Category Archives: Japanese

A Secret Garden

There is something quite special about finding a place that is unknown to most of the world. It’s like a secret that you keep until you choose to whisper it to others. I want to share with all of you the very magical place I wandered into yesterday. I hope that you will take these whispers of a secret and personally visit the garden. No words or pictures can truly capture the beauty of this garden.

Lincoln Park Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool – Lincoln Park 

20130620_153642

The garden is called Lincoln Park Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool. It’s extremely close to Lincoln Park Zoo. I was surprised I have never been or heard of this place till today. I came here to meet up with my friend for an afternoon picnic. After being dropped off by the bus about two blocks away, I walked to where Google Maps said the entrance was. The entrance is discretely marked with a small sign on the ground. Two Japanese metal gates mark the entrance. You can easily pass by the entrance without knowing that there was an entire lily pond garden inside.

Inside is a lily pool wonderland, a sanctuary away from the messiness that is urban life. The garden is very well kept and full of life. Plants densely line the outer edges of the pond and the rocky paths. The flowers are just emerging, so I bet in a week or so beautiful yellow flowers will bloom and hover above the lily pads. There are so many great spots to sit especially on the rocks that border the pond. My friend and I sat right under the Japanese pagoda that provided the perfect amount of shade.

1039556_10151974290874307_150746562_o

One of the really great parts of the lily pool was the ducks. They were so friendly and definitely not afraid of humans. They waddled probably within less than a feet of us! I think it really helped that I was feeding them pita chips.  As we left the lily pool there was a small sign that said “no feeding the wild life”. Whoops!

20130620_144453

The four ducklings with the mama duck were so adorable. In this picture they were quacking at us. Probably asking us to feed them more pita chips.

20130620_144433

Here is a close up of the ducklings and the mama duck standing guard. What a very cute family of ducks!

Definitely visit this place if you get a chance. For an afternoon, you will forget you are in Chicago. The tall high barriers that surround the garden insulate the garden from everything that is going on on the outside.  This Japanese garden provides the perfect getaway even if it is just for one afternoon. Perhaps this will become my new favorite spot to just sit and day dream the afternoon away.

Advertisements

The First Time

It’s always better the first time around – more exciting, more memorable, more fun. That first time you try out that new restaurant, and it then becomes your favorite. That first time you take a mouthful of the ramen, and the springiness of the noodles and the richness of the broth is forever ingrained in your food memories. That first time you meet someone new over a meal, and time just flies like the conversation is endless. When the second time comes around, it is less exciting. You know what to expect, you discovered most of what is new about the person, the place, the thing. It is that uncertainty, whether it will truly be as good as everyone says it is or be a complete disappointment, that makes the first time so great. Treasure the first time, savor the moment, because it will only happen once.

These are my first moments at the following restaurants in Chicago. Even though the food may be the same the second time around, it will never exactly feel or taste the same as the very first time.

Vinci – Lincoln Park

IMG_20130113_164856 (1)

I came here with my sister to use a Groupon deal that I bought a while ago. $20 for $40 to spend at an Italian restaurant, count me in! I got the Spinach pappardelle – hand-made spinach pappardelle with roast duck, mushrooms, ovendried tomatoes, truffle oil, parmigiano. I loved the noodles. It definitely tasted very fresh. The slight chewiness and springiness of the noodles were perfect. The meal was great, and we even got a table right next to the window. A lot of the guests at Vinci that night were there for a pre-show dinner. I wish I knew about this show that was going on, because I would have liked to go.

Wasabi – Logan Square

IMG_20130112_204405

My friend invited me here, because her friend from NYC was visiting Chicago for the week. I am a huge fan of ramen restaurants if you haven’t noticed already, and I was excited about trying another ramen place in Chicago. I’ve had some pretty excellent ramen in NYC, but none that have really stood out to me in Chicago. This place was excellent. As good as or even better than the places in NYC. I loved it! I got the Tonkotsu Ramen – egg noodle, rich pork broth, berkshire pork cheek, soft boiled egg, marinated bamboo shoot, scallion, sesame, kikurage mushroom. The thing that makes or breaks a bowl of ramen is the broth, and this broth was spectacular. I was tempted to drink all of the broth after I finished my noodles! I loved the richness of the broth. The ingredients in the ramen were also quite tasty. The soft boiled egg, which isn’t quite as runny as a poached egg, but not quite as solid as a hard boiled egg, was the perfect texture for the ramen. 

