Promise I’m back! Featuring Sushi Kashiba

Sorry for the realllly long hiatus! I’m happy to say that I’ve finally graduated from pharmacy school and am officially a licensed pharmacist! ūüôā Now I can afford to pay for more delicious¬†outings and adventures. To start off this great come back with a bang… I’ll share¬†my anniversary dinner at Sushi Kashiba. The owner of Sushi Kashiba, Shiro is an apprentice of Jiro, a world renowned sushi chef in Japan (owns Sukiyabashi Jiro, a 3 Michelin starred sushi restaurant and in¬†the documentary, Jiro Dreams of Sushi). This restaurant is located next to Pike’s Place Market in downtown Seattle. Only open for dinner¬†(5-10pm). They do take reservations, however the sushi bar is first come first serve.¬†The bar consists of 14 seats, however the first 6 seats is where Shiro serves his guests. We arrived around 4:20 pm on Sunday and there were already 3 people waiting in line. Yessss! We’ll get to be served by Shiro (if he’s working that day). About 15 minutes before opening, another person joins the first guy in line. My bf says to me “hey.. isn’t that guy in Jiro Dreams of Sushi? It’s the guy I just read an article about! The tamago guy!” Lo and behold it sure was! Daisuke Nakazawa! He was¬†trained by Jiro AND Shiro! He now has his own restaurant in NYC… and turns out he was only sitting 3 seats away from us.. *gasp*

Sorry for that super long winded intro but onto the next!

Atmosphere: The restaurant has a very modern feel that is spotless. As I mentioned above, there are 14 seats at the sushi bar and several tables in the restaurant. It’s very well lit, clean, with a nice overlooking view of Pike’s Place.

Pricing: We did omakase, essentially leaving it up to the chef to choose¬†for us. There is no set price and is really dependent on how much you eat. You can let the chef know when you’re about 80% full and they will serve you their final piece. We went the whole 9 yards and finished the entire course which ended up to be about $125/pp.

Service: There were plenty of servers perusing the restaurant to refill your water even at about half empty. The real service is provided by the sushi chefs. What really made our dining experience special was our interactions with Shiro. He provided context behind the fish and even cracked some hilarious jokes himself!

Food: warning – photo dump!
sny00132Seated at the bar facing Shiro smiling with Daisuke (in the blue jacket)

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The rest of the seats to our left.

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Seated right in front of Shiro!

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And we’re off! We ate right to left, but I’ll name in order from left to right.
Tuna galore: blue fin zuke (marinated), blue fin belly, blue fin, albacore. My favorite would have had to been the fatty belly that melted in my mouth ūüôā

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Salmon trio: seared king salmon belly, king salmon onion, and sockeye salmon with lemon and sea salt. My favorite would have to be the salmon onion. Great flavors that also had a nice texture of firm and fat. The sockeye had a little bit too much wasabi and it went up my nose so much! Whoa!

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Amberjack kanpachi and hamachi (yellowtail). Kanpachi was my favorite of this duo. Bright flavors!

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Live spotted prawns there were definitely moving… Shiro said “sayonara time!” and killed these bad boys for our eating pleasure.

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5 minutes later… we have a tempura shrimp head and prawn nigiri. He told us we had to eat the whole head, even the legs. The texture was not too crunchy and crispy enough. The nigiri¬†had an amazing texture!

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Seared scallop and geoduck. He said the geoduck can live to be 120 years old and said this one was 80 years old… Then said “jking I actually have no idea,” lol. I’ve never had geoduck so I’m not sure how to gauge it. The scallops were great and super tender. The geoduck was a little tougher/firm and even slightly crunchy.

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Negi toro hand roll! Shiro¬†told us it’s not a French restaurant and to take huge bites.. (max 2 bites!) Delicious! Especially with the crispy seaweed.

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Sea bream, flounder fin, and flounder. The flounder fin was tasty and slightly seared. Shiro said you can only get about 8-9 pieces from one flounder fin.

