I’m sorry I didn’t get a post up last week. I’ve been busy and had some issues I’ve had to deal with, especially with my internet connection back at college. However, that hasn’t stopped me from cooking and eating. Although nothing I’ve done is particularly noteworthy, I figure I can piecemeal together a few things I’ve been doing into a somewhat coherent and informative post. Thus, this post is called “table scraps”, as in the stuff that’s still good but didn’t quite make it into a full post.
Did you know that if something is too acidic, you can add a bit of honey and bring the acid level down. Only a teaspoon will do the trick, and you won’t taste the honey at all. It’s a much better alternative to adding dairy, which is what I usually do in a highly acidic situation. But nobody wants a vinaigrette with milk in it. Well, maybe some people do, but those are probably the same people who like unsalted potato chips, oxidized artichokes, and gray steaks. This honey trick works for everything I’ve tried. It doesn’t fight with any of the flavors, but simply takes some of the bite off.
Apparently octopus is a particularly challenging meat to cook. Unlike most other seafood, which must be treated delicately and cooked quickly, octopus is tough. It’s a meat that must be cooked slowly for a long time. It’s the brisket of the seafood world, if you will. So if you’re ever thinking about cooking octopus, which I highly recommend you try at some point, you should do a braise, or any other method that allows for long cooking time in wet heat.
Mushrooms, as I’m sure most people know, are not actually vegetables. They are fungi, which means they have a very different construction than what we’re used to. Namely, mushrooms have very porous cells with walls that can easily be broken. And how do we break down these mushrooms to concentrate flavor, extract water, and make them denser. Salt. Yes, the magical cooking all-star makes yet another appearance in the cooking world, making sure your fungi cook perfectly. Salt liberally. It may seem like a lot, but the mushrooms can take it. Remember, the salt here is more for the chemical process it plays rather than the flavor of the salt itself.
Really good sushi is more than just fish. But to realize this, you have to have eaten a lot of sushi from a lot of different places. You begin to realize that the freshness and taste of the fish is only half of the equation. Rice takes up a considerable part of the sushi experience, and can be just as important, if not more important, than the fish. Properly cooked sushi rice is an art that takes years to master. It shows true dedication and attention to detail if your sushi contains good sushi rice. I have eaten sushi where the fish was merely okay, but the rice was exceptional, and I consider that sushi to be excusable. It might even be better than sushi where the fish is good but the rice is terrible. Since sushi restaurants of varying levels pop up nearly everywhere nowadays, the rice has become my most trusted way of knowing how good a sushi place really is. That, and if they serve me sake with no questions asked.
I’ve been making a lot of stews and one pot meals in the past few weeks, usually cooking with my mum. She really likes to use a recipe, and I usually don’t so it’s a bit of a challenge for us to work together sometimes. But over the course of my winter break, I’ve started writing stew recipes on my free time because stews are amazing. All the ingredients are cheap, they’re really easy to make, and there’s something viscerally comforting about a stew. Instead of sharing some of my recipes with you though, I want to share a general method. After hashing through tons of stew recipes, a pattern appears. It’s pretty easy to pick up and riff on if you have a good sense of flavor. The method is as follows:
Sear desired cheap cut of meat in vegetable oil in a dutch oven or large pot. Once browned, set aside on a plate. Add aromatic vegetables to sweat and brown for a few minutes, then add minced garlic for another minute. Add spices and herbs and toast in the veggie mix. If you were going to make a roux, this would be the time to do it, but it is certainly not necessary. A roux, by the way, is equal parts flour and fat (oil or butter) whisked constantly until it turns the desired shade of brown. At this point, with or without roux, add a flavorful cooking liquid, like stock or wine. Bring to a boil and add meat and the meat juices from the plate, as well as any hearty, fibrous vegetables (potatoes, squash, etc.). Reduce to a simmer and cook, usually covered, until meat and vegetables are tender. Add finishing touches like an acid, fresh herbs, cream, or seafood. Serve with starch, like bread, rice, potatoes, etc.
You can do this with pretty much anything. I really like using chicken as my meat. If you feel particularly vegetarian, you can skip the meat and use mushrooms instead. The cool thing about these stews is that they age well, and flavors develop with time. After a day or two, the leftovers will taste even better than the original.
