Excuse Me Waiter?… There’s something in my Ice…

Looks beautiful, yes, but the seating is just so random. Most of it is counter sitting and NO room for legs. Hello…. I’m 5’7.5″ and R is well over 6 feet tall….. NOT fun for us and our knees…


My leg could barely fit under the table. And R is even taller than me…. Who sits here? People 5 feet tall? The waitress wasn’t even kind enough to pull out the table for me to try to fit in…

Then they tell us.. OH, we’ll give you a table in the main dining room if you leave by 9. It was almost 8. — just to let you know the service was so spotty, we were only done with half our food by 930… fail for them. What were they gonna do, kick us out half way? We opted for the seats in the middle again….

Back to the main dining room for us….

“So….. If I ever come back again, do I have to request a table when I make the reservation?”
“Yes if you do then I will get you a table…”
*smirk* If…

Strawberry Sakura Cocktail

with Dassai 50 Sake

Sweet and very strawberry-ish.


Some Sochu… way too vodka tasting bleh. Was NOT a fan.

Hassun

Paired with: KIMI NOI ginjo (Nigata)

Sakura Dofu – Silken Cherry Blossom Tofu

DELICIOUS. One of my favorites of the night. It was like a nice jello but creamier but not like custard. Very clean.

Yuba Sashimi with Sakura Ponzu

Soooo freaking delicious. Loved the tartness of the citrus and the creaminess but also the texture of the tofu skin. Love it. It’s like the top of pudding when it gets skin, I don’t know why people don’t like it.

Uni Temarizushi with Black Truffle Salt

When you get this in front of you, the whole basket, all you can smell is truffle… and you start to wonder where it’s coming from. R and I were both scared that the truffle was going to overpower the uni but it balanced just perfectly.

Seared Prime Filet of Beef with an Herbacious Kinome Mizo

Very smokey… not completely sure if I like it with the smokey, cold.

Smoked Duck-Breast with Cherry Jam and Gold Leaf

Delicious :] Gold leaf always get me so excited for some dumb reason. LOL.

Grilled Sakura Infused Takenoko (young bamboo shoot)

I couldn’t taste the sakura too much but the bamboo was perfectly cooked.. yum

O-BANZI – small Kyoto Style Appetizers


To start it off.. I was kind of annoyed. First of all we were still trying to enjoy our first dish when these came up [this is what happens when they don’t give me and R a table, too many plates and not enough room, SERIOUSLY, we had tiny counter space – LAME] but they just dropped it off and didn’t point out anything to us. Good thing we kept the menu or else we would have no idea what was what….

Hijiki

Hijiki Seaweed and Soy Bean simmered in Dashi & Shoyu

Not too salty and loved the beans, would be good with more beans which added creaminess to the texture.

Shishito Kobu-Ae

Mild Japanese Pepper with Kobu Seaweed

Wish they were spicy peppers… and that this was less salty, it was so super salty I just picked out the peppers and ate it with milder stuff – like the blander Okara…

Zenmai Piri-Kara

Japanese Mountain Vegetable in Spicy Soy Sauce

R and I didn’t taste anything spicy but this was really good.. with the veggie and pieces of marinated fried tofu skin, sooo good :]

Buta Bara To Renkon No Kimpira

Thinly Sliced Pork Belly & Lotus Root, Sauteed

My favorite dish of the six. I LOOOVE lotus root and I looooove pork belly so obviously it would be….. there was a seriously lacking of pork belly tho.. only like 3 ro 4 TINY TINY super thin puny pieces.. but the lotus roots were so perfectly cooked and crisp and thin and just so flavorful, that I didn’t mind the lack of belly.

Kiriboshi Daikon

Sun-Dried Daikon Radish Simmered in Dashi

Good but nothing to write home to mama about. I liked the tofu and later ended up putting it into the shabu to warm up the tofu :] Own personal mini shabu is like buying your own deep fryer… you just want to put everything into it. HAHAHA….

