Sunday, June 10, 2012

Tsunami Sushi

Earlier this week J and I went to Utah for his son’s high school graduation. A happy event but one with the potential for awkward and possibly unpleasant scenes and feelings as it involved his ex, a woman who has been, by and large, unhappy with her life and a negative person. I was not looking forward to seeing her but hoped to be able to channel my mother’s decades of etiquette training and maintain, at the least, my outward composure, if not my sanity.

It was then an unexpected surprise when we found ourselves without dinner plans on Monday. It took me less than a minute to come up with a solution but, of course, it will take me three times as long to give you the back story.

Living in Portland means living less than an hour and a half from the ocean and from such havens for fresh seafood as Alaska; surprising then that our journey to discover a truly great and reliable sushi restaurant has been a struggle. Let me clarify. At no point, in any sushi restaurant have we had bad fish. OK, once I had some tuna that I was pretty sure had been frozen but that was an anomaly. The fish is always fresh and delicious but what is missing is innovation. I know it is American and inauthentic to like rolls in a sushi restaurant but I do. I leave the purist “I only eat sashimi and nigiri’ attitude to my poncey husband. I like combinations of flavors and ingredients but with fish as the focal point. This is what we have been unable to find in Portland but which we found in abundance in Salt Lake City. Go figure because if you said, “Do you want sushi in a landlocked city or a coastal one?” it would have been an easy answer but not the right one.

Anyway, one of our go-to favorite restaurants for sushi was Tsunami and on Monday we went back. An interesting visit because yes, it was still good but as good as it had been? No. There were two white guys behind the counter which was different and a bit off-putting. Not that they can’t learn to make sushi but the best work in crafting beautiful sushi comes from those who grew up with it. Is that racist? I hope not but if so, sorry. This was just a bit sloppier than anything we’d had before- maybe because it was Monday or maybe because they now have 3 locations and can’t hire/train people quickly enough.

That aside, it was a very good meal and satisfied my sushi cravings. The search will continue in Portland.

Sushi poppers- smoked salmon with scallions and rice, wrapped in seaweed and tempura fried. Served with a spicy aioli sauce. These I could eat until I exploded. Crunchy, tender, spicy.

Guess which side of the plate is mine and which is J's? Whatever- mine is beyond yummy. In the middle was a special roll of the day with spicy tuna, yellowtail and avocado. On the right my all-time favorite roll- the Jenny. Crab inside with salmon and a very thin slice of lemon on top, drizzled with ponzu. A flavor explosion that's making my mouth water right now. I'm a lemon freak so this is it.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

My mouth is watering too - those sushi poppers look to die for!

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