I am running out of new dishes to post. One weekend, I made "Ganmodoki" がんもどき thinking that although I had made it before I did not post it. When my wife saw what I was making she said she was experiencing “deja vu all over again” and suggested that I had already posted it. I checked my blog and, in 2012, I posted this dish. I have been making dishes which go well with sake, but none of them are particularly post worthy or new. Meanwhile we have been visiting Tako grill, our “Izakaya” substitute regularly. While their dishes are always good, like any sushi bar, the range and variety are dependent on what fish are available. Recently we had several visits in a row where we hit the jackpot and enjoyed some great sashimi. Sushi Chef Jose Calderon did justice to the selection by preparing some spectacular sashimi presentations.
The picture below shows one such arrangement. The toro is arranged into the shape of a large rose flower, on the left hiding under the scallion and myoga 茗荷 are fresh sanma or Pacific saury. In the back, "Aoyagi" clam あおやぎ is arranged. In the boat made of cucumber is "sumiso" 酢味噌 dressing. He also added "hagikami" ginger はじかみ生姜 or young pickled ginger.
Everything was great but when they have it "aoyagi" clalm is a "must-have".
This picture shows how toro is frequently presented. It is “melt-in-your mouth” good.
Mr. Segawa, has been making “Izakaya” dishes for some time. I think we tried all of them at least once. Please note the menu continues on the back side.
The dish below was one from the Izakaya menu. I do not remember what fish this was but it was dredged in potato flour and then served with a sweet and sour-type sauce. This could not possibly be bad.
Back in “the day” (when I was in Japan), sanma was almost never served as sashimi or sushi (because it was considered a cheap fish and was mostly grilled) but improvements in transportation and refrigeration as well as upgrading the status of sanma made it possible to have very fresh sanma, and therefore, sashimi when it is in season even in the United States. This had a lovely oiliness, firm texture and just the right amount of seasoning.
This time, Jose put together toro, wonderful uni (from California), Kanpachi カンパチ and aoyagi clam. When uni is good, nothing compares.
We are so lucky to be able to indulge in these delicacies.