Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Tuesday, 4/27/10 - The Lodge at Castle Hills

Date: 4/27/10
Restaurant: The Lodge at Castle Hills
Location: 1746 Lockhill Selma
Executive Chef: Jason Dady!

I knew when I made my list that the Lodge was going to be an experience to look forward to. I wasn't wrong. There were points of frustration, some of which that could have been avoided, but there were many shining moments of yummy as well. This is Chef Dady's first and fanciest restaurant, nestled happily in the neighborhood of Castle Hills--which we found out was actually named FOR the house that Chef Dady turned into a restaurant! It was the Castle on the Hill. Go figure!

The entrance sneaks up on you, and the driveway is narrow and winding, entering this fairytale manor.

South Texas wilderness at its best.

Frustration #1: our reservation had to be 6:15pm or 8:15pm. 6:15, we were stuck at home with plumbing issues, so 8:15 it was. 8:15 is not a good time for natural light. And the Lodge is very very dim. So sadly, all of my photos turned out disappointing and dim. I understand if you need to click "back" at this time. Really. I do.

See what I mean? Intimate quarters, which would have been very uncomfortable for agoraphobics like myself, except that the other two parties in the room came in at the 6:15 seating, so by the time our first course came, they were packing up to go.

Somewhat to our surprise, we recognized our waiter, Antonio. We had seen and heard him at Insignia (Dady restaurant) two weeks ago, and he had served us at Bin 555 (Dady restaurant) a few months back. It was sort of fun to play a "let's backtrack all the restaurants we've eaten at to find out where we know this guy from!" game. (Hint: we've eaten at a lot of restaurants.) Anyway his service and food descriptions was spot on. We both knew we wanted the Chef's tasting menu, which is 7 courses plus an amuse bouche plus a palate cleanser. I wanted the $30 extra wine pairing, Tavis stuck with his diet Coke.

(Side note of interest: at the Saturday night dinner at Artemisia's, our dining companions were my Advanced Pastry chef and his family. When I told my chef that we were coming to the Lodge this week, he said, "Oh, the chef de cuisine used to be at St. Philip's! Ask your waiter if Robbie's working tonight, and if so, tell him Chef Martin says hi." Robbie was and we did. Stay tuned to see what happened!)

Our meal opened up with an amuse bouche that perfectly captured Dady's playful slant towards savory and sweet. It was a Cabrales bleu cheese with apple compote and nougat. Like apple pie with a slice of cheddar on top, but even better. My palate was already doing a happy dance (which if literal would probably have made my face look mighty strange).

A seared scallop crusted in Himalayan black sea salt and Meyer lemon zest, laying on a little buttered brioche atop a Yukon mousseline. The potato mud (literal Chinese translation of "mashed potatoes") at the base really served no purpose flavor, color or texture-wise so I'm not sure why it was there. But the scallop was delicious, sweet with a slightly heavy crust of salt, and perfect with the ultra-buttery brioche. Salivation central!

The only picture that turned out semi-decent with the flash, sigh. This lovely little trio of soup, salad and sammich was just awesome. The soup is a cold tomato and buttermilk bisque which had so much essence of FRESH tomato, probably because it was cold. Tavis no likey cold soup. The salad in the center is heirloom tomato and cucumbers with balsamic vinegar and a horseradish creme fraiche. I thought it was really lovely and well-balanced, sweet and pickled and tangy. I could've eaten a lot more of it without even complaining that it's VEGETABLES. And the sammy is a little grilled brie, which of course was lovely with and without the soup.

(Tavis prefers my sherried tomato basil soup and grilled goat cheese sammiches. I told him there's room in the world for more than one tomato soup and grilled cheese.)

This was an odd duck. Namely, because it was supposed to have duck confit in it and we could not find it anywhere. Maybe the pasta once thought about a duck, and that was enough? Regardless, this orecchiette (little ears) pasta with lots of parmigiano-reggiano, fresh sweet corn and garlic breadcrumbs was delicious. Just...not ducky.

And here we come to part one of where "Chef Martin says hi" became the password for win. The fourth course was an option of grilled salmon, or seared foie gras for an additional $15. Tavis hasn't cared for foie in the past and he likes salmon, so he went with that. I opted for the foie. However, right before this course, Antonio emerges to let us know that the chef has made us each tasting portions of BOTH. Connections, I haz them.