So that’s about all I can do for this week. I sincerely promise that I will have something more substantial for next week. Until then, I’m back to the old grind, eating in the college cafeteria and dreaming of the food I could be having instead.
I’ve been told by sushi aficionados to watch this movie. I’ve been told by film buffs to watch this movie. I’ve been told by Japanese people to watch this movie. So there wasn’t much of a question that I would eventually be watching this movie.
Jiro Dreams of Sushi is a documentary that follows Jiro and his restaurant as the viewer is taken on many journeys through the cultural, historical, gastronomical, and social avenues of being a sushi master in Japan. It takes nearly every aspect of Jiro’s life into account, from making the sushi, to his family life, to all the characters that surround him in his everyday life.
Needless to say, it was quite interesting to watch. The cinematography was symphonic, everything fitting together beautifully. The colors were sharp and vivid, very reminiscent of the way in which Jiro prepares his sushi. Narrative was not a problem like it tends to be in documentaries. It transitions well between what life is like for Jiro now and how it came to be that way. The director left a lot open for interpretation in terms of what we thought of the people and the story: he didn’t romanticize it or make it out to be something terrible, he just presented it and let the sushi speak for itself, so to speak. There was almost a reverential feeling I got from this film.
What was probably the most impressive aspect, for me at least, was how well they showed Japanese culture. As an outsider, it’s strange and difficult to look in on another culture, especially in such an intimate environment. But that didn’t seem to get in the way; it added more depth if anything. Jiro’s movement through Japanese society and how he and his sons relate to their culture is a big part of the narrative, and it was handled well. My parents lived in Japan for a while before I was born, so they know the culture better than I do, and from what I can tell by their accounts and from what little I know of Japanese culture (besides a love of everything miniature, individually wrapped, and simple), this film moves an outsider through Japanese culture without having to get caught up in explaining it.
The food aspect was given its due time and explained very well. It was a nice mixture they did, interspersing it with all the narrative. And of course, the visuals were terrific. I can definitely say I understand more about sushi and sushi culture after watching this film, as well as understanding more about Japanese culture. I know I would never be able to do what Jiro does, given what is demanded of him by his culture, and by himself.
I watched this film with one of my friends who is an artist, and he commented that it made him feel useless and inferior in comparison, that he just wanted to shut himself in his room and practice his craft for a few years. The film certainly puts you in a weird mood afterwards, which isn’t necessarily bad. I think it achieves the desired effect. However, I would’ve liked more closure in the ending (a paltry complaint, seeing as this is a documentary and the story isn’t over).
Overall, this was a great movie, especially for someone interested in everything that happens in the restaurant and food culture of another culture. I was very impressed and would highly recommend this film to anyone who likes sushi, has an interest in Japan, or just likes a good, thoughtful documentary.
Day 1: I’ve just had my wisdom teeth pulled. Yes, all four of them, and yes, all impacted. Surprisingly, it doesn’t hurt that much. They knocked me out, thankfully, although I could’ve sworn that I heard snippets of the surgeon’s conversation with his assistant, or that I even felt slightly where they were operating on me. Oh well, it was all over, and I had a pleasant nap.
Everything after surgery is a bit of a blur until I somehow ended up in my bed. For the first few hours, I would nod off to sleep, changing my gauze every hour or so, but eventually I woke up and started getting some liquid into my system. My mouth being very tender at first, water was all I could take in. I never realized how funny my mouth had tasted until I began to drink some water. Honestly, its surprising how welcome and refreshing water can taste sometimes. I continued to repeat the routine, of changing gauze and drinking water, mostly staying in bed. Then, around 8 in the evening, I ventured downstairs, hungry.
My parents were raving about how dinner, which for them included a roast chicken and capresi salad, two of my favorite things. They went on and on about how delicious the tomato was, being the first tomato we picked from our tomato plant this year. Juicy, flavorful, sweet, all of which I wanted to eat but did not want to hear. I resorted to a peach yogurt, which I only got halfway through. My mouth being small and tender, I had to take little bites, and it quickly became unappetizing. I’m not a big yogurt fan, unless its used in other things. A small glass of orange juice made my taste buds delight, finally getting to do some well-earned exercise. But that I was all I was able to eat, my stomach feeling slightly woozy. I hadn’t even taken my oxycodone yet! Hell I probably won’t take it at all. As much as I like hallucinations, I’m not much of a fan of constipation, vomiting, and swelling, along with many other adverse side effects. And while I’m trying to recover, I probably won’t enjoy anything about that process.
