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Who travels to Fairlawn, Ohio for sushi? Well, apparently I did.
Ohio food folks talked about Sakura in Fairlawn like it was Godzillla approved…so I decided to check it out. Maybe I’d meet Mothra there too.
Slathered on miso dressing on their salad was not a good start.
Pieces of iceberg lettuce were shredded gigantically…which would be nice if I was an ogre.
May I remind you that Japanese food is delicate which each bite is delicately positioned for maximum taste in minimum bites.
See, told you
Miso soup – $1.95
Miso soup was a tad salty, but I was glad to see tofu cubes in the soup. Some Japanese resties offer miso soup with an option of tofu since so many patrons ask “without tofu” – WTH! Miso soup MUST have tofu. End of rant.
Unagi – $5.25
Another marker we use for Japanese resties is the eel (Unagi).
The Unagi was OK. These thicker cut were hefty but seemed fresh.
As you know, the most common downfall of this dish is the drowning of eel in sauce. Mediocre sushi joints submerge their eel in sauce to aid the patron in hiding the weird taste of eel. This is NOT how unagi was meant to be served. Happily, Sakura did not oversauce them…which is really nice to see…esp in suburbia hell of Fairlawn. Iidesu.
The toasted Sesame seeds always have a mind of their own.
Perhaps a thinner slice would have helped the torching for a slightly crisper crust.
California Roll – $4.75
We also use the ubiquitous California roll as the marker of good sushi place.
Just OK. Definitely needed more rice because these were smaller…and size matters right? Also Chefs probably should not have slightly brown avocado served. Maybe consideration to separate green from red….like avocado, then immitation crab meat, then cucumber. Also consideration to add more mayo…cause I didn’t get any.
Chirachi – $16.95
Nice add-on the flower for beauty.
This Chirachi box was filled to the brim w/ stuff-NICE! The usual suspects made the box including some fatty salmon, chunk of eel, and really decent ahi.
I was pleasantly and ordered more rice to match up the fish w/ rice portions. Nice work Chefs!
Shrimp was the weird part of this one. I would have preferred small sweet shrimp as opposed to the Gidron sized tasteless gulf shrimp.
Overall, not a bad sushi place in Fairlawn and VERY well priced for in Fairlawn, Ohio!
Hell, I’m just glad to see suburbia types have an option for Japanese food.
I know many people are afraid of raw fish. So here’s a few step-by-step pictorial guide for all those “Real Housewives of Fairlawn” types.
Step-3: Eat raw fish.
Ahhh, the joys of raw fish…and welcome to the 90′s ladies.
Reporting live from QuarryLaneFarms…
Lotsa buzz about this new restie in Cleveland called Ginko at 2247 Professor Ave in Cleveland (Tremont neighborhood).
So we decided to drop on by for a muncha.
Upon entering the resite, their website’s claim is a load cause I NEVER heard anyone shout out “Irasshaimase!”
Not even a peep of Japanese from the hostess or the two white dudes standing at the front of the house.
But I guess without the “welcoming”, we got seated quicker. Oddly, it’s a bit tiny – the interior is small and not many seats for people.
There were about eight 2 high tops, 2 larger tables for 6 and bar seating. We trotted in for a RSVP for three. And yes, we got stuck in the corner.
And FYI-this high top was NOT conducive for three.
The menu was rather cut and dry. All fancy and all expensive. Growing up in Hawaii. We had access to fresh fish all the time. These prices teeter on NY $$$ for sushi.
When you have to pay excess of $24-$25 for an appetizer, you should already know you’re going to be broke or get some serious anal action later in the night.
There was a smattering of various dishes on our table. Must have come during a fresh turn as my shoyu dish was still wet from previous washing.
We had a ton to contemplate while we waited 32 minutes between our drinks arriving and the waiter allowing us to order.
Spicy Scallop Chips: Tobiko, scallions, Pringles – $12
This is a great dish w/o the Pringles chip. I feel that you should taste the spicy scallop, and taste the pops of the salty tobiko. Instead I was overwhelmed by the collegiate Pringles sour cream and onion chip which was further smushed by the additional green onions.
Great avocado…put it on the chip too. Don’t make people contemplate it.
Please understand, your first two words were “spicy scallop” – I should taste spicy scallop.
Edamame – $5
Pretty standard these days at any Japanese resties.
Most places just put kosher salt in the water while boiling. Ginko takes it one step further and follows up with a healthy coverage for presentation.
Also kudos on use of Fleur de sel - nice fancy touch. Peasants that eat edamame would have never done this.
Unagi / Foie Gras / Oshi Sushi – Shiso tempura, Ume Boshi – $15
Very enjoyable taste! We’ve never seen this pairing before so we were really intrigued. Delicious.
The wisps of hair looking things garnished is the foie.