The Girl and the Goat – West Loop

IMG_20130106_093012

My friends have been raving about this place for a while, and I finally got to try it. This restaurant owned by a Top Chef contestant is known for having one of the best foods in Chicago. I had high expectations for this place, and I was not disappointed. The small plates are meant to be shared, but my friends and I weren’t too hungry. We each ordered one dish. I ordered the scallops served with squash, onions, and other ingredients. The scallops were so soft. I took the first bite, and I couldn’t believe what I was eating. These are the best scallop I ever had! I hope the next time I go, the scallops will be as good as I remembered it being.

Cafe Iberico – River North

IMG_20130110_154016

I came here to meet up with a Georgetown friend who just recently moved to Chicago for his job. I am so excited more fellow Georgetown Hoyas are here in the city! Cafe Iberico is a Spanish tapas restaurant. The highlight of the meal in my opinion was the Iberico Styled Paella – chicken, pork, and rice baked in a pan with saffron sauce. All of the flavors from the meat and seafood infused into the rice making a fragrant and delicious dish. I could eat this for lunch any day!

My firsts with all four of these restaurants were spectacular. I don’t know what the second time will be like, but I hope if I return again it will be good as the first time.

 

 

Finally Got Some Fried Chicken

There were many food adventures this week, but the most memorable was the trek to get some fried chicken. I’ve been craving fried chicken for such a long time, and nothing was going to stop me from getting some. The crispiness of the skin and the moist, juiciness of the meat are too much to resist. Read about my fried chicken adventure and others as well.

Harold’s Chicken Shack – South Loop, Chicago

We tried to go to Harold’s Chicken Shack after a concert in Millennium park. It was around 8PM, and Harold’s doesn’t close till 9PM.  We rushed all the way to Harold’s Chicken Shack ready for some fried chicken. only to be stopped at the entrance by a very large bouncer. Turns out there was a private event at Harold’s Chicken Shack that Friday night. My friends and I were baffled. If you take a look at Harold’s Chicken Shack, pictured above, you too would be surprised to find a private party being hosted there. It looks like your usual fast food joint. Definitely not somewhere you would host a party. There was even a DJ inside with people getting down on the dance floor. Unfortunately we could not get into Harold’s Chicken Shack or the party. Guess we weren’t classy enough for Harold’s Chicken Shack that night. 

After a very unfortunate night of coming back fried chicken-less, we had to go back to fulfill our fried chicken craving. We came here on a weekday afternoon, and thankfully there was no private party going on. The fried chicken was delicious. It was perfectly seasoned and fried. The meat was moist and juicy. Sometimes fried chicken is over fried, so that the meat is dry and the skin is extra crispy. Harold’s Chicken Shack was not like that at all. I’ll need to come back here for more fried chicken soon. Maybe I’ll even get invited to a private event here?

Chicago Curry House – South Loop, Chicago

Garlic Naan

Since we were sadly not invited to that private event at Harold’s Chicken Shack, we decided to go to Chicago Curry House for dinner. We started out with Garlic Naan. This was delicious! A very strong garlic taste. I love garlic. so I thoroughly enjoyed all of it. Good thing I wasn’t on a date, or else I would have reeked of garlic breath!

Chicken Curry

My friend and I split the Chicken Curry. The chicken was extremely tender and pulled apart so easily. I also really enjoyed the curry sauce. Every cuisine has that comfort food, and I can see this dish being the comfort food of Indian cuisine. It tasted very homemade in a good way.