Here is our salmon, lovingly crusted in salt and spices and seared, atop a bed of green grapes, white asparagus and pearl onions. I had a bite of everything, went "huh..." and set the rest aside. It certainly was an unexpected combination of flavors, with the fresh sweet grapes standing out on the plate. I just felt like I'd had salt-crusted seafood already this night with the scallop, and I vastly preferred the scallop. Not to mention I was already getting mighty mighty full by this time. We were already an hour into our meal, Spurs were losing but we didn't know it, and it had been a long day. My enthusiasm was flagging.

It perked back up a bit when my seared foie gras emerged. Rather than contrasting flavors in this dish, Chef Dady (and/or Robbie) chose to enhance both the butteriness (with more buttered brioche underneath) and the sweetness (with the apple compote) of foie gras, making it into something truly decadent and fabulous. I felt like the happiest bowling ball in the world after this dish.

And we still hadn't reached the "entree."

Least favorite palate cleanser ever! Lemon granita. Tavis said it tasted like frozen Crystal Lite. I thought more of a zesty household cleaner. Citric acid overload. Poor tender tongues.

On to entree, the first edition. Quail on blue cheese farro with a grilled apple ring and pear salsa. I politely nommed my quail, tried the rest and found it not worth making myself sick. It was flavors I'd already experienced by this point, and to greater success--the amuse bouche was wonderful and gave me all the happy cheese+apple I wanted.

Second edition of entree. Beautiful beef that put the "tender" in "tenderloin." Alongside are roasted tomatoes, potatoes, shiitake mushrooms and underneath is bourgignon sauce. I could barely stuff a single delicious bite in. Pro: Antonio offered to box it up for me. Con: he forgot to give it back to me after he boxed it. Wah!

Part two of "Chef Martin says hi." We each got two desserts. I am not too proud to say that I somehow found room for both of them. A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do!

First dessert: Chef Dady's love affair with Nutella continues. This is what's described as a "souffle-inspired Nutella and dark chocolate cake," with peanut butter mousse alongside and a caramel base. I really can't figure out what's souffle-like about it; it's a dense cake, so it doesn't feel like it was lightened with beaten egg whites. It certainly didn't ever rise. Antonio suggested it was made in a hot water bath like souffles are. That might make sense. Anyway, it was exquisite and I want everyone in the world to eat it. As long as you leave some for me.

Second dessert: meyer lemon curd on a homemade shortbread cookie with blackberries. It was like everything yummy about a lemon meringue pie, flaky cookie, tangy lemon. Very refreshing and not hard to pack away at all.

Returnability: yes, but with changes. The setting was beautiful, the service was wonderful, the flavors were challenging, fresh and enjoyable for the most part, and the price is very fair considering what you get. But 7 courses was just too much for us, especially when it was actually 11 courses by the end of the night! There also seemed to be too much repetition of ingredient pairings in the tasting menu, which could easily be avoided by going with the 4 course you-choose-it tasting menu. And finally it was too late at night after a very long day to really give this meal the time and energy it deserved and required. I will definitely be back, but I will know my own limitations. (Maybe I'll bring Chef Martin next time.)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Special edition: "Tuesday," 4/24/10 - Artemisia's

Date: 4/24/10
Restaurant: Artemisia's
Location: Upstairs in the Campus Center at my very own St Philip's College, 1801 Martin Luther King Dr
Executive Chef: The Management class of Spring 2010, many of whom are my classmates in other labs

Tonight was a special occasion (as if any of these restaurants is anything but!) for us. It was a look into my future. One of the next two semesters, I will be taking a cooking lab called Management and Food Production, in which the students create their own recipes, order the ingredients via our Hospitality team, design and decorate the dining room, price dinner tickets to make a profit and handle the PR to sell those tickets, make the food, and serve it to everyone. In other words, hi, I own my own restaurant. This is a day in that life.

Gosh it'll be exciting!!!

I guess you could call it my "senior recital." It's the culmination of everything we learn both in technique, time management, teamwork, and additional useful-sounding things beginning with the letter T. Turkey. No, not turkey.

Anyway, tonight was their final dinner, in which the entire class collaborated and produced a multi-course tasting menu complete with wine pairings for each course. It was an amazing display of talent, creative flavors and overall I couldn't have been more proud of my classmates. So let's explore the evening, shall we?

Boo on me for not taking pictures of the dining room! I forget that not everyone has been there and can picture it like me. However, upon arriving at our table (which we shared with my Advanced Pastry Chef Martin and his family), we were greeted by this lovely tablescape.

