Thursday, February 07, 2008
Romantic ambiance. I'm often asked about romantic dining places in Marin, and with Valentine's Day coming up, I thought it would be good timing to update you on a place that would be my pick to spend a special romantic evening with that special someone. Dad & I visited Sushi 69 for dinner last night, and have nothing but good things to report.
We started with the Vegetables Miso Soup (Kenchin-jiru) which was beautifully served with a decorative, yet functional carved wooden spoon. It tasted as good as it looked and smelled and there were nice vegetable treasures underneath those floating tofu pieces.
Next we tried the Assorted Appetizer, which had tiny portions enough for two to have some nice flavor and texture contrasts to get the palate ready for the next courses. It included seven kinds of appetizers -- Goma tofu (sesame tofu), Gomaae (spinach with sesame sauce), Asparagus with miso vinegar sauce, Satoimo (taro potato), Agedashi ingen (Japanese beans), Nasu Nanban (marinated eggplant), and Kinpira gobo (burdock and carrot).
Moving on we tried the Hamachi Carpaccio. This thinly sliced yellow tail had a kick composed of jalapeno, horseradish with garlic-ponzu sauce. My eyes nearly watered, but it was a nice flavor burst, and had a clean taste.
This was followed by the Agedashi - deep fried shrimp, tofu, eggplants and ingen with seasoned soy sauce.
And we offset all these heightened flavors with the smooth freshness of a California roll. It was the perfect foil.
We made it a special occasion by sharing a dessert, the Mil-Crepe with green tea ice cream. The crepe consisted of layers of crepe filled with bananas and topped with strawberries and accompanied by green tea ice cream and soft towers of whipped cream. Luscious!
I noticed that there is an Omakase course available at the sushi bar as well. I can't wait to try this sometime as usually this style course is only offered at the best restaurants and you get a parade of eye and palate pleasing bites one after the other. Sushi 69 also offers a top class selection of sakes and the staff is well-versed in the subtle differences. I can envision an Omakase meal with the Premium Sake Tasting sometime in my future...
But what makes it so romantic? Well, first of all the food is beautiful, artful and sensual. The music is perfectly smooth and jazzy in the background with beautiful low light accents and intimate dining spaces. And the service is unobtrusive and impeccable. The dishes are whisked away at the right moment, not making you feel rushed, yet not giving you any feeling of waiting for your next course. The night was moderately busy and I could see this happening all around me with ease. Don't miss a special night here.
January 18, 2007