Sushi rice was packed well and presentation was great.
Definitely need to order this again x5.
But here’s where the meal went south.
Maguro (tuna) Nigiri sushi – $5 per and Hamachi (yellowtale) Nigiri sushi – $5
These came out and I was a bit perplexed cause a few reliable food lovers ranted and raved about this place ie best sushi in Cleveland. I disagree.
Look, I can see if you only had a plastic spork for your knife work but one piece is $5?!?!??!?? And then you present it cut like this? Hack!
C’mon-this doesn’t even look appetizing! Also-the taste of maguro and hamachi are very different – so why does every little piece have to touch each other? You have this gigantic plate…use it!
Granted in a gangbang you want everything close, but related to sushi? Each individual piece is a little island to its own.
Chef Toshi-If you’re going to continue to serve chunks of maguro/hamachi AND have to have everything touch each other, consider serving chirachi.
As some of you know, one of our litmus tests for a new sushi joint is unagi (eel). Back 20 years ago, it used to be Ikura (salmon roe)…but we found that the complexities of just unagi (eel) make this the perfect test for quality and presentation.
Unagi nigiri (eel) – $5 per
Lightly sauced this was a gigantic piece of unagi.
Texturally, the unagi did not seem like it was torched lightly. It was rather soft, mushy and had no real firmness to it. Unagi should have some textural differences.
So I am not happy as the $5 eel tasted like prefrozen stuff.
Additionally, I also did not like the unagi riding side-saddle on the rice. I am a firm believer that you should prob adhere to the nigiri mantra of stuff on the rice.
Oh I see…the waiter skips to the table causing the unagi to fall off the rice.
Nope. Look closely at the macro.
Sauce was brushed or squirted on the rice. My opinion, rice should be pure and unadulterated. The piece of unagi should have a thin sheen of glaze on it.
Also if the unagi was on the rice before being expidited, the rogue sesame seeds would have never touched the rice.
That’s just sloppy.
California “Sunshine” – hand roll-$9 or cut roll $10
These price are redic. The waiter claimed that they use real crab in there…thus the expensive price. When presenting your dish, don’t have your wait staff justify the costs of the dishes-it’s tacky. Besides, I ASSUMED real crab since a normal California hand-roll is about $1.50. FYI-prices for an english cucumber, Hass avocado, and tobiko have not gone up recently.
Unless your California hand-roll does hand-jobs, I will assume your exorbited costs are in direct relations to you king crab.
Spicy tuna – hand roll-$6 or cut roll $7
Pretty standard, nothing to write home about.
Soft shell crab – avocado, tobiko, cucumber – hand roll-$7 or cut roll $8
Again, pretty standard, nothing to write home about.
Here’s where we go careening off the side of the mountain…cause ceiling leaked…no joke….it leaked alot.
I got wet (not in the good way). When it started leaking, I had to call the staff over and point it out. Breaking his stunned and perplexed look, I kindly suggested he get a bucket.
I informed him that the now flowing water seems to have come from an old sprinkler port which was recently covered up and painted over. Since the water coming out was rather brown and full of particulates, it leads me to believe that it could be a bigger leak. Staff informed me that it was the kitchen above us in Dante. Whew-glad it wasn’t the bathroom. DOH!
I would have walked out of there if it was from Dante’s bathroom.
Or maybe I was wrong. It might be part of their claim of “River Flowing Water Sushi Bar” – Either way, I confirm that a river of water flowed.
Best part of this meal? Wasabi. I think they have a guy in the back (let’s call him Wes), that his only job is to make wasabi. I’d go back for Wes’ wasabi fo sure.
it pretty much sucked we hope Ginko just had some first week jitters.
So all you food types just calm down now. We’ll go back once they make some changes.
Reporting live from QuarryLaneFarms…
To round out our “Tour de Bruell”, we visited Table 45 (@TBL45).
Tour de Bruell consists of L’Abatross, Chinato, Parallax and Table 45…And yes, it’s more neato to say “Tour de Bruell” than “the restaurants that Zack owns”
Now Table 45 is more like a bistro located at the bottom floor of the Cleveland Clinic Intercontinential Hotel, a fairly nice modern interior.
As you valet your car, you walk into a beautiful marble floor walkway…most likely remnants from a former restaurant Classics, this larger than life map exudes decadence unseen in Cleveland…espically at 100th st and Carnegie Ave. Awwwwkward.
BTW-don’t be early as their “waiting room” is almost like the psych room at your local ER.
But luckly, the restaurant was relatively empty for a Friday evening.
Drink orders were taken immediately and despite the waitress not knowing what bourbons are stocked, I now understand why.
Menus and complimentary bread was nice, esp these dipping dishes which allowed you to titrate the amount of oil on your bread. Great planning and bonus points on the grated square dish.
