Yesterday, a couple friends and I checked out a new Japanese restaurant in town. From browsing Kokai’s* website a few days before visiting — I always scope out a place before I go — I was pretty excited because the restaurant’s ambiance seemed modern and the menu featured some pretty tasty sushi and entree choices.
Well, one out of two isn’t bad, right? Heh. Well, maybe not if that one wasn’t the food! The restaurant’s size was plenty large for a Japanese joint, with a sushi counter and different types of available seating (e.g., booth, tables), but that’s where the compliments end…
Okay, I gotta be honest, I’m not a big alcohol drinker. So there will be no reviews about any sake in this post. (Sorry.) But… there will most certainly be a review about sushi!
And specifically about the Marlins Roll from Sushi Sake*, a restaurant which offers both indoor and outdoor seating. (Don’t get your hopes up here, the outdoor seating isn’t anything terribly fancy, just chairs and tables under an overhang. Plus, Miami’s so hot that you probably wouldn’t want to sit outside for most of the year anyway.)
Anyhoo, back to the Marlins Roll… asparagus, krab salad, thinly sliced scallops, avocado, and tempura crunch served with eel sauce. I can’t recall ever having scallops atop sushi before and am definitely a fan of those clamsters, so I was totally willing to give it a try.
And I don’t regret it at all. The roll was deliciously good!
Sushi Sake has a pretty extensive sushi menu, so I would definitely go back to sample something else. Just reading the menu again makes me salivate! Prices are pretty decent too, with most rolls ranging from $7 to $13.
Nooooodle time! Korean-style Ramen noodles, that is! And if you couldn’t already tell by my excitement… I looove noodles!
Bistro BulGoGi* located in the Miami suburb of Doral is a gourmet Korean restaurant that opened in Doral just a year ago. Their delicious menu offers all the traditional Korean dishes, like bibimbap. Since I hadn’t had ramen in a while, that’s what I decided to order. Their Beef Broth Ramen includes spicy Korean ramen, which includes (as you see below) some veggies. Overall, I’d rate this bowl a fine on my scale. Flavorful, but really nothing terribly exciting. And I kinda wished it came with some more veggies, particularly to balance out the spicyness. (I like spicy, but don’t have a super high tolerance for it apparently.)
Oh, and also diners get to sample some house sides, pictured below. Mostly small portions of salty and pickled vegetables, like kimchi (at the far right). The kimchi was kind of spicy for my taste, but after I finished the ramen, I dunked the veggies in the broth to wash off some of the spicyness. That made them much more tolerable! I liked the presentation, so would probably rate this somewhere between okay and fine.
I think I’d go back again to try something new. The atmosphere of the restaurant seemed spacious and modern. Also seemingly unrushed during the lunch hour, which is an added bonus.
I love noodles. But I’m sure you knew that already, if you’ve been following along with me on my foodie adventures.
Tonight, I had a bowl of Vietnamese bun noodles at Pho 79* in Davie (South Florida). I ordered it with beef (instead of my usual pork), and thought it was just as delicious. I think the beef itself was even a bit less salty than the pork usually is, which is a bonus in my book! The thinly julienned carrots and turnips pictured below in the upper right had been pickled with just the right amount of vinegar and sugar, making them quite flavorful. The noodles were slightly chewy and slightly slippery, a pleasant smooth texture. I’d give this a fine-good rating.
My only complaint about the meal wasn’t about the food itself, but rather about the service. The restaurant’s pho (soup) bowls come in three sizes: small, medium, and large, and I had asked for an explanation of the sizes. I was basically told that small is small, medium is medium, and large is huge. Um, hello?! Even asking to gesture the bowl sizes was useless. The waiter just ended up pointing at the words “small,” “medium,” and “large” in the menu. Well, duh, I can read! (Obviously, I didn’t end up ordering that item on the menu.)
Oh, and there was a fly that kept buzzing around like nobody’s business… if only I wasn’t distracted by my bowl of noodles…
6451 Stirling Rd
Davie, FL 33314
On a separate note, I recently visited New Orleans for a quick weekend getaway, so stay tuned for some of my NOLA food adventures!
Even though I have just an average opinion of Green Plate Asian Bistro*, my co-workers seem to like it, so I was recently back again there for lunch a third time. They say third time’s a charm, right?