I also just found out that I’m supposed to put ice on my cheeks, something which I found quite unwieldy but possibly helpful. I will try doing that most of the day tomorrow if possible. I finished this first night off with another big glass of water and went to bed. Hopefully I will be in a better position tomorrow than today, so I can actually do something, and better yet, maybe have a milkshake or some soup. Paisha, my best friend, has also hinted at coming over and bringing me some of her new agey juices, which I’m a little wary about. We’ll see how it goes.
Day 2: My second day starts with a stomach ache, probably because of all the blood I swallowed while I was sleeping. After a quick shower and a few pain pills, I went downstairs to forage for breakfast. Of course, a plate of last night’s capresi sits there at the front of the fridge, taunting me, along with some delicious looking sausages, a giant bowl of grapes, and plenty of other solid foods. I find the bottle of orange juice and reluctantly pour myself yet another glass. Maybe I’ll make myself some oatmeal later, I tell myself.
But then my mum came home with a giant chocolate milkshake, which I happily gulp down, followed by a salt water rinse. After lunch, I went back to my computer to buy tickets for Feast Portland, a big food festival put on by the crew at Bon Appetit Magazine. Of course, after I spent about $300 on tickets, I realized that the fine print mentioned something about IDing everyone at the door and that they would not let any minors in. Fortunately, Bon Appetit was very quick in responding to my request for a refund and invited me back once I turn 21. God, how I hate being a minor sometimes.
After a few more hours of wasting time on the computer, I figured it was time for some actual food, finally. After digging through some cookbooks, I decided on a leek, potato, beer, and cheese soup. Yeah, a bit of a hybrid between leek and potato and potato, beer, and cheese soup, and it was damn good. Although, I was food deprived enough to not care at all about method, and as a result it took about 45 minutes for the potatoes to cook all the way through. Then, predictably, I tried to put the steaming hot potato, leek, beer, chicken stock mixture into the food processor. It leaked through and I lost a fair amount of liquid before I was able to transfer it to a blender instead. After a quick whir through the blender, I had a smooth, very thick soup that I then made even thicker by adding about a cup of cheese to. I figured I might loosen it up with a bit of milk, or some cream, but seeing as we only had half and half, I made do with that. You know, I’ve always been a big fan of cooking with half and half. It’s a nice hybrid of milk and cream, and perfect for when you’re too lazy to buy some actual cream/milk and just use what your coffee addicted mum has gallons of in the fridge. After about an hour, I had my soup, and was shoveling it into my mouth like an escaped prisoner. The rest was stored away in my fridge for the next day.
Day 3: Oh dear God, why?! Last night was rough. The pain hit me around midnight, and I couldn’t get to sleep until 3. Then I woke up a little after 7, feeling like someone had jammed a screwdriver into my mouth. After a quick shower, I put some ice on my mouth, which sortof helped. At least it numbed the pain a bit. My goal now is single-minded: get through the rest of this recovery as quick as possible.
Fortunately, the pain killers helped, and with another bowl of potato soup down my throat, all is feeling okay. It’s really unfortunate that most soft foods are sweet. I like sweet stuff okay, but I’ve been craving something savory for days now, and that potato soup just isn’t doing it for me. But sleep deprivation won, and I swallowed my pride along with some lime jello.
After a few more hours of the same old ice/painkiller/saltwater rinse routine, my best friend Paisha texted me, announcing that she was coming over to make soup. My spirits immediately rose, and I went about making my kitchen somewhat presentable in the midst of all the clutter that remodeling has caused. I had a mise en place laid out and a tomato soup in mind, so I knew that nothing could go wrong with this meal.
