As I mentioned, for my 33rd birthday, the theme was sushi/sashimi – specifically, omakase. When asked, I dutifully gave my list to Hungry and Dessert Zombie, and Ushiwakamaru was chosen. I’ve heard a lot about this place, and was excited to give it a try – and want to return for their ‘secret’ after-hours ramen restaurant, but that’s going to be another adventure for another day.
After we took our seats at the long sushi bar, bowls of thinly sliced seaweed were placed in front of us to rev our appetites. We ordered our sake quickly and began the feast.
Then the fish started arriving. Unfortunately, as you can see from Hungry’s post, the sake was getting to us and we failed to remember everything we ate. I’m not sure why I didn’t take notes… I did my best the next day, looking through the photos on my camera, to remember what I ate though! (Wait – Hungry’s post explains why I didn’t take notes. She convinced me not to. Scapegoat!)
Octopus with salt and pepper; King crab body meat; toro or fatty tuna; horse mackerel; amberjack, and one more thing… Regardless, each piece was super fresh, delicate and delicious. I thoroughly enjoyed my platter, slowly savoring each piece as they melted in my mouth. Heaven.
I’m not sure what this piece of fish was, only that it was delicious.
Soy cured tuna – which I recognized from my meal at 15 East – was again melty, perfectly flavored, and lovely.
Shiro ebi – tiny white shrimp – lightly chewy, oceany in taste, and super fresh.
I’m not entirely sure what this one was.
My notes from the next day say sockeye salmon but this doesn’t quite look like sockeye salmon to me…
This is definitely fatty tuna or toro – look at that wonderful marbling of fatty goodness! Melt in your mouth awesomeness.
I want to say this was hamachi, so I will.
Look at that amazing color. Wow. I am so sad I don’t recall which fish this was.
This looks like fluke honestly – the striations of the meat – but what do I know.
My notes say giant clam.
This looks like bonito.
This was fresh salmon roe – something else I also had at 15 East. I know there are seasons for certain fish, so perhaps the seasonality was reflected in which fish I had most often at each place. Delicious little salty balls.
Hokkaido uni – check out how small each piece of uni is! – with a bit of wasabi. Super fresh, and again, that fishy aftertaste. It wasn’t unpleasant, but for those who don’t like fishy tasting things, you should definitely avoid this (and give your share to me).
At this point – I believe it was at this point we moved into the “what else would you like to eat?” and finished our omakase. It was around here, regardless.
Anago, or salt water eel (different from the eel you get as a standard). The flesh on these is slightly firmer, thicker, and definitely meatier, but less pronounced in flavor – although unagi (freshwater eel), the one you are likely used to eating, is generally coated in a thick layer of very sweet sauce.
Scallop – raw – which the chef had to creatively figure a way to make three pieces of scallop sushi for us, as he was almost out. It worked. And it was delicious.
I wanted more toro. Super fatty, extra marbling goodness – YUM.
Dessert Zombie really enjoyed the crab from the very beginning. This time it was served sushi style (with rice). Still delicious, and very sweet. Mmm.
Finally, we ended on uni – Santa Barbara this time. Delicious.
Everything was super fresh, no stank, just tasting of the ocean and almost like it was killed a few minutes prior. Absolutely wonderful and delicious. I was perfectly sated and happy at that moment and didn’t need another bite to make my night complete… perfection.
But you can’t eat out with Dessert Zombie and not look at the dessert menu. And when you do, and he sees a few items on the menu that he knows you like, well…
Cake shows up. Lady M’s green tea crepe cake, to be exact, which is super famous and though I could swear I had it in the past and thought it was only okay, this was fantastic. The bitterness of the green tea shone through and cut through the light pastry cream used between each crepe, and just was delicious without being too sweet nor heavy after our meal.
You know what else shows up? A scoop of black sesame ice cream, because Dessert Zombie knows how much I absolutely adore black sesame – and good black sesame ice cream even more. This was rich without being overly so; slightly sweet, and enough sesame in it that I felt satisfied after a few bites. Really good.
Overall, my birthday meal at Ushiwakamaru was one to hazily remember – great conversation (even with SOMEONE shouting into the quiet restaurant that I’m lonely – uh, no I’m not!), fantastic food, wonderful dining companions, and lots of alcohol… just a lovely, lovely evening with two of my closest friends. Love you both, and thank you for the amazing night out!!! xoxo
For the rest of you – if you like sushi, sashimi, of the freshest order, prepared with care and a lot of thought, I highly recommend Ushiwakamaru. I don’t think it’s cheap even though I didn’t see the bill, but speaking from the happy faces on my companions who did pay – it was well worth it.