Lunch Specials at Sushi Sake

Since I’ve been in the mood for sushi recently, I frequented on of my favorite Doral sushi haunts, Sushi Sake.

Since I dined with a buddy, you know what that means, right?  Sampling!

We ordered two lunch specials to split, the eel and tuna rolls, as well as the Chef’s Choice roll, which included shrimp, salmon, white fish, and tuna. Continue reading

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Hello, Goodbye Kokai!

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…

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Sushi & Sake at Sushi Sake

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.

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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.

*Location:
2600 NW 87th Ave #17
Doral, FL 33172

Tira.D.Toss Take Two!

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.

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Well, when the order came out…

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Peruvian Japanese Fusion at Tira.D.Toss

Tira.D.Toss.  (It’s the name of a restaurant.)  How would you pronounce that?

Well, it took me a couple tries, but I finally realized that the restaurant’s actually named after tiraditos, Peruvian dishes composed of raw fish.  Accordingly to Wikipedia, tiraditos are representative of the influence of Japanese immigrants on Peruvian cooking!  Learn something new everyday, huh?

Anyhoo, I usually get pretty excited about fusion restaurants, and this one’s been on my list for a few months now — ever since I read some good reviews about it and saw its eye-catching website —  so I was happy to finally check it out!  As you probably guessed by its namesake, this restaurant serves a combination of Peruvian and Japanese cuisines.

I would have to say, Tira.D.Toss doesn’t have the most economical menu from a price standpoint, but the descriptions looked good, so I was willing to give it a shot.

I ordered the Crunchy Tuna roll from the sushi section of the menu.  That’s tuna, avocado, spicy mayo, and scallions roll topped with tuna, salmon, avocado, crunch and eel sauce.  Mmm…

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Octopus Causa, Peruvian at a Japanese Restaurant

Today was our intern’s last day at work.  What better excuse for a celebratory lunch outside the office?!

The cuisine of choice was sushi, so since my last meal there was so great, I recommended Kamiko Sushi.  Plus, Kamiko has a decent lunch specials menu, which I had all good intentions to order from… until about 30 seconds before I actually placed my order.  You know how that is when you have a lot of choices.

My proclivity for culinary adventure — come on, you shouldn’t be surprised by this point — led me to order the Octopus Causa instead.  Octopus ceviche atop yellow potatoes and avocado.  I’d never had octopus ceviche or causa (yellow potatoes) before, so couldn’t wait!

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Fun fact: Causa has Peruvian roots.  It’s a seasoned mashed (yellow) potato terrine — and in this case, layered with avocado.  Additionally, aji amarillo (yellow chili pepper) is typically added to the potatoes to give them an even more intense yellow tint.  The spice is also supposed to give the potatoes a bit of a kick, but I am fairly certain I didn’t taste anything spicy in the Causa I ordered.

You know the saying “love at first sight”?  Well, this unfortunately turned out to be “hate at first bite.”   Continue reading

Pad Thai Lunch Special at Umami

Pad Thai, one of my all-time favorite Asian classics… and what I ordered for lunch at Umami* today!

Pros?  Since I ordered the lunch special, it came with my choice of soup or salad — salad it was.  I was particularly impressed that the salad bowl was actually chilled — not something I typically encounter!  Also, the size of the main entree was ginormous (though it might not look like it from the picture), so that was a win too.  #doublelunch #lunchanddinner

Cons?  The salad was swimming — or maybe drowning is a more appropriate description — in ginger dressing.  I mean really… did I order salad with ginger dressing or sweet ginger soup with lettuce?!  Also, the rice noodles weren’t very chewy, and I was surprised to find bell peppers hiding among my noodles.  Since when were bell peppers an ingredient of Pad Thai?!  (Not that I really cared that much since I actually like bell peppers…)  Should’ve known better from a restaurant that only earned 3.5 stars on Yelp.  Despite ~150 ratings, my optimism got the best of me!

081414_umami_salad081414_umami_padthaiAlso, did you notice the mountain of peanuts next to the noodles?!  Just wanted to point that out in case you didn’t.  That was one HUGE buttload of nuts that remained unconsumed, as that particular contrast of hard and soft textures just doesn’t work for me.  On a related note, did you know that nuts are actually fruits?  #mindblown

Overall, the food was edible — rating: okay — but I probably wouldn’t order it again.  In fact, there’s a pretty low likelihood I would return to Umami again, given the other (read: better) Japanese restaurants in town.

Umami does get a shout out for having a lot of seating available, so at least we weren’t worried about getting a table there during peak lunch hours.  Woo.

Anyway, since I ❤ noodles, I probably critique harsher than your average Jane.  But hey, if I’m not enjoying what I eat, why eat at all?

*Location:
1400 NW 87th Ave
Doral, FL 33172

Kamiko Sushi’s Spicy Tuna, Spicy Crab Roll Lunch Special

Lunch specials are awesome.  Decently-priced and decently-portioned… what more could you ask for?!

The flavor of the day was Kamiko Sushi-Bar*, where I ordered the Spicy Tuna Roll & Spicy Crab Roll combo off the lunch specials menu.  It came with a choice of (miso) soup or (mixed greens) salad, too.  Thinking I’d be healthy today, I opted for salad.

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That’s the Ginger Salad, mixed greens with ginger dressing.  My favorite part was definitely the perfectly seasoned (i.e. not overwhelmingly sweet or salty) dressing, and I was pleasantly delighted that the bed of greens was not swimming a pool of liquid, as it normally is when you order a salad at other Japanese restaurants.  Don’t you just hate, HATE, H-A-T-E that?!  It’s been way too long since I’ve had an optimal greens-to-dressing ratio in my salad.  Taste rating?  Fine, 4 out of 5 stars!

Next up, the sushi rolls.   Continue reading