I like stuff.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Valentine's Day, 2006

Alright, so nothing new and original here. For the big romantic valentine
day meal, we ended up going to one of our regular haunts: Tommy's Sushi.

Granted, we don't go there with the same regularity that we used to since we
moved to the far north end of the county, but we typically make the drive at
least every couple months, and always make sure to show up to the New Year's
(whew, try saying that out loud) extravaganza (our designated line-sitter
finally made it first in line this year after several years of taking second
place. Granted, he did so by showing up at 9:30am (doors open at 5:00pm),
perhaps we should start springing for his meal (we showed up around 3:30).

But, sorry Tommy, we actually tried going another place first that happened
to be closer (even knowing that we don't like it as much). When they turned
out to have a wait that was surely longer than driving to Tustin and getting
through that wait, we turned tail and ran.

Without going into various sordid recollections of various years past, there
isn't a lot to say about the place. Really good, fresh fish with an ambiance
reminiscent of Bladerunner. As someone that's never been off-continent, I'd
swear the place belongs behind some vaguely-marked door in a Tokyo
marketplace than republican-clad Orange County.

Still no scoring system, so here's another group o' stats:

Typically, we spend about 50 bones for the two of us. That breaks down into
our usual order:
2 spicy tuna cut rolls
2 tuna and avacado cut rolls
1 salmon skin cut roll (split between us)
1 yellowtail (hamachi) and onion cut roll (split between us)
1 order of tuna sashimi (7 pieces, we split that too)
1 order of gyoza (dumplings similar to potstickers, split between us)
1 order of albacore nigiri (2 pieces)
1 order of salmon nigiri (2 pieces)
and occassionally, we'll split another cut roll, often California Eel Roll,
Soft Shell Crab Roll (sometimes known as Spider roll due to all the legs and
whatnot )

(for what it's worth, try to make it to the new year's eve extravaganza
sometime. all-you-can-eat sushi, champagne (not good champagne, but
still...), $25/person. We often do much experimentation then as they lay it
out buffet-style. The only downside is that they don't really identify
things so well, so it's hard to order it ever again)

Sit-down table service. Things get pretty busy on weekend nights, and they
don't take reservations, so if you must, try to sneak in close to opening
time (5pm).

Go a few times, and you'll learn to spot Tommy, the owner. He always says
hello when we stop by. It doesn't translate to discounts or anything, but
how many restaurants do you go to that the owner recognizes you? (cue Cheers
theme song)

Things to watch out for:
-Check out the photos in the entryway. They've been a bit better behaved
lately, but you might note that some of the happy diners depicted are not
only holding up the California License plate with the approximation of
"Tommy's Sushi", but occassionally an um...adult....toy.

-Keep an eye out for when the chefs at the bar start doling out the special
white sauce. I've only spotted it once, so I'm not entirely keen on the
details, but they've got a collection of wooden statues of men wearing
barrels on the shelves behind them. As I've heard it (and as best as I can
tell), they take the barrels off and grate daikon radish over the
anatomically-correct statuettes onto the sushi. I've heard they only do it
for one of their specials, but I can't recall which.

-Hey, while you're at it, keep an eye on the chefs anyhow. They tend to get
a bit inebriated every night, and occassionally they start getting onery. I
once witnessed them dealing with an inexperienced customer that asked what
the wasabi was by responding "green tea ice cream" and offering the
inqusitor a bowlful. Don't get me wrong, they aren't mean-spirited, but it
was humorous.

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