Mitsuwa Marketplace Food Court – Arlington Heights, Illinois

Soy Sauce Ramen

I am a pretty picky ramen eater. In my previous post Slurping Turtle – McKayla Maroney:Not Impressed, I was not  satisfied with the ramen I had. This ramen was so much better. Definitely one of the better bowls of ramen I have had. The broth was flavorful without being overpowering. The pork was tender, flavorful, and really added something special to the dish. The noodles tasted fresh in a springy, chewy type of way. When you bite into the noodles, you can feel the noodles snap in your mouth. A nice bite to every mouthful of ramen noodles.

Green Tea Mousse Cake

No blog post would be complete without a dessert blurb. Recently I’ve had the biggest sweet tooth ever. Once you start eating sweets, there is no going back. We tried this Green Tea Mousse Cake from the bakery in Mitsuwa Marketplace. Since green tea is such a light flavor, sometimes green tea foods taste really weak and barely there. The green tea flavor in this cake was definitely strong. You can tell that it is green tea mousse. My favorite was their white frosting. Just the perfect amount of richness, creaminess, and sweetness. Delish!

Slurping Turtle – Mckayla Maroney: Not Impressed

I recently went to Slurping Turtle to try out the ramen, and I think the term “Mckayla Maroney: Not Impressed” would be appropriate. Mckayla Maroney is a USA gymnast with her specialty being the vault. This term came from the 2012 Olympics – Women’s Gymanastics Vaulting Event when McKayla Maroney fell on her second vault which knocked her from gold medal standing to silver medal standing. When standing on the medal podium to receive her silver medal, she displayed a scowl and tight crossed arms.

With that amazing picture came a wave of “Mckayla Maroney: not impressed” pictures of Mckayla’s face photoshopped in impressive situations.

Mckayla Maroney: not impressed with gold medal winner Usain Bolt AKA the fastest man in the world

Mckayla Maroney: not even impressed with David Beckham

At the end of the day the photoshopped pictures are all in good fun. She truly is an amazing gymnast!

Slurping Turtle – Near North Side, Chicago

Tori Ramen

I came here with high hopes for Slurping Turtle especially since the food blog serious eats said this place had the best ramen in Chicago. Compared to the ramen that I have had in NYC this place just does not compare. In other words Mckayla Maroney: not impressed. The chicken broth was quite flavorful, but extremely lite. A little bit too lite for my liking. The texture of the noodles were good, but it didn’t taste as fresh as the other noodles I’ve had. The toppings that came with the ramen were underwhelming. The chicken tasted like it was just boiled. The poached egg was overcooked, so the yolk was semisolid instead of runny. The broth was excellent, but the other ingredients just didn’t come together to make an excellent  bowl of ramen.

Read my other ramen posts here. From best to worst.

1. Totto Ramen – Totto Chicken Paitan Ramen

2. Ippudo NY – Shiromaru Hakata Classic Ramen

3. Toki Underground – Toki Hakata Classic Ramen

4. Hide-Chan Ramen – Hakata Tonkotsu Ramen

I think I might have a personal preference for broths that are more on the richer side. YUM! I love ramen so much. I can’t wait to try other places.

Urban Cities Galore

Finally finished taking my nursing licensing exam. I can stop studying and begin my summer once again! Back to foodaging, blogging, and eating. Here is a little bit of some Chicago and NYC food outings I’ve been up to. Happy Summer everyone!

House of Sushi and Noodles – Lakeview, Chicago

Salmon Avocado Roll

We went here for my very good friend’s birthday dinner. Happy birthday Conny! The special thing about House of Sushi and Noodles is that they offer the option of getting sushi buffet. All you can eat sushi buffet for $18! Sounds like a pretty good deal, but to eat your money’s worth you should eat at least 4 rolls. It’s a great way to try out the many different types of rolls, but walking away with a massive food coma, food hangover, or food baby is no fun. I opted out of the buffet option and ordered off the menu. The salmon avocado roll tasted pretty normal. Like your average salmon, avocado roll which happens to be my favorite! My friends who did the buffet ate ate about 30 pieces of sushi each. That’s about 5-6 rolls! Oh dear…

Chicken Yakisoba

The Chicken Yakisoba was alright. The chicken was a little bit on the dry side, but I really enjoyed the noodles. The slight crunch, slipperiness, and saltiness of the noodles cannot be beat.