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“Mackerel festival” is what Shiro called it. King mackerel from Florida, Norwegian mackerel, pickled herring from Alaska, and Spanish mackerel. My favorite was the Norwegian mackerel which actually had an herb underneath it to accentuate the flavor. My bf asked what kind of herb it was. Shiro responds “shiso leaf, Japanese marijuana, okay to use in Washington..” lolol

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King and snow crab. First time trying either of these sushi style and we ate the R to L.
“Man this snow is really good….” 10 seconds later. “Omg I think the King might be even better”
“Also I’m really full.. when does this end?!”

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Shiro: what’s octopus called in Japanese?
Us: tako!
Shiro: it’s tako time!
Tako on the left and squid on the right. Squid’s texture was much tougher, similar to the geoduck. The tako was quite tasty with the seaweed piece and firm yet melted in your mouth. The couple next to us is about to tap out (we continue to power through although struggling) and Shiro says the next one is eel and then tamago! They say okay okay let’s do it.

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One of my favorites is eel and this was prepared in such a unique way! Tempura eel with sesame seeds. Shiro calls it “pre-dessert.” Delicious and not at all spiny.

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Tamago! Okay I definitely couldn’t eat this in one bite. Sorry I had to split it. Nice sweet egg to finish on.

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Sushi Kashiba is located in the alley way to the right. Gorgeous night in Seattle!

Overall: Without a doubt, one of the best dining experiences in Seattle. I didn’t really know what to expect as Jiro seemed so stern and serious in his documentary. I read it’d take about 2 hours for the full omakase and it sure did. This is definitely an experience sitting at the sushi bar. If I did omakase at a table, the experience would have totallly been different.. even being served by another chef at seat #7 would have been different. Like I said, we were so lucky and the odds were in our favor for being served by Shiro near the great Daisuke! Get in line early! It’s so worth it ūüôā

Sushi Kashiba Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Super sick!

For our anniversary dinner (I know a lot of celebrating this month), my boyfriend and I went to Super Six located in Columbia City. I was really excited for this because the chefs of Marination Station were behind this excellent asian fusion creation. We went on the 2nd night it was open and there was about a half hour wait for the two of us. It definitely got packed as the night went on.

Atmosphere: The owners took over an automobile shop on Hudson. This spot has a ton of outdoor seating. There is quite limited seating indoors. Not sure how that’ll turn out when it gets colder. The restaurant’s core¬†features a bar with several tables surrounding it. The bar is open seating if you could snag a seat.

Pricing: A little more pricy than Marination Station, but still has a great Hawaiian fusion element to the food. Small appetizers range from $5-12, larger entrees range $14-21.

Service: Our waitress, Jasmine was really enthusiastic and did such a great job of being attentive to us. She has a lot of energy and represented the restaurant really well. She made great recommendations for us.

Food:
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Kalbi short ribs with scallion salad: nice flavor to the kalbi that wasn’t overpowering. The salad was a little too spicy for my liking but it was a nice touch to the dish.

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Kalbi pork belly musubi: whoaaaaaa this melts in your mouth like no other! I think they could put a little less rice and maybe a tad more sauce, but overall it was so delicious.

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Korean fried chicken with Char siu sauce. They have two other sauces – ono and spicy korean, but I was warned that the spicy was quite spicy so I tried this. You can try all three sauces for $24! This was $9.

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Pineapple Thai-Basil soda – great flavors! It came out a little late, but it was worth the wait. Nice punch with the acidic pineapple and you can really taste the basil, but it wasn’t too overpowering.

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Aloha fries – kalua pork, kimchi mayo, scallions, and fried egg. The kalua pork is a little too salty, but when you break the yolk and really eat it all together, the yolk smooths out the saltiness of the pork. I wish there was more of the kimchi mayo sauce because that was also superb.

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Lomi lomi tomato salad with fried Maui sweet onion and shiso. Nice bright tomatoes that was basically the definition of fresh. Can’t go wrong with yummy onion straws.

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We kind of went a little wild with the dessert. This is the lilikoi chiffon pie with haupia and tapioca. This fluffy dessert melted in my mouth and did not have a hint of heaviness. If this is what clouds tasted, this dessert would be it.