Now that's what I call a flight of wines! From right to left, each glass accompanied a dish. The pairings really were spot-on and complemented their respective dish wonderfully, even if I didn't care for the wine on its own.

Here was our menu for the night. You can just barely see it peeking out from underneath but the menu stand was actually made of chocolate. Clever and tasty, my favorite adjectives!

Our first course, a little amuse of salmon and herbed cream cheese on a canape with a sprig of chive. The wine paired with it was George Duboeuf Beaujolais. Tasty little bite! But one sip of wine was really all I wanted, since it was just one bite of noms.

An excellent mushroom ravioli on fresh pasta, topped with crispy pancetta, a seared scallop and a deep-fried basil leaf. Wine pairing was an excellent fruity and mellow J. Lohr Wildflower Valdiguie that Tavis and I both loved. The ravioli had a really nice nutty quality and I liked the fresh pasta, even though I could've used a bit more filling. The scallop was just perfect, moist and plump and delicious.

Palate cleanser #1: mint and pineapple sorbet. Tavis loved it; I didn't. I think I have a hangup on mint when it isn't in mint chocolate chip ice cream. Regardless, my palate was appropriately cleansed. (No wine pairing with the palate cleansers, shucks.)

Our first round of entree, blackened sea bass topped with candied Macadamia nuts and a mango/cilantro sauce. Underneath it is stir-fried garlic and ginger bok choy. Once again the protein was just delicious, cooked perfectly and with wonderfully complex flavors. My only complaint is that it was cold. I can imagine cooking fish to order with everything else going on in the kitchen was pretty tough to do, but it could have been held somewhere warm until service.

Tavis found the sauce a little too zingy for his taste. He didn't even know what he was in for. But he loved the bok choy. The wine pairing was my least favorite of the night, Picket Fence Chardonnay. No picket fences for me, thanks!

Palate cleanser #2: port and black cherry sorbet. To the left you see dots of a 100+ aged balsamic vinegar. Yowza! We really liked this one; Tavis said it was "dangerous," because if given more he would have kept eating and eating it. It was a sophisticated balance of tangy, umami and sweet.

Our second entree, and isn't that just the cutest little frenched lamb chop you've ever seen? At the base of the plate is a blackberry demi-glace and you also see roasted fingerling potatoes which were just slightly too al dente for my taste. The lamb once again was a perfect protein. I just wanted more of it. The wine paired with it was Stags Leap Winery Merlot and was an example of a wine I didn't care for at all on its own--Tavis agreed--but it brought out luscious and deep flavors in the lamb and potatoes that extended the flavors long after I'd swallowed. It was awesome.

Winding down the night with a little salad with honey sauce, gorgonzola and sharp cheddar, accompanied by a delicious Biltmore Estates Riesling. I liked the gorgonzola with a bite of greens and honey. I liked the cheddar on its own. I've had more exciting cheeses but these were really generous portions, all things considered!

Our trio of desserts. From distant to close, we have a chocolate bavarian and sacher glaze; a crispy wonton with pineapple and ginger relish inside; and habanero ice cream. Yes, you read that correctly. Ho boy. Think creamy rich vanilla ice cream made with simple syrup which had been infused with diced habaneros. It is exactly like you'd imagine. Sweet...wait...uh oh...I wasn't ready for this...oh god it burns, it burns! We all tried it and wussed out to varying degrees. However, the wonton with pineapple relish was very tasty and the chocolate bavarian was lovely and decadent. Our wine pairing is one that I will be buying repeatedly because I adore yummy dessert wines. This one was Marenco Brachetto, a sparkly deep currant flavor.

It was a really nice meal. We could've used a few more bites to make it really filling, which has never been the case any other time we've eaten a "tasting menu." But all the recipes displayed excellent conception and execution, and I could easily see any of them working in an actual restaurant. Yay my school! Yay my classmates! I was so proud and happy.

Here are the chefs in question, explaining what part of the meal they prepared and thanking us for coming.

We even got a little to-go gift, a collection of truffles.