Flemings Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar – Near North Side, Chicago

Blood Orange Liquor Cocktail

My friends and I are big fans of happy hour! We came here to celebrate the end to my study madness for the nurse licensing exam. I got the blood orange liquor cocktail which was delicious. I loved the ruby red color of the drink. The slight tartness and sweetness of the drink was perfect for an extremely hot Chicago day.

I Love Paraguay – Sunnyside, Queens, New York 

From left to right- Chipa Guazu, Tortilla, Baked Chicken Empanada

I never had Paraguayan food before, and this place was really good. I got the opportunity to try many new things that really surprised my taste buds in a good way. The Chipa Guazu tasted like a moist, sweet version of corn bread. There was even actual corn inside. The Tortilla was not your usual tortilla. It was almost egg like similar to the texture of egg foo young but less moist. The Baked Chicken Empanada was great. I loved the crunchy exterior of the empanada.

Hide-Chan Ramen – Midtown East, Manhattan, New York

Hakata Tonkotsu Ramen

I was really excited to try this place since the food blog seriouseats said this was the best ramen in NYC. Unfortunately I was let down by all of the rave and excitement. The ramen here just did not taste like the best bowl of ramen. You can pick the level of richness of the broth either rich or normal. The rich broth had richer flavors and an overall increased oil and fat content compared with the normal broth. I thought the rich broth was filled with so much flavor, but at the same time the richness and oiliness was overwhelming towards the end. The main problem about this bowl of ramen for me was the noodles. You can select the firmness of the noodles ranging from soft to very firm. I got mine firm, and the firmness was great. That was not the problem. For me the problem was the size of the noodle itself. The noodle was a lot skinnier in comparison to other ramen noodles I have had. Perhaps it is just a personal preference, but I never thought the size of the noodle would be a problem for me. With skinnier noodles it did not catch as much of the broth flavor as a wider noodle. Overall the rest of the ramen was great, but without perfect noodles no ramen could be considered number one.

Bungalow Bar – Seaside, Queens, New York

stolen from google search

After a chilly day at Rockaway Beach, we were exhausted and in desperate need of food. We were in the mood for some American, and this place looked perfect. Rockaway in Queens is a completely different environment compared with the rest of New York. Being an actual island, Rockaway had a strong island atmosphere. The locals seemed to be a lot nicer and cheerier. The cars were friendlier to pedestrians. The roads are paved, but repatched so many times that it was no longer even. It seemed like I was on a tropical island far, far away from the States. Bungalow Bar was no exception. Located overlooking the water, the bar had a really great view of the water. We even got to see someone fail over and over again at water skiing. She just couldn’t stay up in the water.

Bungalow Burger

The burger was alright. Nothing exceptional. The star of the meal were the waffle fries. Seasoned well and with great crunch.

eating time

Something amusing happened today that I thought was funny. During my interview for a nursing position in Brooklyn, New York the nurse manager asked me what I do for fun. I told her that I like to eat, and that I had a food blog. She giggled at me and just smiled. I hope that’s a good sign about the interview. Guess she doesn’t get a lot of interviewees who manage food blogs. =)

Birthday-ing Around

Happy belated birthday to me! I celebrated my birthday in Chicago with my friends, and I decided to try out the Berghoff Restaurant. It’s a German restaurant that is fairly well known in Chicago. I never tried German food before and neither did my friends, so we decided to give this place a try.

