Friday, March 20, 2009

Sakura Lunch Revisit

Happy Friday everyone!  I wonder if everyone else is as anxious for the weekend to start as I am.  I will be busy fooding this weekend and probably won’t have time to post, but here is my post on my latest Sakura visit until then.


Izakaya Sakura
3904 Convoy St #121
San Diego, CA 92184
(858) 569-6151


So in my original Sakura post, I blogged a little bit about my wonderful lunch, but I unfortunately didn’t take pictures of my beautiful pasta with uni sauce.   So, of course, I had to go back for lunch, this time with my camera!  I have to say though, this visit was a bit disappointing.  I’ve had such magical experiences at Sakura lately, and this was my first disappointing experience.  I’m brushing it off to be a fluke though, and I will definitely be going back.


Here is a picture of the lunch menu:


IMG_0470 IMG_0471
I love the cute little cartoon food items on the menu!



We started off with a stuffed cabbage appetizer ($4).

This dish was very flavorful.  The cabbage is stuffed with pork.  The flavor of the broth definitely reaches the pork.  The addition of the bacon adds a nice dimension to the broth.  I’ve made this dish before, but without the bacon.  It was a simple dish.  I probably won’t order it again only because I can make it myself for a cheaper price, but it was enjoyable.



We also shared a mixed tempura lunch combination.  I really only wanted the mixed tempura as an appetizer, but they don’t offer that during lunch.  The waitress said she could make it like they do at dinner, without the side items, but that the cost would still be the same.  So I opted to get it as a lunch combination.

I don’t know why, but the mixed tempura always looked bigger when served to other tables around us.  It seemed a bit small here.  After having such great experiences with the fried appetizers at Sakura, I was really looking forward to taste their tempura.  Unfortunately, I was really let down.  The batter was super thick and hard.  I could barely taste the vegetables and items inside the batter and had to scrape some of the batter off.  To me, tempura batter should be light and accentuate the food.  This batter was an entire thick layer over the food, which I did not enjoy.  I did enjoy the little dish of picked vegetables and the miso soup though.  Last time we went for lunch, my boyfriend’s lunch combo also came with a dish of picked vegetables, which neither of us liked because it just tasted like the vegetables had been soaked in salt water.  This dish tasted how I would imagine: sweet, sour and salty.  I like how they use large chunks of tofu in their miso soup, just like how I would make it at home.



So for my entree, I ordered the uni pasta again.  I hesitated for a minute, as I was tempted to order the Unidon that I had for dinner on my previous visit.  But, the uni pasta is a lot cheaper during lunch than dinner, so I figured I should order it for lunch and I can always order unidon on my next dinner visit.  The pasta arrived as beautiful as before.  I love the bits of uni, spinach, and ikura with some nori sprinkled on top.  Lunch comes with buttered toast, and a salad. 

I’m not a big fan of the buttered toast.  I remember eating toast this way when I was younger and loving it, but that does not seem to be the case anymore.  I think I would prefer thicker slices of toast, and have it not be pre-buttered.  While the uni pasta looked beautiful as always, the taste was off.  It was way too salty.  I could not even enjoy the creaminess and sweetness of the uni because the sauce was so salty.  I’m not sure what happened.  Perhaps it had something to do with the fact that the chef had gone out to buy fish when this dish was being made? My boyfriend kept telling me it was the ikura, but I had picked them all out and put them on the side.  I can’t even imagine how this dish would have tasted had I left them in!  So I was sadly disappointed by this dish, especially since I had such a wonderful experience with it last time.  In the end, I couldn’t even bring myself to finish my plate and had to leave some uni on it as well!



Even though my boyfriend thoroughly enjoyed his chirashi bowl last time, he saw a mixed sushi on the menu and announced that he wanted to try that the next time we went to Sakura.  I was doubtful.  I didn’t think he would enjoy it as much as the chirashi bowl.  I’d never seen the mix sushi entree, but I just had a feeling and told him so.  Nevertheless, he ordered it anyway, and only confirmed my suspicions.

While it is a beautiful dish and the sashimi tasted fine, this dish costs the same as the chirashi bowl which offers so much more.  Here is a picture of the chirashi bowl he had last time:

We both agreed that the chirashi bowl is the better choice, given the fact that these two dishes are priced the same.  Plus, he was able to get full off of the chirashi bowl whereas the mixed sushi left him still hungry.  He hadn’t wanted to order the tempura, but luckily I ordered it anyway, and he ended up polishing off most of the tempura as well.


So, a disappointing lunch experience.  The highlight of the lunch was the uni that was in the mixed sushi.  My boyfriend can’t stand the taste and texture of uni and gladly handed it to me.  The uni was as good as I remembered, creamy and slightly sweet. Yum!  “Like eating uni ice cream!” I declared joyfully.  This made my boyfriend make a face of disgust.  heehee.

 

2 Responses to “Sakura Lunch Revisit”

  1. 1

    Dennis — March 21, 2009 @ 12:30 pm

    Hi Kirbie! Sorry to hear about the few let downs.. I didn’t think much of it until now but I remember noticing a note on the menu last that Wednesdays and Thursdays were “(Better) Tempura Days” (due to a particular chef being present). Thought it was funny and cute how they were being honest.. :)

  2. 2

    Kirbie — March 23, 2009 @ 1:18 pm

    Hi Dennis-
    That is interesting. I never saw that on the menu, but I will pay attention next time. Maybe I’ll try the tempura again on one of the “recommended” days.

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