Given the lack of content, it’s time to wrap things up by giving the inside scoop on what I did during my small vacation as well as a new menu offering…
“It feels like yesterday when I just turned 18… and now I’m this old?.. Fuuuu…”
Probably in two more decades (or quarter centuries), would it be proper for me to reflect on such a trivial age milestone. I’ve gotten past the post puberty stages, worrying about high school classes, getting flush red on my first couple of alcohol drinks to expose my lack of Asian Blush Genetic Disposition. You take it in strides… you’re one year older, wiser and more idiotic than ever before. The once nimble body, solidifies and begins to crack and ache faster than Guile flash kicking his way into Charlie Horse numbness.
As they say it’s all a mental and as long as you feel and think you’re young, you’ll be young. Given the chance to finally have a break from a lot of the overtime work I’ve been doing these past couple of months (minus the work here on this website) I figured one last informal post before I get back into the grind of things.
Sure there’s an error in spelling, but it’s the thought that counts (Thanks Jet!) After thinking long and hard about where I wanted to go for my birthday lunch it finally dawned on me… Sushi Wasabi. Out of all the spots I’ve been to in
South Central Orange County (thanks Judi of Consuming Chow for correcting me) this one has always alluded me due to lack of money, opportunity and/or laziness. Might as well give it a shot since I have nothing better to do on my completely free day off (I stress every single one of those italicized words to this day). As I enter in the Sushi bar, it was a maximum of about 8 chairs (an additional 4-6 in a table setting). I read the sign and it said…
A South Orange County Suit (corporate man) who was already dining needed clarification on the purpose of Omakase. I tried to explaining it to him as Chef’s Suggestion (he insisted it was Chef’s Choice), I thought to myself…oh brother (considering you have options to alternatives, if you are an American eater that’s nit-picky or have allergies to Traditional Asian ingredients -____-).
Ginger, seemed not as fresh but the Wasabi packs a punch to your senses (especially the tongue and sinus reflexes). We started with 10 dishes (with an option to add more dishes beyond the limit if you can afford it). Here’s the progression…
This was a great starter, Albacore, Mackerel and Red Snapper became my least favorite sushi choices, within recent years. However given the time it soaked within the bowl of mixed yuzu sauce, it was moist, flavorful and melted in your mouth, with just the right amount of acidity.
There are several ways you can judge a sushi restaurant. One way is the fish and rice ratio and another is the freshness of the standard trinity of sushi (tuna, yellowtail and salmon). The crimson red tuna, came on the plate. Letting the sushi rest on the tip of my tongue and it honestly made me feel like I was making out with Ariel of the Little Mermaid, ready to break her kissing virginity (…oh yeah Disney x foodie porn images, what you gonna do about that, son?). It was a nice intermission before this dish…
I already mentioned Red Snapper, not being my favorite sushi as of recent. For me it was always inconsistent in texture. Some pieces I ate in the past were pristine in color and smooth in texture. Other times it felt like chewing on 5 month old pasta, coated in a mixture of breadcrumbs and sandpaper, blah. These two pieces weren’t too bad, it had a slight graininess and slowly as I got to the middle interrupted by a silky finish with a bit of spice from the sriracha sauce.
Yelpers, locals and Sushi snobs who have already gone here, have touted, again and again in big fine print… OMG BLUE CRAB ROLL SO FUCKING DELICIOUS NOM NOM…The verdict? Fuck yeah, it was that good… in this picture it was the presentation made it seem like a Japanese inspired Cuban Cigar. Except instead of Lung Cancer, Charred Ash (not ass) and Carbon Monoxide. Think of a really good Seafood Casserole, roll it up with all the best crabs you can find Katamari Damacy style and serve it in hand-roll portions. This dish, made me rediscover my appreciation for Crab. Now I see why fellow blogger and colleague Dru of Dirty Smoke BBQ enjoys munching on king crabs so much.
