I like stuff.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Wasabi: Universal City Walk

So this is a little out of my area, and I wasn't expecting much as I tend to
think of Universal City Walk as little more than the average mall. (My
inclination for most mall-based-restaurants is to think of them with about
as much esteem as Orange Julius or Hot-Dog-On-A-Stick. It's stereotyping,
sure, but any mall-located place needs to shake itself of food court stigma
in my mind. Your mileage may vary.)

We ordered:
Seared Garlic Tuna Sashimi - I read this as Tuna Tataki. The sauce wasn't
bad, but I quickly discarded the crispy garlic garnish after the first tase.
Bitter. Awful. I wasn't terribly excited by their maguro. It wasn't bad
specifically: it didn't taste old or nasty, I've just had better.

The girl:
She ordered the Wasabi Chef Special: Maguro, Hamachi and Salmon Nigiri, with
a spicy tuna hand roll. She let me taste the Maguro and the Hamachi. As
before, the maguro wasn't that exciting, but the hamachi was pretty tasty.

I got the Unagi Donburi (spelled Unagi Domburi in the menu. I'm pretty darn
white, so I've got little ground to stand on, but Domburi with an 'M'?
That's a new one on me.) and a salmon-skin cut roll.

The Unagi in my mind could've gone a bit further, but I tend to like my eel
on the firm side, and slimy bits are a bit off-putting. It was served in a
box on rice with some indescribable pickled things (it was yellow, it was
clearly pickled, and hey, I already confessed that I am pretty darn white.
Give me some credit for not letting such things dissuade me from eating
them) and a thinly-sliced pickled (I suspect rice vinegar at play) cucumber

But, I will say the salmon-skin roll was easily the best I'd ever had. I
split it with the girl because it was darn good, and she'd had some doubts
that the special would be enough to stave off her stomach's grumbling's.
Crisp texture, with a slightly smokey flavor (that it'd actually had a fair
shot at some serious dry heat) If our regular sushi haunt managed the same,
we'd be there more often. Good stuff, I tells you.

Note of curiousity: Each of our entree's came with a salad and miso. Miso
isn't such a big deal, but the dressing on the salad appeared to have
contained a fair amount of mayonnaise. Normally, this would've sent the girl
to push it away without question, but after I snagged the tomato wedge,
heroically taking as much dressing as I could, I think her hunger got the
best of her and she tried it anyway. Gentle reader, you must understand the
aversion the girl holds towards mayonnaise. We're not talking oil and water,
We're talking hypochondriac meets anthrax. Not only did she try it, she
exclaimed that she liked it by the end. I've got no certainty that mayo was
even involved, but the hurdling of even the visual obstacle is pretty darn

Add my shock to the current list that includes her slowly growing
appreciation for mushrooms (we're up to sauteed, with the early venture into
raw white button mushrooms on salad. Awe, I tells you, awe.)

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