Berghoff Restaurant – The Loop

Jager Schnitzel

I shared the Jager Schnitzel entree with my friend, because I wasn’t feeling too hungry and didn’t want to be food coma-ed out. The Jager Schnitzel is a pork cutlet with a bacon and jagermeister infused sauce. It came with root vegetables and spaetzles. It was alright. Perhaps I am not really a big fan of German food. The pork cutlet was tender and well cooked. Nothing to complain about, but nothing really to rave about. The pierogies were really amazing though, but that’s not truly German. That is Polish. A little bit of a let down since this was one of the go-to places in Chicago.

Magnolia Bakery – The Loop

My friend gave me these Magnolia cupcakes for my birthday. I have heard great things about Magnolia Bakery which started in NYC. I saw one of their stores on State street, a shopping street in Chicago, and I really wanted to try it since I never had the chance to in NYC. These cupcakes are really good. The bottom is not too rich and more cake-like than your usual cupcake. The frosting was light, but still quite sweet. A little bit on the heavy side in terms of sweetness, but the texture of it was just right. I tried the purple one. I think the frosting was just colored purple and was a regular vanilla flavored  frosting with a chocolate bottom. I offered the cupcakes to my friends, and they caked me with one of them. I have such great friends huh?

Division Ale House – Wicker Park

Hot wing challenge

I didn’t actually do the challenge, but my friend did. 10 hot wings in under 10 minutes, and you get the wings for free and a free t-shirt saying you successful accomplished the hot wing challenge. From the picture you can’t even tell they are wings, because there is so much sauce! They even gave him plastic gloves to wear! I sampled the sauce just to see how spicy it was, and it is truly quite spicy. A burning sensation on my tongue that wouldn’t go away for a couple of minutes. Thankfully you didn’t have to eat all of the sauce just the wings. The strategy then became wipe off as much of the sauce as possible! My friend successfully did the challenge in not 10 minutes, but 6 minutes. What an accomplishment! You go!! Once he finished, the waiters came out with a glass of milk and his free t-shirt.

Homemade Sushi

My sister and I decided to make sushi one night. Using crab meat, cucumber, tamago (egg), avocado, and salmon we made the various roles. My favorite was the salmon avocado. The smoothness of the avocado paired with the salmon is just the best. This has to be my favorite classic sushi roll!

Totto Ramen

Greetings from NYC! The city that never sleeps, filled with secret places, streets filled with delicious foods.

Totto Ramen 

366 W 52nd St
New York, NY 10019
Neighborhoods: Hell’s Kitchen, Midtown West, Theater District

Check out the Menu

entrance to Totto Ramen

The wait here during lunchtime on a Friday was about an hour. What a popular ramen house! No secret entrance here though. There was a clip board on the door. You put your name down, and when seats open they call out your name for you to be seated. We put our name down and wandered around the neighborhood. We got seated at the counter seats overlooking where they prepare the ramen. Best seats in the house!

Totto Chicken Paitan Ramen with Pork

Totto Chicken Paitan Ramen – These straight homemade noodles are cooked al dente style in a whole chicken and premium soy sauce based soup topped with scallion, onion, char siu pork, and a nori.

Both Joyce and I got the Totto Chicken Paitan Ramen with Pork. The best part of the ramen was the broth. The broth was delicious! Could have drank the whole bowl up. They also advertised that they did not use MSG in their broth which was reassuring. I loved the pork! The blow torched really added an extra layer of crispiness with the ramen and the broth. The noodles were a bit harder than I would have liked.

blow torched pork

This picture taken from their website. They blow torch their char slabs of boiled pork. It was really amazing watching them blow torch the pork right while we were eating.

making the broth

The make the broth in the large pots. Three large pots of broth all simmering and bubbling. This is where the magic happens.

I have been to another Ramen house in NYC called Ippudo. Check out my review of Ippudo here. I thought that Totto Ramen had slightly better or maybe comparable broth, but Ippudo had better noodles, toppings, and a more energetic environment. If I had to pick I would pick Ippudo. The upbeat, raging energetic atmosphere of Ippudo cannot be beat.

Happy Ramen smiles!