I am really looking forward to doing this myself, and I hope any and all of you are available to come and experience what my class creates when the time comes. As the culmination of the St Philip's Culinary Arts program, it is a great compliment to the program and the chefs, and a predictor of many awesome things to come in their future.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

"Tuesday," 4/14/10 - Insignia

Date: 4/14/10
Restaurant: Insignia
Location: 401 Alamo, inside the Fairmount Hotel
Executive Chef: Jason Dady, star chef, founder and owner of the fabulous Tre Trattoria as well as Bin 555, Two Bros BBQ, and The Lodge at Castle Hills

What a happy draw. When just looking through the online menu makes me do one of many White Girl Dances that I have prepared for just such an occasion, you know it's gonna be a good meal. I am extremely pleased to say that Insignia, the newest Dady restaurant in town, completely lived up to my giddy-and-occasionally-spazzy happy food dance.

(As to why we went out on a Wednesday, well, we tried to go last night but they were booked solid for a corporate party. So I pouted, made fried rice for dinner, and reserved a table for Wednesday.)

Back downtown we go! The Fairmount Hotel is immediately past the entrance to La Villita and you score complimentary valet when you spend $25+ at Insignia, so the normal hassle of downtown parking is eliminated. Sweet!

A peek around the hotel, which is very lovely and upscale. I wanted to sit down at the piano and bust some Coldplay, it was so upscale.

The entrance.

We really enjoyed the decor. It felt fresh, modern, and open. Even when it got busy, we were able to hear each other at a comfortable volume and never felt claustrophobic. (Unfortunately, an integral part of the decor was the flatscreens mounted over the bar, playing the final pre-playoffs Spurs game of the season. So there may have been occasional distraction.)

Our waiter, who kept the pace just shy of European, came by with our menus and no daily specials. That was fine by me because the menu had exactly what I wanted!

I started with a Far East cocktail, which has a whole mess of ingredients, of which I could clearly only identify cucumber, mint and honey. Apparently there was also gin, allspice and saffron syrup. It was the most complex drink I've ever tasted. It really didn't pair with anything I ate unfortunately, but definitely worth getting one and passing it around the table. Assuming no one in your party's a dirty backwasher. You know who you are!

Appetizer #1: Bone marrow pudding, which is in the center. To the left is "tongue & cheek jam" which is essentially barbacoa, and to the right are yummy little toast points on which to spread the aforementioned two. Words can't express how gobbly good this was. I tasted the bone marrow pudding on its own and it really didn't have a flavor, just rich creamy buttery texture.

Every bite, I was practically drooling. It was so meaty and savory. Absolutely terrific.

Our second appetizer was "brinner," Breakfast For Dinner. It featured a slab of pork belly so tender you could shred it with a couple forks, plus a handful of silver dollar blueberry pancakes with a pineapple jam on top and a maple gastrique around the sides.


After. Well, during. "After" actually looks like an empty plate. I think Tavis preferred the bone marrow appetizer; my heart belongs forever to this one. Not only the perfect textural balance of crisp pancake and tender pork, but the flavors! Every flavor complemented every other flavor. The sweetness of the pork, the tanginess of the blueberries, the amazing concentration of maple flavor in the gastrique that never got too cloying, the fresh bite of the pineapple. It all worked together and made a flavor so great that when our waiter asked how it was, the most coherent thing I could manage was "This is freakin' win."


Tavis's "oh good golly I need a green thing sometime this year!" cry for help. Sadly, it wasn't a very tasty Caesar salad. Way salty and I found it overcheesed. *gasp* Who am I and what have I done with me?!

I passed on the entree, largely because I knew how much food we would already be consuming (see? I learn!) and largely because Jason Dady seems to love small plates of neat eats more than a heaping hunk of entree. In other words, none of the entree options seemed as interesting to me. So I had a bowl of their garlic bisque.

The spoon is in the picture to show you that this is a really shallow bowl of soup. I was initially amused and slightly offended by the meager offering. However, this soup was so rich and creamy and delightful that I don't know that I could have eaten any more than this portion. I would have preferred if it had been in a smaller vessel so my first impression wasn't one of stingy disappointment, however.

Back to the flavor! Warm, not bitter at all, just a lovely depth of flavor. In the center is some cold cream that tasted like it had been infused with more garlic; it had a much sharper bite to contrast. And on top are little fried garlic crunchies that were also fairly mellow, like good onion rings.

(Nice things about having dogs: they really don't mind when you come home and give them garlic bisque smoochies. I was definitely Team Werewolf after this dish.)

Tavis's entree, the signature filet mignon with shiner bock jus, asparagus, pearl onions, shiitake mushrooms and some little gnocchi-like fried grits (not a big fan). The steak was beautifully done and had a wonderful flavor.

