Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Sashi Sushi & Sake Lounge: A Rare Visit to Manhattan Beach

I remember Sashi from back when I attended an event at Shade Hotel in Manhattan Beach. It looked modern and sleek and packed with beautiful people. And when I saw the word "sushi" in the name, I immediately researched the place once I got home. The reviews were mixed, but their menu intrigued me so I made it a point to do a little investigating on my own. I made reservations for a Friday evening and despite the Laker game being on, the place was quite full. There was even a kid and his family celebrating his birthday here. I don't know if that was a nice, thoughtful gesture from the parents or just a lazy oversight... But I'm not going to judge because, frankly, I was eating sushi/sashimi at a very young age and would've loved to come here for my birthday dinner as a child. And for the rest of you still thinking about the Lakers, yes, I made J come with me to dinner during the Lake Show. I know, I know... but, he didn't complain! Girlfriend or Lakers... tough choice, right? I hope not...

amuse bouche: crispy rice, bean powder

The amuse bouche was a cold lovely start to the meal. I loved the crispy rice and the flavors of the bean powder.

Asahi Black

La Poire Fleur, Grey Goose La Poire, St. Germain liqueur, grapefruit juice, and lemon juice

J was quick to order his Asahi Black while I was skimming through the cocktail menu. And as soon I saw grapefruit and lemon juice, I was sold. I love citrus in everything, especially with alcohol. And since I don't really care for overly sweet cocktails, I thought this would be perfect. Unfortunately, this cocktail didn't live up to my expectations. I was expecting sour and tart, but it was a bit too sweet for my liking.

edamame 2 ways: steamed edamame with indian spices and edamame with sea salt

J's love affair with edamame continues. They were both pretty standard to me, althought I did appreciate extra kick I got from the one prepared with indian spices.

uni toast

Of course, as you know, I love uni. It is one of my favorite things to eat on earth of all time. That's a pretty big statement. I know. So, naturally, I was excited to try this. These bite-sized uni toasts were full of flavor from the red onions and ended with a nice spicy kick. However, I thought the amount of uni was lacking and I finished the dish wanting more of that sweet, oceanic flavor.

spicy tuna over crispy rice

Even for sushi purists like me, spicy tuna over crispy rice holds a soft spot in my heart. I've been having a very strong craving for it lately, thanks to J. It's such a great snack to have any given time day or night, or in my case, middle of the night. The tuna was spicy and flavorful. The best part for me was the crispy rice, it was sticky and delicious.

king crab claws "corn dogs," lemon thyme, sea salt and served with a lemon grass dipping sauce

The claws were salty and had a good amount of crab in it. It was a bit difficult to eat, but I had no shame in picking it up with my hands and digging right in. Although the breading was a bit on the burnt side, I liked how crispy it was. The dipping sauce was bland and unnecessary in my opinion - the claws were good on its own.

kobe beef tataki, Jidori soft boiled egg, microgreens

Much like the Korean dish, yuk hwe, the kobe beef tataki came with a luscious soft boiled egg. I can't remember what the dressing was, but I believe it was mayo-based and I did not care for it. It made the dish feel heavier when the egg already had done the job of binding and coating the raw beef. I've honestly had better raw beef and felt this whole plate was overdressed with the dressing. It's not something I would order again.

foie gras

My mild disappointment turned into deep sadness with the next course. The foie gras was the only item I ordered off the robata menu and it was very unpleasant. How can foie gras be unpleasant? Well, one side of the foie gras was entirely burnt and inedible, this was the case for both pieces. Of course, I didn't know this at first since the burnt side was on the bottom and concealed from view. I didn't want to anger the liver gods so I scraped off the torched layer and finished off both pieces.

sweet shrimp with fried head

Having been turned off by my last dish, I didn't want to end the meal with a bad taste in my mouth. So I decided to order an order of sushi - something that was foolproof. The sweet shrimp was just that, sweet and delicious. And I love a good fried head.

There were some hits and definitely some misses in regards to my experience at Sashi. But, the real question is: would I go back? I believe I would if I were in the area. I have a lot more to cover on the menu before I turn in my verdict.

Sashi: sushi and sake lounge on Urbanspoon
Sashi Sushi + Sake Lounge in Los Angeles on Fooddigger
Sashi Sushi & Sake Lounge
451 Manhattan Beach Blvd
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
(310) 545-0400


bagnatic said...

girlfriend or lakers?! man you're a tough woman!

i have a soft spot for spicy tuna too...hahha. can't help myself.

nelehelen said...

i actually made some spicy tuna at home recently because i was craving it so much... LOL

and hey, i don't make him choose btwn me and the Lakers TOO often.. just once in awhile LOL

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