Friday, November 14, 2008
I was lucky enough to have a wonderful dinner with two long time friends and colleagues, Zafar & Sachiko at Sushi Bistro on Balboa in San Francisco. Even the tastiest food tastes better with friends.
We shared everything, and enjoyed a leisurely dinner where beautiful dishes came out in succession. The complimentary cucumber salad came out first.
Edame was a great little snack to start while we poured over the intriguing and extensive menu. These were warm, salty and good.
"Mr. Brown" was a mix of smoothness with tofu, unagi and avacado flash fried in tempura batter and served with a slightly sweet brown sauce.
I haven't had the treat of soft shell crab in some time, and their appetizer of the same name was perfectly rendered as a tempura with a nice ponzu sauce for contrast.
Zafar expressed how much he enjoys a Japanese classic, Agedashi tofu, and of course we had to have some of Sushi Bistro's version which was great, although probably not as spicy as Zafar's current favorite.
The next dish we tried was a Tuna Poke Salad, which was updated from the classic by placing the seasoned tuna cubes on top of salad and fried vermicelli potatoes.
Next we had a couple of lettuce wraps. The Winter which is a spicy and crunchy mix of spicy tuna, avocado, aioli and shrimp tempura, and the Equinox, a flavorful combination of shrimp tempura, unagi, avocado, sushi rice, spicy and eel sauce.
The Big Island was a fresh and crunchy surprise that was an instant hit with it's cucumber wrapper and fresh seafood stuffing. The interior contained an amazingly diverse filling of salmon, tuna, yellowtail & tobiko, Snow crab meat, avocado and sprouts inside that thinly sliced cucumber.
Then there was the unforgettable Omega-3 roll. Fried spicy salmon, avocado and asparagus topped with salmon, albacore, spicy soy sauce and tobiko provided intensely compact bites.
We ended with First Crush, fruity and fishy combination of spicy albacore, avocado and fuji apple topped with salmon and ginger cilantro ponzu sauce which exploded with flavor in your mouth. Service was knowledgeable and well-paced in this very busy sushi haven. I would highly recommend this restaurant if you enjoy inventive sushi and a fun atmosphere.