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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Shrimp Causa Roll at El Pollo Inka

In other words, think of this post as causa roll, take two.  The first time in my life that I ever had causa — octopus causa, in fact — was at Kamiko Sushi and I absolutely hated it.  Each bite was complete torture, since the causa and octopus were slathered in an olive-based sauce.  Bad news for me, since I hate hate hate the taste of olives!

Today I thought I’d give causa another try, a clean slate.  And if I didn’t like it, then well, that would be the end of that.

Today’s adventure… Shrimp Causa Roll at El Pollo Inka*.  The appetizer was described by the menu as “Exquisite yellow mashed potatoes molded into a roll (Maki Style), stuffed with fresh Hass avocados and topped with diced steamed shrimps.”

092614_elpolloinka_shrimpcausa2Overall, pretty good, good-fine.  Nice overall presentation, and the shrimp tasted fresh — they were the best part of the appetizer IMO.  The only thing that would’ve made the dish even better was a bit less sauce.  The causa was practically swimming in it, and it tasted rich in a not-so-healthy-for-you way, if you know what I mean.  The causa wasn’t a super large portion, but potatoes in general are filling, so the portion size turned out to be just all right after all.

092614_elpolloinka_cornnutsOh yeah, and as a complimentary snack, we were served some Peruvian corn nuts, or cancha.  Corn kernels prepared by soaking in water for a couple days before roasting/frying until hard and brittle.  Soaking in water allows the shrunken kernels to expand to their original size.  Or so Wikipedia says.  I tried the green sauce and had to go through a glass of water as a result — it had a mean kick!

I must say, El Pollo Inka’s menu seems quite extensive, definitely enough choices and categories of meats to go back multiple times and order completely different things each time.  Yeah, I think I’d go back.

*Location:
7285 NW 36th St
Miami, FL 33166

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