 Stars 5/5

Toki Underground

R A M E N. Toki Underground is a Taiwanese/Japanese ramen and dumpling restaurant with a defined sense of character. Bold colors, Japanese action figures made for a really fun atmosphere.

Toki Underground 

1234 H St N E
2nd Fl
Washington, DC 20002
Neighborhood: H Street Corridor/Atlas District/Near Northeast

I read on Yelp that most people who try to go to Toki Underground have to wait 2-3+ hours to get a seat. Seating is extremely limited at Toki Underground, so bringing large groups here would probably not be such a good idea. There are no table seating just stool and counter seating making for a very authentic ramen experience.

Fortunately we came here pretty late in the night. The food area opens until 12AM on Fridays which was very convenient for us.  No line, no wait time for us. We walked right up and was immediately seated at the bar. We browsed through the menu, and we all decided to get the Toki Hakata Classic Ramen.

Toki Hakata Classic Ramen

The Toki Hakata Classic Ramen with pork loin, egg, and pickled ginger was really great! I think the thing that really makes a bowl of ramen exceptionally good is the broth, and this broth was fantastic. Flavorful without being too overpowering. I really enjoyed the poached egg that came with the ramen. The softness and delicate character of the egg really brought a special touch to the bowl of ramen. I was tempted to just drink up all of the broth cause it was just that tasty!

the interior - Japanese action figures

No only was the ramen delicious the decor was great. The mini Japanese action figures that lined the room were fun to look at. I loved the bold, bright, abstract art on the walls. Made for a very chill, cool atmosphere.

the hidden entrance

There is just something so attractive about mysterious,  hidden entrances. There are no signs indicating the Toki Underground is above the bar on the first floor. Only a blue icon with an Asian character in the center to indicate the restaurant’s location. Hidden away on H street, but still word gets out and hungry ramen lovers wait hours for a bowl of amazing ramen. So if you do decide to check out Toki Underground make sure to note this door, because the wonders of ramen awaits right upstairs.

This place is amazing! Though I don’t know if I can justify waiting hours for a seat at Toki Underground when they are packed. Perhaps check out the bars on H street and come back for the reservation? That shall be my plan next time!

Stars5/5

Kanpai

This Japanese restaurant is located right across the street from my apartment. Finally got a chance to check this place out.

Kanpai

1401 Wilson Blvd
Arlington, VA 22209

Take a look at their Lunch Menu

indoor dining area

We came in around 1:00PM, and the lunch crowd was slowly leaving. We were immediately seated. I was surprised by how quick the service was. I flipped through the menu and saw that they had a lunch menu.  Since I was going to get sushi a couple days later with my cousin who was in town I decided to try something besides sushi. The lunch offered a lot of non sushi choices. I decided on the Nikkudon.

complimentary salad and miso soup

The complimentary salad and miso soup was surprisingly good. I really enjoyed the salad. The dressing on the salad was excellent. I’m not exactly sure what is in the dressing, but the flavors were excellent.  A mix of sour, tangy, slightly sweet. The miso soup was your average miso soup. Nothing special about it.

Nikkudon

Nikkudon – Sauted thin slice of beef with vegetable and egg

I was not expecting this dish to come out like this at all. I was expecting sauteed slices of beef over dry cooked rice. Surprisingly there was broth on the bottom of this dish. The rice were perfectly soaked in this fragrant broth. The mixture of the beef, cabbage, rice, and the broth was delicious. My favorite part was the broth. It really brought a nice touch to the dish. My only complaint is that the sauteed beef was not as flavorful as I would have liked it. It kind of lacked flavor which was made up with by the broth.

Lunch Box A

Kanpai Lunch Box A – 5 Pieces of Sashimi, Tempura, Japanese Pickle

My friend went with the Kanpai Lunch Box A. It was presented very beautifully in the bento box. He said that the sashimi tasted fresh. Everything looked quite colorful!

