good last meal in Peru.

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Thursday
Feb032011

Fory Fay, Arequipa, Peru

Ceviche for Peruvians is serious business and ordered only between the hours of 10am and 2pm. Just like most people’s first trip to Italy and the scorn one receives for ordering a cappuccino after 10am, same goes for ceviche in Peru. Luckily, the hotel clued us in on the local custom. When we entered Fory Fay at 11am, we sat down to a bowl of toasted corn kernels and immediately ordered a Cuzquena. I had high hopes for this place. When I suggested it to the hotel, they encouraged we not go to such a “local” place, which meant we had chosen the right place and obviously authentic.

   

Bowl of Ceviche and I do mean a bowl. Chunks of whitefish (perhaps corvina) shrimp, mussels, and one other crustacean. Plenty of thinly sliced red onion, copiousamounts of lime, and some green perhaps seaweed perhaps WaCatay an indigenous herb that’s has the flavor of both basil and mint. What shocked me was the amount of liquid used to submerge our fish. Almost a soup, the residual liquid from the cure was drinkable, of which I indulged. The addition of seaweed and sweet potato can also be seen. The sweet potato over a different texture and a bit of sweetness to contrast all the acid from the curing liquid.

 

Plate of frito misto or fried fish of the day. The same fish that was in the ceviche with the addition of calamari and an equally generous portion size. Good, clean fry job with nothing over or under done. I happended to like the onion salad a lot; it helped cut the deep fry flavor; although the batter was seasoned slightly. My comparison in recent memory was a small Italian restaurant in Noli, near Finale Ligure in Northern Italy. The fish was simply deep-fried. Fresh fish, hot oil, slightly seasoned batter that dresses the fish but doesn’t over-power it. The Peruvian’s in Arequipa are frying their fish properly.

This was our last meal in Arequipa before we board a flight to Cuzco two hours later. The ceviche and frito misto at Fory Fay was one of the best meals of the trip.

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