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With caramel drizzle!

IMG_3196Super six sundae – passion fruit caramel with red velvet. Blasting with flavor and sweetness. I would probably choose the pie over this. They also have masalada donuts that were quite tempting…

Overall: I think this is a great location for a new restaurant. I feel like Columbia City is really growing with business and life. There’s a huge PCC a couple blocks down and Salted Sea that has also recently opened. I think the chefs of Marination Station really made a smart move. The restaurant was definitely busy and constantly packed! Everything on the menu looked good and honestly I would try every single dish if I could. I’m happy they’re in the neighborhood. We also made a suggestion for to-go desserts!

Super Six Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

L-yay –> L-wee

Hi all! I’m so so sorry I haven’t posted in a while, but I’ve been a little busy with work, rotations, and catching up with friends to post but I finally managed to have some time to blog! This post will be a little bit different and feature a collection of places I visited over my trip to LA and Vegas. I hope you enjoy my quick snippets ūüôā

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Snow Monster: Located in Santa Ana, this charming dessert place features a number of delectable items. Mango shave ice with mochi and strawberry, thai tea boba with tapioca in an enormous mason jar that you can pay to keep, and a fruity pebbles macaron with a scoop of taro ice cream in the middle. Cutest collection of desserts one could concoct.

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LACMA: Urban lighting! Free to look at, located right off the street.

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Brodard’s: Another place in Santa Ana to visit. These special spring rolls include lettuce, carrot, special grilled pork sausage, crunchy outer egg roll shell, cucumber, chives, rice paper, and special house sauce. These unique spring rolls are no where else to be found!

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Popbar at Anaheim Packing District: You’ve probably seen this all over Instagram. Left: strawberry gelato bar kit kat style. Right: Green tea gelato kit kat style. Delicious¬†gelato that’s dipped in chocolate and toppings and made right in front of you. Expect a little bit of a line! This hipster building features other delicious foods with different backgrounds. You’re bound to find something you like here.

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Samurai burrito: There’s a lot going on in this picture. Featured up close and personal are the Samurai super nachos – deep fried wonton crisps topped with crab, salmon, tuna, eel, masago, green onions, furikake, and rooster sauce. VERY filling and definitely shareable between at least 4 people. In the background are a collection of different sushi burritos. The one that I got was the geisha (right most) – salmon, sliced green onion, cucumber, crab mix, and shibu-yu house mix.

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Shake Shack: Finally a Shake Shack on the West side! This is located at the New York New York Hotel. This is a picture of the shack stack. The deep fried portion is of a mushroom filled with American cheese. It’s quite delicious! They also have other burgers but this is by far my favorite. They’re also known for their custards. Lots of different things to try on the menu!

Hopefully you’ve enjoyed the food highlights of my trip and if you get a chance, to visit them yourself! Have a lovely week everyone!

Easter brunch at Ma’Ono!

I’ve been to Ma’Ono before they became Ma’Ono and was excited to return for brunch (they were formerly¬†known as Spring Hill). We tried making reservations but it was completely full, but they had open bar seating. There were 5 of us and it seated 8 so we tried for that. We arrived a little earlier before they opened (9:30a) just to ensure we’d get seated. This restaurant is located in West Seattle just down¬†the street of the infamous Bakery Nouveau.

Atmosphere: The first thing I noticed were the pretty light fixtures in the middle of the restaurant. They have a ton of tables, good for large and small parties with booths along the side. There were 2 or 3 large tables that were for sharing or larger groups. We sat at the bar which was at the corner and had seating for 4 on each side.

Pricing: Brunch items were on average ~$13. They’re known¬†for their bottomless mimosas for $12!

Service: The bartender was always there so service was quite fast if we needed anything.

Food:
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Fatty saimin – everything I could ever want in my saimin. Soft boiled eggs, fish cakes, nori, cabbage, BACON, and pulled pork. Delicious flavor!! Not too salty either. This is a really big portion and you will definitely be full by the end of this dish. I just wish there was a little more broth.

