Sunday, January 13

Honey Wasabi Ice Cream? Whaaaaaa?!

now-a-days, i have a regular happy hour tradition with BlackSesame and Kiddo on friday nights. however, if i think back, the tradition really started with Kiddo and me.  due to the close proximity of our job locations, we would randomly ask each other to meet up for drinks or dinner, our schedules permitting.

on 1 such particular night, Kiddo asked me to meet him for drinks and dinner. suffering from a particularly nasty hangover that day, i had initially wanted to decline.  however, Kiddo pressed me to attend, and something in the way he said, "i just need to drink tonight" convinced me to acquiesce, although i suggested a ramen restaurant for dinner in the hopes that the broth would soothe my stomach (there's just something so home-y about ramen and noodle soups. its the asian equivalent of the American chicken noodle soup).

my stomach was still acting up by the time i arrived at St. Marks to meet Kiddo.  being the earlier party for once (it's very rare), i stopped into Spot Dessert Bar for some Condensed Milk Ice Cream, figuring the dairy would help to line my stomach for the alcohol i intended to put into it. when Kiddo arrived, he recommended we go to Soba-Ya for noodles instead of my ramen suggestion. soba sounded like a nice, gentle option for my tummy and was close to our current location, so we headed over.

holy jabroni what a good decision. Soba-Ya is a decently sized restaurant (not too big, not too small), but due to the popularity of it there's always a wait. ours wasn't that bad, about 20-30 mins. 

since Kiddo's primary objective was to imbibe alcohol, he was very generous with the menu and allowed me to pick what we ate.  we started with 2 special appetizers: uni with yuzu-ponzu gelee and fresh wasabi. being a big fan of uni, i was curious about this dish. the uni was very fresh and creamy and the gelee added a nice acidity/sweetness to the dish, with the wasabi rounding out the flavors with a slight kick.  my only complaint would be that the dish is a little difficult to eat as the gelee melts extremely quick and the proportion of gelee to uni is very unbalanced leaving you with a dish of gelee at the end.

our other appetizer was ankimo (monkfish liver). this was the best rendition of this dish i've tasted to date. it's served cold and the texture is akin to pate, with an equally game-y, complex flavor. dressed with a little bit of ponzu sauce, this was my favorite dish of the night.  

for entrees,Kiddo and i differed slightly for our preferences. since my tummy was still a little sensitive, i preferred to get a hot soba whereas Kiddo preferred a cold one. so in the end we ordered a large order of the Kamo Seiro ($16): sliced duck and tokyo negi in a hot dipping sauce and a large order of the Mori ($9.50).  while the Kamo Seiro was very good, it was a little salty and distracted from the natural flavor of the soba. in the end, i preferred Kiddo's order of Mori, so it was lucky for me that we shared both entrees.

although i was happily satiated food-wise, i was intrigued by their offering of honey-wasabi ice cream and, with Kiddo's encouragement, ended up ordering a trio of ice creams for dessert. and i can't recommend the flavor enough! it's sweet with a little wasabi-mustard kick that isn't unpleasant!

by the end of the meal, i had discovered a restaurant i really loved, and Kiddo had managed to drink approximately 70-80% of a very large bottle of sake. as we exited the restaurant, Kiddo (a little intoxicated) convinced me to go check out Japadog, as he could "still eat," and he knew the restaurant was on my list.

which was how we found ourselves at Japadog. i ordered the Croquette (japanese croquette and arabiki sausage) while Kiddo ordered the recommended Terimayo (teriyaki sauce, mayo, and seaweed). while the Croquette had a little too much going on for a hotdog, i liked the Terimayo which was savory and sweet at the same time. next time, i would order the Oroshi. Kiddo wasn't as impressed.

The Terimayo
The Croquette
inquiring about what else was on my list, we found ourselves around the corner at Pommes Frites for my first time eating these crunchy french fries. at this point, i have no idea how i managed to fit any more food in my stomach and i can't recall exactly what sauces we chose although i remember there being 2. i do remember the weather was nice enough that we sat outside while we munched away and the french fries were salty and delicious and the dipping sauces were perfect.

oooo, just thinking about this night reminds me of why i'm such a fatty now.

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