Paisha arrived with an onion and some heavy cream for the soup, as well as a Dry Blood Orange Soda (which I absolutely adore) and a magazine called “Mental Floss”. I’d never heard of it before, but just by looking at the cover image of Alton Brown, I knew I would like it. But I set the magazine aside for the time being and we got down to cooking. It was very therapeutic for me, the familiar feel of dicing onions and mincing garlic, of sweating them in the pot and stewing down some tomatoes with them. The chiffonaded basil and dusting of Pecorino Romano feeling like friends from around the corner, and the little bit of red pepper flake like that eccentric asshole who always found out when you were having a party that you didn’t invite him to, but you ended up enjoying his company anyway. Yes, that soup was good. It also helped to have a friend to talk to for a while, pulling me out of my misery for a few hours.
After her departure, I settled in to read “Mental Floss”, which is proving to be quite an interesting magazine. It’s full of interesting little tidbits and facts, completely absent of all the Brangelina style bullshit other magazines concern themselves with. It’s much like watching the British TV show QI (Quite Interesting), which I have also been doing a lot of lately. I just adore Stephen Fry.
After a quick read, I settled in for some Red Lentil Daal for dinner. It was served with Basmati rice, but I could only gum down a little bit of rice. The Daal was excellent, exemplifying the perfumed, subtly spiced, robust nature of a classic Daal. I ate it with gusto, thinking about all of the permutations I could come up with to make different Daals.
Of course, I’ve gone three days now without meat, which I think is starting to take its toll on me. I’m not used to this sort of protein deficit, and especially when I can’t have solid foods. This immediately put me in a bind; after a spoonful of peanut butter, I had restored enough protein to try and think of inventive ways to cook meat so that I can actually eat it. The only thing I could really come up with was making some fish, really flaky fish. Then again, there are proteins I can get without meat, as ultimately unpleasant as they may be. Eggs, I concluded, would be the easiest. After brainstorming some dishes to try over the next few days, I went off to bed with soft foods on my mind.
Day 4: I was able to catch up on the sleep I lost the other night, and ended up waking up around noon. I made myself a few scrambled eggs, settled in for the last 30 minutes of Shawn of the Dead, and contemplated further soft food options, namely grits. The pain is subsiding, but it’s still present to some extent. I don’t have to use gauze anymore, as my sockets have clotted, but I am still rinsing with salt water, which I’ve discovered is quite refreshing. I love the taste of salt, so the process isn’t nearly as gross as it would be to others. In fact, I relish the opportunity to swish some salt around in my mouth. I’ve always hated mouth wash, but this is totally different. Why have I never done this before?
After a quick trip to the store, I was equipped to make myself some cheese grits. Of course, I’ve only tried grits before at a crappy diner in Idaho once, so I didn’t really know what I was in for. After watching a few videos of old southern black men making grits, I found a good method. It’s quite similar to making rice, except for the frequent stirring: bring desired liquid to a boil (milk and water), add desired starch (grits) and reduce heat, covering and stirring every few minutes until desired starch becomes desired texture. Serve with desired flavorings (cheese and hot sauce). A good standard to know, especially since making grits is almost like making polenta. Besides, it’s a cheap, filling, hot meal. After a few bowls of grits and some pain meds, I made it through the rest of the day getting everything ready to move back to college in a week; renter’s insurance, passport renewal, organizing a shopping list for Portland, etc. Basically, an un-eventful day that’s not worth blogging about. My pain is mostly gone, the swelling is no more, and I’m just waiting for my sockets to heal over.
Day 5: I decided that some risotto would be good for my healing mouth, and since I had never made risotto before, I figured it would be the perfect time. Of course, I used the stock from my most recent post. It’s funny how such a daunting sounding dish, one that is almost universally coveted as some of the best and most rich food in the Italian repertoire, can actually be really easy. When all was said and done, the ingredients all together may have cost me $5. And that whole stigma about stirring the risotto constantly: completely unnecessary, as many modern chefs will gladly point out. Every few minutes is good, but constant stirring wipes away too much of the starch from the outside of the rice. I did add a bit of chiffonaded basil for some color, as well as a fair amount of parmesan. For some reason though, my risotto took about 30 minutes to cook, as opposed to the usual 20 or so that other people quote as their cooking times. I think I may have just starved it of liquid at times, not adding stock as frequently as I should have. I probably didn’t sweat the rice long enough at the beginning before adding the stock either, but I’m not sure if that would’ve had any effect. After adding quite a bit of butter towards the end, I had reached a satisfying and still aldente risotto. It was well worth the wait.