This time I ordered the Green Plate Asian Ribs from the Hot Plates section of the menu. 36-hour-Sous vide baby back ribs with House Asian barbecue sauce and white rice, and also a choice of miso soup or house salad with ginger dressing. I chose the salad in an attempt to be healthy. (But who was I kidding… look at that slathering of dressing!)
I had no idea what “sous vide” was, but I read “baby back ribs” and was sold. I later Wikipedia-ed the term and learned that it was a method of cooking whereby the food is put into an airtight bag and placed in a water bath or steam environment at a lower-than-usual cooking temperature for a longer-than-usual cooking time. This method of cooking allows the meat (or vegetables) to be cooked more evenly and also retain moisture. Hm, learn something new every day…
Remember when I last blogged about the Peruvian-Japanese Tira.D.Toss? Well I recently went back a second time, and sadly, don’t think I’d go back for a third.
I gotta say, the food there rates at least a fine in my book (pretty good!), so it’s very unfortunate that I wouldn’t return. But the service is just… so… slow… ! I went with four others this last time, for a total of five, and our meal lasted just as long as the first. That is, nearly two hours!
Now, before I banish Tira.D.Toss in my book forever, let me at least share what I ordered this past visit. I present to you… the Black Dragon, described as “shrimp tempura, cucumber roll with Japanese snapper topped with avocado & eel sauce.” At least that’s what I attempted to order. Sounds delicious, right? I was especially looking forward to the Japanese snapper! Sounds exotic.
Did the title of this post look like a completely alien language to you? Don’t worry, because by the end of this post, you’ll know what every one of those things are! Hint: they’re all edible!
First off, Top Pan* is an Asian restaurant in South Florida. It’s pretty new, so my family and I decided to check it out two weekends ago. (By the way, you might not find it online if you’re searching for “Top Pan,” since it recently changed it’s name to “Brandon.” Why? No idea!) Anyhoo, we ordered some Vietnamese, like we had at Little Saigon in Orlando just over a week ago. Guess you could say we were on a Vietnamese kick.
We ordered the traditional Pho Dac Biet, which translates to the Pho Special with a miscellaneous combination of beef parts, like tripe, tendon, brisket, flank, and meatballs. In this bowl in particular, plenty (read: too much) of onion was added for flavor. Overall, pretty standard fare. Nothing stood out for me, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I’d rate it a good-fine.
We also ordered the Bun Dac Biet, with spring roll.
Last year, I blogged about China Pavilion*, a Chinese restaurant in Pembroke Pines. At the time, I ate there for dinner and feasted on family-style plates of Pork and Eggplant in Garlic Sauce, Peking pork chops, and Lamb Stew Casserole. After the restaurant relocated from the corner of Pines Boulevard and Flamingo Road to the corner of Pines Boulevard and Palm Avenue, I’ve visited several more times, two of which have been during this current month! I sure love me some dim sum. #dimsumyumyum
On a related note, when I last blogged about Pine Court Chinese Bistro, another Chinese restaurant in south Florida, I mentioned a couple of my favorite small plates, but didn’t show any pictures, so I’ll make it up for it in this post by sharing some of those goodies — and more! Here they are, in no particular order, and with no ratings this time…
Hargow shrimp dumpling. One of the most classic dim sum dishes. According to Wikipedia, the wrapper should have at least seven pleats and the amount of shrimp should be generous but not so much that it can’t be eaten in one bite. Who knew?!
Before returning home from vacationing in Disney, we decided to stop for Vietnamese in Orlando, at the Little Saigon* restaurant on Colonial Drive. Vietnamese in Orlando is supposedly better than it is in South Florida, so we thought the extra 20 mile (round-trip) commute would be worth it.
At Vietnamese restaurants, I really only order one of two things… Pho (rice noodles in broth) or Bun (rice noodle “salad” that you add fish sauce to for flavoring). At Little Saigon, I ordered the Bun with grilled pork and spring rolls. I called it a noodle “salad” because as you can see, it comes with a bunch of lettuce, cucumbers, and bean spouts (and occasionally, other veggies and herbs as well)!
The sauce comes on the side, and you essentially add as much as you want to the bowl before thoroughly stirring up the ingredients. On a related note, those who I’ve talked to about fish sauce either love it or hate it. Me, I love it — at least when used sparingly. If you’ve tried it, what do you think?