Tuesday, April 25, 2006

my friend toro

My brain is fried. Life suddenly became very busy. I'm going to ignore it all though and blog instead. I feel like my poor blog has been neglected lately. I have a backlog of things I need to report, but it'll have to be over the course of the next couple of days.

Last week, AB came to San Francisco with her friend C. She and I use to be in the same group when I worked in Kentucky. I met up with them and we ran around San Francisco. I'm sure they won't want to visit me again after I had them climb the hills around Lombard Street. ;)

I talked to AB before she arrived and she said she was up for sushi. My immediate thought was Hama-Ko. I was excited. It's a mom and pop shop in San Francisco with very few seats, and they apparently serve up hard core sushi. No frou frou rolls or anything like that. We were set. Then the day that we were suppose to meet, it occurred to me, I should ask them if they really like sushi. I'm really glad I asked because it turned out they don't like anything weird. I did some research, and settled on Takara Japanese Restaurant in Japantown. It was named one of the top 100 restaurants in San Francisco by some magazine. I wasn't sure if that was a good or bad thing.

After our adventures on trolley cars and Lombard Street we met up with Mr. Cupcake for dinner. Takara is located in the Miyako Mall on the second floor. It was Thursday night, and we were seated immediately. I was excited when I saw mochi on the appetizer menu. We ordered it and also some tempura as a safety dish.

The mochi was very different than any other mochi I've had before. It probably means it was authentic. The mochi (white pile) was stringy but very soft and almost delicate. I didn't really like it at first, but I had to say it grew on me. The sauce was soupy and savory, but I don't remember what it was. No one else really cared for the mochi. I'm not sure if I'd order it again. Ask me in a week.

The tempura was pretty standard. There were three pieces of shrimp, a carrot, zucchini, onion, and green beans. The overall serving size seemed small.

For the main event, we ordered a variety of sushi. Here we have spider roll, omelet, salmon, toro, shrimp, halibut, a ton of California rolls, and a spicy tuna roll. Toro is my absolute favorite sushi. My favorite way to have it served is when it comes with a thick slice of toro, a piece of seaweed, and a bowl filled with sesame oil with sea salt. I only know of one place that serves it that way, and it's amazing. Most places I've been to serve it on rice. This place was no different. I think the piece I ate had a bone in it. Whatever it was, it was too hard to eat. I was a bit put off but I will always love my friend toro. The spider roll (deep fried soft shell crab) was also weird. There were a bunch of herbs that overpowered the soft shell crab. AB enjoyed the omelet (cooked egg on rice). I don't think I've ever seen anyone order omelet before until that night. No one else was up for the challenge, so we left both pieces for her.

Once all the sushi was gone, we ordered more. I forgot to take a picture though. We ordered scallop, more toro, tuna, and another spicy tuna roll. This time the toro didn't seem super fresh. At this point, I felt like my friend toro was testing my love. No worries, though, I'm fiercely loyal. I was happy with the scallop though. The translucent color and texture grosses Mr. Cupcake out. I find that it's so soft and lovely. And besides, it's the marshmallow of the sea! How can anyone not like it?!

Our total bill was just under $100 before tip. It wasn't anywhere near the best sushi ever. However, it was fun to gossip with AB, so it was still an enjoyable evening. I doubt I will go back to Takara anytime soon because there are so many sushi places to try in San Francisco. AB, come back and I promise I won't make you climb the hills of San Francisco again.

Hooray for free cone day! I went to Ben and Jerry's today. Twice. I went once with Mr. Cupcake, R., and K., and then a second time with a recruiter. Oh sweet gluttony.

More reviews are to come. I had an eventful weekend and some really amazing food. Stay tuned.

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