I got some of the first meat I’ve had in a while: bratwurst. When you think about it, sausage really is just ground meat inside a casing, so cut up into smaller pieces, a bratwurst is definitely edible by someone with holes in the sides of his mouth. And as an additional treat, I was able to get down a little sauerkraut with it. It just goes to show how a man’s willpower to eat meat can overcome some serious physical obstacles. I had considered blending up a meat smoothie at one point, but decided against it. A blended steak just wouldn’t be a steak worth eating.
Another mostly uneventful day passed in which I did nothing but cook, laze around, and look at all the sushi places in Portland that I ought to try. I’ve been having a real craving for sushi lately, and I don’t quite know why. I think it’s the textural thing more than anything else. Now as the son of parents who lived in Japan for quite a while, I have some standards about sushi; namely, fuck the fufu rolls with avocado and cream cheese. That’s poser sushi. What I really want is the chu toro, the uni, the fish in it’s most pristine state. Unfortunately, many Americans prefer fufu rolls when going to sushi, so places that specialize in excellent nigiri and sashimi are difficult to find. Where are all the serious sushi people? I know that the ignorant masses are entitled to their California rolls, but that doesn’t mean they have to ruin it for the rest of us who just want some really good fish.
My computer has been acting funny, so don’t be alarmed if I don’t post for a while during the time it takes to figure out how I screwed up my computer. I blame Rachel Ray. I don’t know why I feel the need to blame her, but I blame her regardless. I also blame Giada de Laurentiis, which is a more legitimate claim, considering how a google image search for her is only a small step away from typing in “italian big boobs with whipped cream”.
I’m also posting this preemptively, as I have not completely healed yet. I’m assuming it will take a while longer before my gums are completely back to normal, but I don’t want to make this massive wall of text any bigger.
As a food writer, I firmly believe that my audience should understand where I’m coming from in terms of my tastes in food. To account for this, I have compiled a short list of foods that I have craved within the past week. Mind you, if I listed everything I craved in the past week you’d probably get bored of reading because the wall of text would be more intimidating than the one they tore down in Berlin.
-Caprese -Apples -Grapefruit -Steak with mushrooms and horseradish -Tuna nigiri -Duck confit -Sprite -Cucumber soda -Watermelon -Bacon -Chocolate -Bacon dipped in chocolate -Strawberries dipped in chocolate -Ayran (a sour, peppery yogurt drink from the Middle East) -Potato chips -Beet salad -Fried okra -Ginger beer -Scotch -Anything with garlic -Anything with lamb -Garlic lamb -Peaches -Wilted spinach with nutmeg -Etouffee -Cantonese duck -Thai duck curry (as pictured below) -Potatoes fried in duck fat -French fries fried in duck fat -My leather shoes fried in duck fat -Pancetta -Sundried tomatoes -Pork buns -Any of my mother’s baked goods (especially berry pie, pictured above)
That should give you some idea of what you’re dealing with. By the way, I will be trying to coerce my mother to give me a few of her baking recipes to post on this blog, since I’m a terrible baker and I feel like I should have some baking recipes on a blog that’s supposed to be about all types of food.
Back in my hometown, the best sushi place I ever went to was called Blue C, and it was a nice little chain, quite swanky, sleek, and modern with a conveyor belt to carry the sushi around. For a while, it was always my go to place for sushi. It wasn’t the most expensive, but I could easily go in and spend about $20 for lunch.
Of course, I had not established such a sushi spot in Portland when I moved in August. I was left in the dark, deprived of knowledge of a place to get excellent maguro, tako, and plenty of my other sushi delights. That is, of course, until I found Sushi Ichiban. My father and I were just walking around Portland one night while he was down here dropping me off at college and decided we wanted sushi for dinner. We wandered into Sushi Ichiban by happenstance, and we were rewarded with an outstanding meal.