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Pork loin ham benedict – I thought overall this was an okay dish! Everything was done well technique wise – poached eggs were runny, nice hollandaise sauce, crisp english muffin, flavorful potatoes, smokey ham. However, I was just not wowed with it. I mean it was good! Don’t get me wrong, but it wasn’t mind blowing.

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Apple malasadas with vanilla cream and cinnamon sugar. This was definitely a wow! Chunks of apples were inside the donuts and the flavors were all there. I would highly recommend trying this if you come.

Overall: To be honest, it was a little difficult trying to pick a more traditional breakfast dish. I resorted to the saimin (as my back up) because I wasn’t really feeling the other items. I’m not sure how good they are, but I feel like they could add more breakfast items to their menu. However, I was still really happy with the saimin because it was that good. They are known for their fried chicken, so I would definitely try that next time. (Reservations are recommended!)

Ma'ono Fried Chicken & Whisky on Urbanspoon

The complete Portland meal

If you’re ever in Portland, you have to try these two places. They’re within a block of each other. I know nearly everyone has heard of Voodoo Donut’s. They’re known for their crazy donuts with cereal, oreo, candy, caramel, bacon… whatever you can think of! In my opinion, it’s all about the novelty of how unique they are but if you’re looking for something delicious, you have to try Bluestar Donuts. If you’re still hungry, walk down a block to a sandwich shop called Lardo. This post will highlight these two places.

I’ll start with Bluestar. So we went here around 3p and they only had 2 types of donuts left by the time we made it to the front of the line. They sell out FAST of their good stuff. I’m thinking okay these donuts have probably been here for most of the day and I assume they make it fresh daily so here’s what’s left..
Atmosphere: Small donut shop. Expect a line that would probably go out the door! This one is located in SW Portland.
Pricing: $3-$4
Service
: Quick service at the counter
Food: They also have coffee!
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Left donut: Meyer lemon custard filled donut. Their filling is concentrated in the direct middle so you don’t really get it after one bite, but once you get a taste of the filling with the donut it’s oh so good!
Right: Green tea donut. I was surprised at how GOOD this donut was. Sure these were leftover but I’m still in awe that they’re both so good. They weren’t stale or anything and still tasted quite fresh. Great light green tea flavor that wasn’t overwhelming of matcha. This was 10x better than Voodoo and I really wished we came earlier.

IMG_0013Overall: You will NOT be disappointed if you try this place. I bet everything is good and I can’t wait to come back to try new things. I’m eyeing that apple fritter I see online…

Lardo: They have very unique sandwiches and let me warn you, are on the heavier side. Come hungry and prepare to leave very satisfied and full (as implied by their name)
Atmosphere: You order at the counter and they’ll bring your food over. Not that much space for seating so I wouldn’t go with an enormous group. FYI, I went to the SW Portland location.
Pricing: $8-$12. Pretty average for a nicer sandwich shop
Service
: The wait wasn’t terrible for your food. Not much service as you are just ordering in the front. I’m sure they’ll be glad to help you decide on what to eat.
Food:
IMG_0003On the bottom left is the Korean pork shoulder sandwich with house kimchi, chili mayo, cilantro, and lime. Like I said a very heavy sandwich. Lots of dark flavors but the kimchi brightened it up a little. My critique on the bread: a little hard for my liking.
Right sandwich is the pork belly gyro with cucumbers, lettuce, tomato, tzatziki, and aardvark sauce. Everything was good until this one bite…. it had what appeared to be actual bits of lemon peels. Not sure if this is normally in there but it was such a bad taste that I didn’t like the gyro at all despite the yummy crispy pork belly.
In the background is their dirty fries of pork scraps, marinated peppers, fried herbs and parmesan. Super heavy and we could barely finish it. I thought overall these were okay!
Overall:
I was not as impressed as I thought I would be at Lardo. The pork shoulder sandwich was good but not mind blowing. I hear their meatball banh mi is probably the most popular. I would try this place again just to give it another shot. It seems to have potential!