Edamame served steamed with salt-$4
Can’t really screw up edamame huh?
Escolar (Super White Tuna)- $5
This was definitely super white. Delicious!
Unagi (Fresh Water Eel) – $6
Note: As our readers know, this is our marker for sushi at any restaurant. Good…but needed a bit more crisping on the torching and alot less sauce. Technically, the sauce should be gently brushed on…not doused.
Mussel and saffron chowder-$8
This was just OK. I could clearly see the four mussels that were placed in the chowder. Dear Zach-n-ator: Saffron is so delicate! Why would you pair such a robust bivalve with such a delicate flower? Either you hate saffron or your favorite children are mussels. Overall, I’ve had better chowder.
Duck confit: Duck confit atop a bed of spinach tossed in a cherry vinaigrette with candied cashews, pickled red onions and tart cherries – $12
This salad was inconsistent by all our guests on our table. One plate got candied cashews, one didn’t, one plate never saw the cherry vinaigrette, etc…seriously, who’s expiditing at Table 45? When we correctly portioned and all ingredients from various plates, the salad was delicious. The different textures of sweet salty crunchy nuts to soft tart cherries was great. We wished that each dish had all hands correctly plating for our entire table. If it matches the description, I’d definitely order again.
Personal note: I don’t like the plates.
Signature plates = weird. I liken this special plate to tattooing my name above my dick to remind the girl who’s blowing me of my name.
Chinese Style noodles: Chinese style noodles with BBQ pork, tossed in a Chinese black vinegar sauce with garlic oil and scallions – $18
Three easy points on this dish:
1. Oversauced and over powering, I assure you, the heavy-handed Chef on the line at this station IS NOT Chinese. By the 7th bite, our lips were puckering from all the sauce.
2. When serving dishes with chopsticks pile-driven masted straight up and down in the food(like the sword in the stone), it is a sign of death to your customer. No matter where you are, it is an insult to serve Asian food like this. Ni hao-make some Asian friends.
3. Zacky-poo…just call it Hoisin. They sell it in Giant Eagle.
Butternut Squash Ravioli: Butternut Squash and Truffle Ravioli with Sage Creamed Spinach and toasted hazelnuts, drizzled with balsamic reduction and white truffle oil – $18.
The best dish of the evening as this ravioli was delicious and incredibly flavorful. Also appreciated the simple balsamic reduction and truffle oil. Really great stuff.
Lobster meatballs and Fettuccine: Lobster meatballs with fettuccine bell peppers shaved fennel tarragon and fried shallots tossed in a tomato and chardonnay creme sauce – $24
Whoa. Lobster meatballs?
Various sushi – various prices
Surprisingly, Zack-a-muffin’s sushi was good.
Glad to see an actual Asian chef behind the sushi bar. Kudos on that.
Speaking of rice – “Sticky rice” – $6
Yes on rice, no on sticky, and not worth $6 for a side. NEXT!
Braised pork: Braised pork with a bacon and chihuahua cheese stuffed potato coquette, haricot vert and charred tomato sauce – $21.
The meat was unseasoned as the pork tasted as it was braised in a pot of water for an hour. As you can see, the sauce was used to cover up “seasoned” pork (if it at all seasoned). Yo Zack, suburban mom’s have made better braised pork with a crock pot…get in the game son!
Embarrassingly enough, your godzilla sized coquette was the same size as your pork. The advertised bacon was MIA and the delicate chihuahua cheese was lost in the fray of the burnt tomto sauce. Speaking of sauces, this sauce should not be spoken of ever again. Burn something else. Now unless Chef Bruell has some limp dick syndrome, these are NOT how his haricot verts were intended.
Limp, soggy and cold - I’ve seen more wood at a nursing home! Of course contrast is definitely nice, but again, timing is key in plating…and the expiditer should be held accountable.
Our dessert? We ordered ice cream and hose made sorbet. After what seemed to be 25 minutes, our waitress casually walked back and informed me that they have run out of vanilla ice cream. I said to her not to worry and cancel the order. She exclaimed that they have already plated the guava.
***Ice cream break: How can you run out of vanilla ice cream? WTF peeps?!!?!??! Cold hard fact-vanilla ice cream is still the most popular flavor ordered.***
I again said to cancel the dessert order. Her offer of free cup of coffee was nice.
Our waitress was incredibly friendly, but needed an assist from Boobs McGee (the Manager) when figuring our bill. Sheeeesh.
But in true form, since Table 45 has not updated their twitter since July 12, 2010 or his TBL45 blog on December 14th, 2010, – I highly doubt that Zack or his team will read this within a month.
So raise a glass lads as I can now easily say that Table 45 likes it limp.
Reporting live from QuarryLaneFarms…