Usually, I am quick to judge restaurants by their appearance, and I recommend this practice to others; it can tell you a lot about a restaurant. In this case, however, I had to put aside my normally judgmental tendencies. Sushi Ichiban is not a swanky, sleek little place. It’s clean, but it doesn’t reflect any of the super chic trends for sushi restaurants of today. The walls are strewn with shelves of clutter and doodads. There are tons of stools encircling oblong bar and kitchen area. The tabletops have an array of different little menus and things to fiddle with. It’s certainly clean, don’t get me wrong, but it’s just not the sushi environment we’re used to in America. The ordering system is a bit different too: you simply check the boxes next to your choice of sushi on a little white slip in front of you and hand it over the counter to the chefs. When not ordering this way, you can grab something off the conveyor belt that comes around. Well, it’s not really a conveyor belt, it’s an electric toy train pulling platform cars carrying plates of sushi. In general, the place looks tacky, and it quite honestly is a bit of a dive. But it’s a fun, inviting dive if you give it a chance. It’s a great atmosphere for relaxed sushi dining. And let’s be honest, how many times would you get to eat sushi off a toy train?
There was one waitress who came around and refilled waters, gave us a bottle of warm sake, and some edamame. She checked on us when she could, as the restaurant was packed. The chefs were flying around behind the counter. Again, it was busy, so there was a bit of a wait between plates, but it was nice to have a leisurely meal in that sort of atmosphere. And with a bottle of sake, we were well entertained. On normal nights without a rush, they get the plates to you very quickly, usually within about a minute of ordering. The chefs, about halfway through service on the unusually busy night we were there, ran out of fresh salmon and started telling the customers, “Sorry, we’ve run out of fresh salmon.” They did not serve salmon unless they were able to tell their customers that it would be previously frozen and they would confirm that it was okay. Everyone was very apologetic and quite accommodating about it, usually switching to tuna instead. I respect chefs like that. They really cared about keeping the freshness and the integrity of the food they were serving, and while they may have been a bit ashamed that they ran out of fresh salmon, they were never ashamed to actually tell people they had ran out so that they didn’t have to eat frozen salmon. I found the service very genuine, friendly, and accommodating. Keep in mind too that this was a big rush of diners, and they still kept themselves organized and pumping out the sushi.
I’ve eaten plenty of conveyor belt sushi in my life, and I would have to say that this is some of the best. No, it’s not groundbreaking or particularly innovative, but that’s not what conveyor belt sushi is about. It’s about showcasing the true taste and texture of the ingredients. It really is more about letting the fish shine on it’s own and doing whatever you can to facilitate that, and Sushi Ichiban does a fabulous job. The salmon that we ate was perfectly marbled with fat and was surperbly delicate and firm, and I maintain that it is some of the best salmon I’ve had to date. Same went for the tuna: very firm and a nice round tuna flavor. I also got a spicy tuna roll that was rolled expertly. The tuna was a perfect firmness and robust flavor to stand up to the spicy sauce. The octopus was done just the way it should be, showcasing the delicate sweetness of the octopus and the chewy texture. Unagi was still hot when served, and there was a wonderful amount of skin to compliment the meaty eel. And we even tried snapper, which neither of us had eaten in nigiri form before. It was served simply with a little lemon wedge which I just rubbed over the fish. Snapper, as it turns out, is a divine fish for nigiri; a mild, fresh tasting fish with a very satisfying burst of flavor from the lemon. And the rice was done very well, with a perfect ratio of vinegar; enough to make it sticky, but not so much that the flavor was obtrusive. Kimchi was another nice addition, and we had it as our first plate. It was a milder kimchi, which I was not altogether happy about, but it worked well and had a very nice bite from the vinegar.
We ate very well, mostly ordering nigiri, with the addition of a cup of kimchi and a cup of edamame. And we also split a large size bottle of warm sake. We were severely pleased with our excellent meal. Then the bill came, and we laughed with joy. A stack of nine plates lay before us, plus a bottle of sake, and our bill was $19! For both of us! Shock and merriment overwhelmed us, and as a result we left a $10 tip. Two people can eat a very satisfying dinner, sake included, for $19. I would spend about the same amount of money for two people eating at Five Guys or at Zab Thai, two of my favorite cheap lunch places back home. I even went back just the other day with some friends and experienced the same enjoyment for value. $15 for a bottle of sake and enough sushi to pleasantly fill me.