Overall the food in Kanpai was above average. If the place wasn’t located so close to where I live I don’t think I would go back. My only complaint was that the waitresses kept rushing me through my meal. When I go to a restaurant I like to really think about what I want to get especially if it is a new restaurant. The waitress came over to our table and asked us 3 times whether we were ready to order. Then later she brought the check over before I was even done eating! Perhaps they close after the lunch time crowd to get ready for the dinner crowd? I have never been so rushed through a meal before.

Other than that Kanpai is a cute, casual Japanese restaurant. They even have a really nice outdoor seating area. I will have to go back when the weather is warmer, and the outdoor seating area is open. Perhaps the next time they will let me dine at my own pace.

Stars – 3.5/5

Sushi Para M

Sushi Para M one of the many Sushi Paras in Chicago. This one located in Wicker Park on Milwaukee Ave. My friends and I had a debate why this would be called Sushi Para M. I think the M stands for Milwaukee. Sushi Para on Milwaukee Avenue.

Sushi Para M 

1633 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60647

We came here for NYE dinner. One of the really great things about Sushi Para is that is BYOB. How awesome is that? No corkage fee either.  I am a huge fan of BYOB. Bring your own wine, bring your own sake, and drink and eat and be merry. I have went to other Sushi Paras before. Actually NYE last year I was at at Sushi Para (Sushi Para II), but this one in Lincoln Park. Must be a tradition then? Sushi Para for NYE dinner.

my sushi

all done! hmm... bit of a messy eater

Maybe it is just Sushi Para M, but I thought the sushi was a little underwhelming. I ordered the Alaskan Roll, Salmon Roll, and Philadelphia Roll.The fish didn’t taste too fresh. Too much rice in the sushi rolls. The plating of the sushi was beautiful though. I remember Sushi Para being a lot better. Perhaps Sushi Para II is better. The sushi was forgettable. Nothing really great about it. I really liked their spicy mayonnaise sauce. The orange cream colored sauce located on the top left in my picture. The sauce was delicious! Whenever I eat sushi I always like to get the spicy mayonnaise sauce on the side to dip my sushi in.

Some of my friends got the sushi buffet. For $18.99, an all you can eat sushi buffet is a pretty good deal. I have done the sushi buffet at Sushi Para II before, and if you are up for the challenge of stuffing your mouth and stomach with as much sushi as you can it’s a pretty good deal. Last NYE my friends and I did sushi buffet ate so much that we got a headache and had to take a walk around the neighborhood before getting back into the car.

How the sushi buffet works is that you order off of a menu. As many rolls, nigiris, and appetizers as you want, but you have to finish it all. You don’t have to order all of the sushi at once. After the first round the waiter asks if you want more sushi and you can order again. If you grab a group of friends to do sushi buffet you can order together and help each other out in terms of eating all the sushi. Trust me the help is needed. After maybe two rounds of sushi ordering with three pieces of sushi left on the platter you will be doing whatever it takes to convince your friends to eat it, because you will simply be TOO full, food coma-ed, food babied.

We noticed when you get the sushi buffet they add extra rice to the rolls in hopes of stuffing you so you won’t order more. If you stick with the nigiri and the rolls that have lots of raw fish in it I think it’s a pretty good deal! When we do sushi buffet we try to stay away from tempura or cream cheese filled rolls, because that will fill you up quick. It’s really fun especially if you haven’t tried a lot of rolls before. Grab some friends, do sushi buffet, and try all different kinds of rolls. As for me I don’t see myself doing sushi buffet anytime soon. Too much food. Too overwhelming of a task. But it is really fun!

Green Tea Mochi

For dessert we ordered the green tea mochi. It was so pretty. They cut the mochi up into four pieces like a four leaf clover, put some whip cream in the center, and drizzle chocolate syrup on top.  It was your typical mochi, but after eating sushi mochi was the perfect desert!

Overall Sushi Para M was okay. If it wasn’t for the BYOB or sushi buffet I probably wouldn’t go here.

Happy New Years!

Happy New Years! May 2012 be bigger and better than 2011. To a very food filled, delicious new year!

Stars – 3/5