Okara

(Lees of Soy Milk) mixed with Shitake, Carrot & Snot Pea <<haha I wrote SNOT pea instead of snow pea

DELICIOUS. Kind of reminds me of baby food.. but it was bland but in a delicious way. No salt or pepper but you could taste the soy milk and the veggies into it. Paired really well with the other OVERsalted foods – like the peppers and seaweed.. haha *cough cough*

Fresh Yuba Sashimi

Delicate Tofu Skin Served with Ponzu Citrus Soy

Even though we already had some yuba…. I had to get more. DELICIOUS. Wasabi and a ponzu citrusy dip -which it didn’t REALLY need – YUM!

Edamame and Tonyu Soup

Creamy Puree of Edamame and Soy Milk

Paired with: TATSU RIKI ginjo (Hyogo)


This was my FAVORITE dish of the night. The soup was so creamy and delicious. Warm and the edamame flavors really came through. Loved the pickled cherry blossom on top which burst with flavor when you bit into it – paired perfectly with the subtle creamy soup.

Uni Tamago Dofu

Egg Custard in Dashi Topped with Sea Urchin

RIGHT after they give us this they over bring courses…. Seriously these things came out like all at once. Anyways, back to the uni… since I had a BAD experience with uni the other day – ugh bad sushi DON’T eat at Sushi of Gari 46, EVER, horrible & not fresh… this was soooo good.. LOVE the tender tofu, YUM. Homemade tofu is just spectacular.

Chef’s Sashimi Selection

Paired with: TATEYAMA ginjo (Toyama)


They had cherry blossoms frozen into the giant ice cube the sashimi was on. The sashimi was SOOOO fresh and delicious. My favorite being the blue shrimp and the baby yellowtail [sooo amazing]

Raw Oysters on the Half Shell

1/2 Dozen Served with Ponzu

Sakura Manju

Sauteed Chicken, Edamame and Red Miso wrapped with Cherry Blossom Rice

Paired with: JUHEIJI ginjo (Aichi)


Ok, wait, this and the soup is tied for first. THIS WAS AMAZING. When they brought it out, I excepted just chicken, not a rice bun. THIS WAS SOOOOO GOOD. It’s like a Zhong Zhi but with creamy chopped up rice…. it melted away in the soup and had the tenderest chicken inside. It was SOOO flavorful. R gobbled his up in a few seconds.. totally forgetting to try it with the sake. Hahaha…

Sato Imo Croquette

Taro Root & Iwa-Nori Seaweed Corquette


SOOOO crisp on the outside but *HOT* – a little too hot – but sooo creamy and delicious on the inside. Taro is just such a great amazing starch.

They actually had another Croquette on the menu, a Duck Mochi one… but the potato in it made me want the taro one so much more :]

Sawara & Yuba Shabu Shabu


Thinly Sliced Spring Fish & Vegetables served with a Cherry Leaf Dashi for Light Cooking and a Sakura Ponzu Dipping Sauce

Paired with: MASUMI NANAGO dai ginjo (Nagano)


They gave us Mackerel and some bamboo, tofu and tofu skin :] The little cherry blossoms were mochi.

Asari

Steamed Manilla Clams with Shoyu, Butter and Sake

These were tender fresh and oh-so buttery :] We consumed the whole thing in a minute. Hahahah…..

One complaint, they kept bringing either nothing out, or ALL the dishes out at once… not very good at pacing. We would be eating the croquettes and all of a sudden 3 other courses came out along with it. All needed to be eaten hot and fresh. WTH. Also another reason why we had to gobble these up in a minute… needed to eat them fresh.

Me eating the Shabu

This is when there was an awkward 15-20 minutes of NOTHING. NOTHING. We had NO food. I was ready to flip the switch. Just waiting and waiting. Nothing. Finally I gave them 5 more minutes before I was ready to walk out…. a few minutes in… the next course finally came out.