My only complaint is about their train system. Once a plate went on, it stayed on until taken off by a customer. We were in that restaurant for about an hour and a half, and almost every time the train came around, we saw some of the same rolls passing by, uneaten. Some had fogged up the plastic dishes covering them so it was hard to tell what they were until they had already gone by, and others looked as if the sauce had seeped into the sushi rice. I quickly grew tired of seeing the same plates go around time after time. Plus, they took up extra room that could’ve been used for something that would actually get eaten. Oh and they also didn’t have sea urchin; a minor complaint considering it was a busy night, and sea urchin is a bit of a niche.
Rest assured, I am going back to Sushi Ichiban. It’s amazingly good value. Their sushi is wonderful, the prices are low, the service is friendly, if slow at times, and the restaurant was pleasantly laid back. This is a perfect sushi place for laid back sushi lovers on a budget.
If you live in the New York area you know how popular sushi is. Everyone claims to have the best place to go so you can trust me if you want to, but I will never go anywhere else.
In Brooklyn heights (just steps away from the 2/3 Train) on the corner of Clark and Henry Street in OZU.
First Off: The place has a really modern Asian twist to it. (I hear they are putting in a dance floor!)
Second: They have amazing drink specials, buy one get one free. The drinks are strong and amazingly delicious. Two of my friends work there and really hook it up. They have some really interesting special drinks as well. Try: Ozu Punch, Green Dragon and Godiva Chocolate Martini.
Last: Let’s talk food. The sushi is so fresh. No conveyor belt, its made right when you order it. Everything is fresh and they will custom make just about any thing. And the prices are very reasonable. For the fish lover I recommend the Spider Roll, spicy crab or The Scottish salmon Sushimi. If you’d rather not have fish try the chicken tempura roll or the amazing fried sweet potato roll. And if sushi just isn’t your thing: The Fried rice is incredible and its a huge serving.
The service is fast and everyone is friendly. And most if not all the staff speak pretty good English. haha
I am an avid sushi lover and have been all my life. There seems to be an entire culture that revolves around the stuff, and I absolutely love every bit of it. But beyond the culture of this interesting food lies a few benefits that most people don’t know. Sure, sushi is good, but it’s healthy too.
Most people are intimidated by the thought of eating raw fish. “Eww!” they’ll say. “I don’t want to eat something raw. That’s crazy!” Generally, that’s probably a good policy, but not so true with sushi. There are absolutely no bad effects from eating sushi, as long as it is prepared properly. Raw fish is perfectly digestible when its fresh and handled well. This is why I wouldn’t eat sushi in the middle of Kansas (not that Kansas is known for sushi anyway). But the freshness goes further than making sure it’s safe to eat: fresh fish contains many more nutrients than fish that’s a few days old and has to be cooked. When you cook something, you get rid of both the bad and the good microbes in it, effectively neutralizing it. With sushi, the fish is usually no more than one day old, so there isn’t enough time for the fish to harbor any pathogens.
Mackerell, for example, is a fish that is packed with natural oils, omega 3, and vitamin E, which works as an antioxidant. Raw tuna and salmon also contain omega 3, as well as plenty of iron and other nutrients that are otherwise very scant. The raw fish is just so packed with nutrients! Besides all the nutrients, sushi always consists of lean meat which is wonderful for filling you up without weighing you down. The amount of rice involved in a nigiri is small enough that it doesn’t have much of any effect, caloric or otherwise. And if you eat the seaweed in a maki roll, or some edamame, or the delicious pickled ginger, or just some vegetables with your meal, it adds the simple dietary fiber that helps to digest and keep you regular. As long as you can resist the temptation of the various tempura items and noodles, you should be fine. And even if you don’t like raw fish, you can get the shrimp, the crab, the eel, or plenty of the other vegetables as they pass on the conveyor belt.
Honestly, the huge hangup that people have that RAW=BAD is false, especially in the case of sushi. In fact, sushi is probably one of the healthiest sorts of food you can possibly eat. It may be a problem if you live in a place like Kansas, but if you can find good sushi, I highly suggest you make a habit of partaking in it’s bounty of nutrients.