Seafood and Cheese (two of my favorite types of food groups) usually don’t sit well together for me. Other than cream cheese and salmon (or smoked salmon w/ some lox if your Jewish), are probably the only things I can digest for such an idea. Baby scallops, yuzu and cheese…. not so much. Yuzu worked wonders in breaking the fat consumption, chewy scallops and melted cheese. I think I’ll pass next time…
Yellowtail, like the rest of the essential trifecta of sushi, have always been a favorite of mine. In recent years, similar to lack of spots that serve good quality… my love for it is starting to diminish (kind of like that high school/college girlfriend/boyfriend, that was good at the time, but not anymore). This fish served as a medium in texture and flavor satisfaction. Slightly chewy but not too soft either. Think of it as the referee between and tuna and salmon, with freshly grated wasabi it remains a fan favorite to me, at least for now.
These scallops are what the Dr. ordered… Anthony Bourdain, Alton Brown and any lucky son of a bitch who has the privilege of trying good sushi (especially from Tsukiji Market in Japan, pre-tsunami and maybe post-tsunami) knows what good scallops are. The two pieces on this plate, vanished within a matter of 5 seconds…oh yeah. With the touch of lime to add acidity and the small pillow of rice underneath, this dish is simply godsend. No radioactive preservatives present… at least to my knowledge.
Everyone has a default… shit… I have a default choice when it comes to anything seafood related (especially in sushi). Salmon has (and will always be) the quintessential component of the Foodoofus diet. High in Omega-3 and the cheapest of the trifecta to get Grade-A sashimi slabs of healthy (fatty proportion). Sprinkle some sesame, add a microscopic portion of wasabi and vinegar washed rice… you get the Japanese vanilla. Yup, classic, always hits the spot and remains dear and near to my heart.
Oysters came into my life at a very weird time…watching Cowboy Bebop at the age of 14, I was familiar with the fictional oyster shooter that supposedly (kills hangovers, which it never did at least for me). Enter Kumamoto (said komodo on Yelp.com as the tip, stupid auto correct). Gelatinous, oyster core, mixed with a yuzu sauce… again enter my bowels like the whale from Moby Dick, down the hatch.
Alright, so it’s a cop-out. American endorsed sushi at its finest… however when you pair it with the freshest pile of minced tuna… why the hell would you complain? Add in some vegetables and it makes this meal a lot healthier than a week’s worth of filet o’ fishes from the golden arches.
The last two pieces of this sushi progression meal, I wanted to be an exclamation mark at the end of it all. At the time of this meal, I thought to myself…. fuck yeah, BLUE FIN TUNA hook up. Yes, I’m guilty of contributing to probably 1/1000th percent of decreasing the single Giant Blue Fin Tuna’s survival rate but this isn’t an everyday thing for me (hopefully they’ll find a way to conserve these gems real soon). With that said, instead of getting the fattest cut of this type of Tuna (ootoro aka the underbelly of the fish) which literally melts in your mouth. I ended up getting the lean cut from this jewel of the sea. The total amount for the meal was no more than $75.00 (including tax and generous tip). With the last Benjamin put to good use…
Syrah (Shiraz in AUS) is one of my favorite types of wine. This includes with anything blended with Syrah or Petit Syrah (stemming from a different type of grape varietal blend). Orin Swift has done it again and for good old time’s sake, I might need to get another bottle from Julie of OC Wine Mart or elsewhere (depending on the urgency of the need). The wine is smooth from the beginning, in the middle it has deep flavor and finally finishes smooth once again. How does this winery do it… all from leftover grapes (some of them not being the best in quality).
I believe a final thought to this issue (blog post) whichever you like it as… comes from the name of the O.S. bottle…abstract. I’ve always considered myself an abstract person, both in real life by my peers and by assuming this online moniker for those who aren’t familiar with me. Here’s to living it up to the next 25-50 years of my life, cheers.