Sakura Aburi Washugyu

Cherry-Wood Smoked Short Rib Washugyu served on a Hot Stone with Cherry Blossom Salt

Paired with: DAKU nigori (Nigata)


A bite of this put me in beef heaven. Rare and fatty… – my pieces were a lot fattier than R’s LOL – and the cherry blossom salt was FANTASTIC. Honestly, I’m not AS into the Cherry-Wood smoked food.. but the other Cherry Blossom infused foods were just great. This salt was soooo delicious with the meat.

Sakura Soba

Chilled Cherry Blossom Buckwheat Noodles served with a Delicate Sakura Dipping Broth

Paired with: JOKIGEN ginjo (Yamagata)

Intense.  SOOOO Cherry Blossom infused… the noodles by itself were a bit too el dente but it might just be the chill on them.  The dip went great. SOOO much cherry blossom goodness… slightly pink and it was great with the scallions…

BY THE WAY. Pet peeve of mine is when people call scallions “green onions” I know they’re onion-y but they’re so much more than that. I think green onions is just a lame word that Americans gave the scallions just so people weren’t scared of a “new” vegetable… Scallions are such asian staples… I mean they don’t give ramps a new random onion name, why scallions?


One of our servers was so excited to see my blinged out Hello Kitty iphone. He started talking about how one of his friends just moved in with a girlfriend and had EVERYTHING Hello Kitty – including toilet seat covers and shower curtains. R could relate :] We all shared a life, server got so excited he spilled sake all over R… so Hello Kitty got her own glass of sake :]

Sakura Mochi, Wagashi & Amazake

Sakura Mochi Ice Cream [right], Strawberry Wagashi [left] & Tonyu Amazake

Paired with: KOKUTO ume shu (Gifu)


The amazake was a ricey almond “sake” which is pretty good… while our server, we think she was the owner, said that there was no alcohol in it… it tasted kind of like fermented rice [酒酿]… so it was kind of alcoholy. BTW, my mom and her friends LOVE 酒酿 and it’s supposed to be good for you but I personally hate it.

Soba Tea Pudding

Creamy & Smooth

Reminded me of Taiwan since it was COVERED in liquid black sugar [黑糖]. But it totally covered the taste of the, in fact it just tasted like creamy with lots of black sugar.  Now black sugar is NOT brown sugar. It is full of flaovr, almost a smokey molasses flavor and unprocessed. I like to eat black sugar cubes when I get a sugar craving because there are health benefits and it’s really good for women on their period or right after. I have bags of this stuff that I buy from Taiwan each year – YUM!

I found a good post about it on Jodie’s Kitchen.

Oshiruko

Sweet Red Bean Soup with Mochi Rice Cakes

The mochi was toasted so the top was crunchy and had a delicious toasty rice flavor. The soup itself, which I usually adore, ahd the perfect texture of a thick soup and nice whole beans but it was SOOOOO sugary…. SOOO sugary that when we went back to eat the black sugar syrup you COULDN’T TASTE ANY SWEET. I felt like I had sugar injection in my mouth… like 10lbs of sugar into a tiny  spoonful and insert into mouth. Gag. Too much. I had the mochis and some ice cream and left the soup. Waaa.. I can’t wait to go back and eat my 紅豆湯 with some black sesame 湯圓 :]

I woke up at 6 this morning and went “Babe… they never gave me my tea…” WAAA.. I asked for some warm Jasmine Tea to make my belly feel nice and happy but they NEVER GAVE IT TO ME *humph* time to hold a grudge….

“Next time you come I will try to get you a table”
*smile*

Food was good… going back again? Nah… I can find other places for cheaper and with better service and good tofu. Their service was just SO spotty. It was either TOO many people coming at us every 2 seconds, or NOTHING for a long period of time.  I also prefer having one server… one waiter… we had so many you don’t get that little personal bond you get during  a meal. Altho LOVED the Hello Kitty guy *props to him* Wish I got his name LOL….

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