Thursday, April 9, 2009
Just when you thought Miyake couldn't get any better..
Masa is now accompanied by Shinji. Masa will tell you that he is not a sushi chef and that Shinji Is. I'm now a believer..
While we waited for a spot at the bar (they'll call your cell when it's available), Dietz and I decided to head over to the Downtown Lounge. J.C. seemed confused to see us this early, so I made him more comfortable by ordering what I normally would at 12:45 a.m. A PBR and an enormous shot of Jagermeister (I know, I'm so trashy..) We got the call and headed back over..
What we're drinking to start:
Rogue Brewery Morimoto (whom Shinji trained) Soba Ale 2x22oz
Kasu Jiru: a sake lees/miso based stew, with a base of tai/salmon/kimme dai head stock, meat pulled off bones, served with daikon, carrot, yam cake, and shitake.
This was a hearty first course, which was good because the restaurant was fairly busy so the pace at first was a little slow. Not that we were in a hurry...
2ndDeep sea glass eels Noresore (Korean) with ponzu and scallions. These were amazing, practically melting in your mouth.
3rdSalmon toro on Japanese gnocchi w/ mustard sauce and garlic parsly oil. I can't even describe to you how good this was... I've never had Salmon toro before, and it was perfect on top of the crispy gnocchi.
At this point we're drinking:
1x Saiya Shuzoten, Yuki No Bosha Limited Release Junmai Ginjo, Akita, Japan, 720ml
4thSaba tasting. Farm raised, fatty, with sesame paste. Wild lightly brined and vinegar washed with ume paste and shallot. Both Japanese. I've never had mackerel that tasted this mild and fresh. The farm raised in particular was insanely good.
5thTiny Japanese sardines marinated in soy, mirin, & lemon dried in cooler, with sesame seeds. Not only were these visually stunning, but delicious.
6thChanchan Yaki: A pile of deliciously crisp iceberg lettuce topped with salmon, ika, shrimp, hotate, tai and disturbing amounts of spicy, mustardy Kewpie mayo broiled to perfection. Looked awful. Tasted great,with some bizarre textures. Yay!
7thSkate and hotate salad with parsley garlic oil, and micros over rice. Presentation was beautiful. You'd think I would have had something that wasn't amazing at this point. Wrong.
8thPork Tasting, crispy Berkshire pork intestine, rolled marinated thin sliced pork belly w/ scallion & hot mustard. Seriously couldn't give a fuck about the belly (which was delicious) next to the sweet, dank, salty, crispy, carbon tinged but still gooey, delectable innards. These intestines were one of the best things I've ever eaten.
I decide we need more sake. I return from west end grocer with a bottle that I thought looked promising. The conversation went like this:
Me: This looked fun.
Dietz: I don't know that one.
Me: It's from SoPo, I've never had it either..
Dietz: I don't prefer SoPo's sakes.. Oh Wait. Shit. You see what you've gone and done here is purchased a Nigori (unfiltered) sake.
Me: Shit - I didn't notice because of the cloth wrapper around the bottle.
Dietz: What's wrong with you?
We usually don't love Nigori sake. This one turned out to be the best one we'd ever had..
Hitori Musume Junmai Nigori Sake, Yamanaka Shuzo. Ibaraki Prefecture. 720ml
9thnigiri: hamachi w/ minced jalepeño, bluefin loin w/ pickled sweet onion, tai with salad (enoki, pigñola, greens), sawara (Spanish mackerel) w/ shitake & enoki stuff. The Bluefin loin was mind-numbingly good.
10thCrispy fried eggplant "noodle" soup in a brutally flavorful, crystal clear, dashi w/ mirin broth. Ok - This was one of my favorite parts of the night. Shinji took a japanese eggplant, basically made a paper thin scroll out of it with his knife, then chiffonaded that into noodles. You've got to see this man work...
After all this, I was pretty blissed out.
Seemed like a perfect time to go over to Local and have a few Chambly Noirs from this guy. He generally puts up with me showing up hammered and insisting that he play "Flashing Lights" by Kanye West. This capped the night off perfectly. Thank you to Masa, Shinji, and Carl for a perfect dining experience!