Dessert #1: bacon pralines with a salted caramel mousse. I think I'm not the right person for pralines. I found it dense, far too rich to be enjoyable, and while there was a nice sweet-and-salty thing going on, I couldn't find any bacon flavor. I had a bite and passed, as did Tavis. However, when our waiter asked how it was and we shared "It wasn't to our taste," they immediately took it off our bill! So, um yeah!

Dessert #2: macadamia and coconut milkshake. This was exactly what I wanted. It was light, not too super sweet, with a deliciously subtle nutty flavor. (Too subtle for Tavis, sadly.) I enjoyed this a lot.

Tavis's beautiful cup of coffee.

Around the time we're wrapping up our meal, a chef comes to our table and asks how our meal was. He comments on my drink and says it's his favorite, I say something inane, he thanks us for coming and moves on.

Tavis: " know who that was, right?"
Me: *food coma* "What? Who?"
Tavis: "I read his nametag. That was Jason Dady."
Me: *food coma turns into hyperventilating* "ZOMG incoherence!"

I mean, that's like going to a concert and having Jerry Cantrell lean down into the crowd and say "Hey Mel, did you like that song? Cool." I was in the presence of San Antonio culinary royalty. It was probably just as well I didn't realize it or I likely would've destroyed whatever shot I have of working for him later by getting all squeaky and vapid. But wow. How nice.

Returnability: do ya need to ask? Between some of the best flavors we've had in San Antonio plus the all-around enjoyable pace, service, location, environment (and chance at "accidentally" running into the talented Chef Dady again), we will be back often. And I suggest you find your way here as well.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Tuesday, 4/6/10 - Tong's Thai

Date: 4/6/10
Restaurant: Tong's Thai
Location: 1146 Austin Highway
Executive Chef: Nong Charassri Saeng-On

I don't know anybody who has tried Thai food and doesn't like it. Everyone I know falls into one of two categories: "Thai food? Ugh, weird, dunwanna" or "Thai? ZOMG let's get some right now!" Tavis and I have been to five different Thai restaurants in San Antonio so we definitely fall into the latter category. Tong's was highly and vocally recommended by friends and online sources for both their quality of food and their funky, friendly atmosphere, as well as their variety of bubble teas (varitea?). So off we went!

It's just marginally confusing getting here; we expected it to be way longer and way more convoluted. It was actually less of a hassle than driving downtown. Parking's a bit scarce though. Tuesday was a good day to go, we had the place largely to ourselves and about 4 other couples and small groups.

If in some wacky bizarro world my mom were Thai, I imagine her restaurant would look much like this.

A shot of the interior, and let me tell ya, these fish could've starred in their very own Thai soap opera. One of the far-too-many-staffed-for-the-night waiters gleefully let us in on the drama. The restaurant recently purchased a new puffer fish. Average cost of fish in the tank: $80. Cost of new puffer fish: about $400. Naturally all the other fish were snarky, and when fish get snarky, they chew on you. Poor new upper class puffer was hiding in a corner with his fins in his...ears...going "lalala you can't see me!" for most of our meal.

I kid you not. This was high entertainment to everyone working last night.

Back to the food! Or drinks, rather.

I've never tried bubble tea before, but considering how much I loved the squishy pulpy fruit juices in South Korea, I expected bubble tea to be like reuniting with an old friend. I asked the waiter's recommendation and ended up with something called the American Dream, made with peach, watermelon and strawberries. Much like sucking down big fat purple jujubes with your smoothie. Tasty and interesting, but hardly something I'd crave.

Tavis got nostalgic as he does when we're in any Asian restaurant and ordered Asahi, the beer we drank most often in Japan. It was enjoyable but he said it really didn't go with his meal at all. They had a decent wine list and I hear they have a few varieties of sake (variesake? No, that just doesn't work at all), which we'll probably go for next time.

Boy was it tough making decisions on the food. Great menu. They have Thai and Chinese options, as well as a sushi bar with plenty of rolls and sashimi. The fish looked quite fresh and delicious; however, I'd eaten sushi recently enough to pass this time.

Around this time I went to the restroom to wash up before our food arrived. It's always a pleasant surprise when a restaurant's aesthetic appeal extends to their restroom. I share this moment with you. Please enjoy.

And when I got back, our appetizers had arrived! O happy day.

