So, Jodi and Ann came up with the idea that instead of going out for lunch, that it would be a blast to go out for dinner to catch up. (For those of you playing the home game, Ann no longer works at Wizmo)
It was decided that we'd go to "Origami":http://www.origamirestaurant.com, Ann's favorite sushi restaurant in the Twin Cities. We ended up going to their new "Origami West" in the Ridgedale Mall. We arrived and immediately you could tell this was a sushi place, you could see the sushi bar, the ultra-modern interior.
Upon being seated, Ann polled the table to see who was "in" for sushi. Jodi was unable to have sushi, Jason didn't want to try it, so Jim, Ann and myself went in on it together. Ann recognized one of the chefs, explained she had, "One rookie, one not-so-rookie and herself," knowing that the sushi chef already knew her likes and dislikes.
Denver, our waiter, took our drink order...Jim started off with some warm _Saki_, Ann and I split a bottle of the _Casa Lapostolle Sauvignon Blanc_ which was a very good choice. Jason ordered his Teriyaki Chicken, Jodi her Mushroom platter, which included portabella, enoki, oyster, straw and black mushrooms, saut�ed with garlic butter, soy sauce and a splash of sake.
I was a bit unsure if I wanted to go in on the sushi with Ann and Jim. I had sushi before on a business trip. Granted, it was in Provo, Utah, but I was told it was the best place in town. I tried it out there, found it very unappetizing. But, I considered, Ann likes sushi and since this is her favorite place I should give it another try.
While we're waiting for our food, they bring out some _Eda Mame_, otherwise known as boiled young soy beans in the shell, lightly salted. A very good snack while we waited.
Everyone's food arrives. The sushi plate is placed between the three of us, Ann begins to explain the preparation. Poor some soy sauce into the bowl, mix in a bit of wasabi to taste, use it to dip things if you like. The first plate was _sashimi_, in other words, everything was raw, no rice, just the meat nicely arranged with some fresh herbs, lemons, etc as garnish.
|I first tried the _Ama Ebi_, or Sweet Shrimp. They were still completely raw, just like everything else on the plate. You pick one up, put it on your _hashi oki_, your "plate" so to speak, and rip the meat from it. Coil it up, pick it up with the chopsticks and eat! It really did live up to its name, a bit sweet on the tongue, nice feel. After you finish, you place the head/body skeleton on the side with the others, and then send it back to get deep fried. (More on that later)|
Then Ann suggested I go for the _Maguro_, or Tuna, next. I tried two different types, a _Toro_ which is fatty, comes from the belly of the fish, and _Yellowfin_, which was less fatty, much redder, comes from I seem to remember the back. Both of them were good, I preferred the redder, less fatty variety, but I'd have both again. (Shown here with rice, although ours was just the meat)|
||After this, Ann suggested moving onto the _Hotate_, or raw scallops. Her serving suggestion was to take one of the lemon garnish and work some of the lemon juice out of it with my chopstick to flavor the scallop. I did, and it was OK. Not my favorite of the plate, in fact, I let the remaider of the scallops be split between Ann and Jim.|
|Then I tried the _Tai_, or Red Snapper, the _Hirame_, or Halibut, and the _Saba_, or Mackerel. All of them were OK, I was impressed with the variety of mouth feels, tastes, etc. Some of them were fishier than others, but I managed to like each one of them once I got a bit braver about using some of the garnish on my plate to moderate some of the fish taste.|| |
By now, the bottle of wine was gone, so I ordered a glass of the _MacMurray Ranch Pinot Gris_. This was a *VERY* good wine.
Also about this time the deep fried _Ama Ebi_ skeletons came back. Ann convinced me to try mine, even though it still had all of its tentacles, eyes, etc. But, true to what she said, it was just like a potato chip. I even had half of Jim's when he didn't want his.
Once we finished off the first plate, Jim ordered some Spicy Tuna Rolls and Ann ordered a Crunchy Roll. This was a pretty good dish. It consisted of a roll of rice containing shrimp tempura, cucumber, and spicy mayonnaise wrapped in _Masago_, or Smelt Roe. It was pretty good. First time I had Smelt Roe (eggs), they were really sweet in the mouth. Yum.|
The night was filled with fun conversation and laughs. I had a great time. Even though I don't think it will start me on the road to sushi lovin', least next time I go I will know what I prefer, so I can enjoy the experience.