Do you know what Sushi of Gari means in Japanese? "You-will-go-broke-eating-here." Yup, that's what it means. Was it worth it? Hell yes. Incredible food is always worth it, and crappy food, whether $10 (Oaxaca Taqueria) or $100 (The Fat Radish), is always far more disappointing (#foochebag). So what was the special occasion? Jon and I took Andrew out for his...wait for it...27th birthday last week! We knew we had to make this meal extra special to cushion the blow of old age. :)
The three of us fatties ordered the sushi and sashimi omakase which is essentially anything the chef wants to serve you (his "tasting menu"). The chef generally presents innovative plates with that day's freshest fish and other ingredients.
Essentially, we got 4 courses starting with an amuse bouche of a tiny sliver of a beet, mackerel rolled in an egg sheet and a crab omelette. I didn't particularly love any of these 3 things, but they were fine to tease my taste buds.
We ordered the zesty Hijiki (not pictured) salad and Gindara Kasuzuke (broiled marinated black cod) à la carte to get some food in our systems early on in the meal (and because we're glutinous fatties). I guess I never realized that seaweed salads at fancy Japanese restaurants look more like this than this. I swear it was super fresh and delicious with a (real) ginger dressing. Just looks a little funny, that's all. The cod filet was incredibly juicy and broke off easily in glistening chunks of delicious fish. It was broiled to a beautiful golden hue which gave the fish a slightly crispy exterior with a bit of a smoky flavor.
Now this plate can be described as a KNOCKOUT VICTORY FOR MY BELLY. Everything on here was phenomenal, from the plump West Coast oyster to the fresh raw baby squid to the fattiest toro in the world to the tangy mackerel ceviche that was not fishy at all. Mmmmmm........so yummy.
Now here's where the real fun begins. I can't quite remember everything I ate, but all the sushi had some innovative compliment (i.e. tofu cream, roasted tomato, etc.) that enhanced and highlighted the quality of the sushi. This is what Andrew calls modern Japanese cuisine vs. Sushi Yasuda which is more traditional.
This platter looked yummy from afar, but as it made its way to our table, there was nothing else in the world I wanted more! Starting from left to right...the salmon with roasted tomato was phenomenal. Uh...I hate when my fatty memory fails me. I can't remember what that 2nd piece was but it was delicious like everything else we had that night! The amaebi (shrimp) and squid sushi were also super nomzworthy - characteristically sweet and super fresh.
On to the next one! This platter was even more amazing than the previous one. Every molecule of this platter was out of control - extreme yumminess. The perfect combination of tuna and tofu cream meant subtle flavor explosions for my vulnerable taste buds, but the hamachi and scallion oil was not to be underestimated either. The seared squid and uni butter was possibly my favorite sushi of the night. Uni gets me and my wallet every time. Don't forget the mirugai which was crisp and refreshing with a hint of natural sweetness! I normally refer to this thing as the giant scary clam (geoduck), but I don't care what it looks like as long as it tastes good. All in all, the omakase was a resounding success. The three of us devoured everything.
And last but not least, allow me to present Sushi of Gari's infamous Foie Gras Sushi. Gorgeous, right? The foie gras was absolutely divine: rich (how can it not be?), sweet, balanced (with the vinegar rice and balsamic), perfect. We had to order this hefty piece of "sushi" à la carte because it didn't come with our omakase. Didn't matter - it was worthy EVERY penny.
Here are a few choice words to describe the Mille Crepe, Banana Bread Pudding and Chocolate Mousse Cake: orgasmic, holy, lucscious, dreamy, food coma-worthy, warm, perfection. You get the picture, dessert was ridiculously amazing. Ok, enough. Fatty, calm down!
My take on the overall experience: I love Sushi of Gari because it's pretty casual for a place with such high-quality sushi and exceptional service as I recall that my shoes were off during most of the meal in typical Fatty Kat fashion. Writing this post made me miserable and hungry. I want to go back!
Yay, now here's a reminder of why I ate here in the first place...HAPPY OLD MAN BIRTHDAY!