My beautiful most favorite soup, tom kha kai. I adore this soup, which is made with coconut milk, khaffir lime and lemongrass and filled with all sorts of goodies. Tavis had never tried it before, and I'm always somewhat anxious with him and soup-- he's more particular than I am. He takes a bite. His face lights up. "It's like chowder!" And then he proceeds to snatch up all the chicken and straw mushrooms with his chopsticks and gobble them down.

(Side note on the chicken, because while I would happily be a fish breathing in a sea of this broth all my life, the chicken within the soup was the most incredibly juicy, tender, pampered chicken we've ever had.)

(Sorry for the hyperbole. Tom kha kai brings that out in me.)

(Oh who am I kidding? I'm hyperbolic. And I'm also done with parentheses for now.)

Tavis's appetizer, some very flavorful spring rolls. Filled with pork, mushrooms, carrots, glass noodles and lots of win. I don't think I've ever had better.

My entree, panang. It tastes much better than it probably looks; the only shortcoming to Thai food is that it doesn't photograph all that well. This was a bit hot for Tavis but I greatly enjoyed its sweet, spicy richness, especially the beef. The jasmine rice is wonderful with it and there's plenty.

Our usual Thai staple, pad wun sen, which is glass noodles, sauteed veggies, and more of that ridiculously tender chicken. Once again, the best we'd ever had, and like I said this is our fallback meal.

Returnability: Heck yeah! The food was amazing, the service was friendly and prompt (and probably would've been even if they hadn't had twice the number of waiters as well as the live action Discovery Channel entertainment), and while this is certainly more of a drive than our usual Thai place around the corner, it was well worth it. If you haven't yet taken the step to join our category of adventurous consumers, I highly recommend you give it a Thai.

Okay, I couldn't stop that one.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Tuesday, 3/30/10 - Koi Kawa

Date: 3/30/10
Restaurant: Koi Kawa
Location: 4051 Broadway St, in the same Boardwalk on Broadway shopping square that Tre Trattoria is in, right next to the Witte Museum.
Executive Chef: Unknown

Koi Kawa is the Japanese restaurant that my International Class visited for one of our field trips. It really surprised me how many of my culinary classmates had never eaten sushi or sashimi before! Even in San Antonio, there are at least 5 good sushi restaurants, and it is pretty trendy. It was perhaps even more fun visiting Koi Kawa with them because they were so new to the experience, watching their reactions from polite confusion to unexpected delight.

Koi Kawa is tucked away just behind Tre. Again, parking is somewhat tricky. However, as you approach the entrance, you're rewarded with this view:

And then you turn back around and you're here:

And then you go in.

Minimal decor, very bare-bones.

(To clarify: there shouldn't be any bones in your food).

We each ordered something over the phone before departing so it would be ready when we arrived. Chef Sanchez ordered about 7 rolls on and off the menu for us to pass and try. Most of them were absolutely demolished before they got to me, so I only grabbed a couple shots. Really, sushi is such an individual preference. I highly recommend the dragon roll and the Spicy Sara roll. Other than that, the sky is the limit!

Examples of a couple of rolls in their glory, before we fell on them brandishing our chopsticks like starving Asian hoodlums.

If you aren't big into sushi rolls, Koi Kawa has other options including "bento boxes," lunch trays filled with an assortment of food for a really reasonable price. They have sushi or sashimi bento but you can get them with katsu, which is basically chicken fried pork or chicken, or teriyaki chicken or tofu. Great options, amazing value.

Here's a teriyaki bento.

It even comes with deep-fried bananas drizzled in chocolate! How thoughtful.

I can't even remember what this little bowl of goodies was, and sadly Koi doesn't have a website or online menu. Looks very fresh and tasty though!

My assortment of food. From left clockwise: flying fish egg sushi, which is just fun for the color and the texture as they pop in your mouth; freshwater eel sushi, my most favorite ever; gyoza, tasty pork potstickers; and unfortunately dry and unflavorful yakitori, which you may remember from earlier in my blog when we were in Japan. This was a far cry from that delicious pub grub, sadly. However, the sole lacking flavor in an excellent meal.

Returnability: high! I enjoyed this restaurant at least as much as I have the other San Antonio sushi spots I've tried, including Goro, Godai and Sushi Zushi. The price is beyond fair, the waitstaff attentive and helpful, the quality of fish was good (by San Antonio standards, as if you still need the disclaimer) and it's right next door to Tre if you should happen to have room for a Nutella X3 after your healthy fish meal. Mwa ha ha!