Saturday, June 23, 2007

Tsunami Revisited

Last night, Karen and I dropped in for dinner at the restaurant where we had our first "official" date, Tsunami Sushi (1306 Fulton Street; 415-567-7664), in the NoPa neighborhood of San Francisco. We had thought about ordering take-out last night, but the evening weather was pretty nice, so we made the short walk from Karen's place over to the restaurant. As an added plus, we brought along a $15 gift card from our CozmoDeck that we purchased earlier this year.

The interior at Tsunami is cozy and the decor is very trendy; with the contemporary music playing in the background, you almost feel like you are in a nightclub rather than in a sushi bar. We didn't have reservations, but luckily there were a couple of open seats in the lounge area. We started out our dinner with an order of Tsunami fries, rectangular planks of yams lightly coated in tempura batter, deep fried, and served with a small dish of red salt. To accompany our meal, we decided to order a bottle of sake. Tsunami is well known for its extensive selection of sake, all imported from Japan. We settled on a bottle of Tedorigawa Daiginjo "Chrysanthemum Meadow", which was fragrant and floral.

After polishing off the tasty fries, we moved on to the main attraction: sushi and sashimi. Our first main dish was a Scorpion maki roll, which had tempura shrimp, kani (crab), and cucumber topped with unagi (freshwater eel) and avocado. The roll was big (8 pieces), which was good as we both really enjoyed this dish. After we finished off the roll, the empty plate was cleared away and replaced by a platter with all of the sashimi specials of the day: waloo (escolar from Hawaii), seigo (Japanese sea bass from Nagasaki), Kona kampachi (amberjack from Kona, Hawaii), hirame (halibut from the East Coast), and aji (horse mackerel from Japan). We split the sashimi right down the middle with each of us getting one of the two pieces of each fish. All of the fish selections were very fresh and flavorful. While each type of sashimi was quite good, we both really liked the waloo, which had an amazing texture to go along with its fine and delicate flavor.

After the sashimi, we moved on to nigiri sushi. We ordered some unagi (our usual) and a plate of amaebi, raw prawns served with their deep fried heads on the side (which is the real reason for ordering this dish). Both orders were good, especially the amaebi head, though I was a little surprised that the unagi didn't come coated with the usual sweet sauce. I was still a bit peckish, so we ordered a second round of nigiri consisting of an order of hotate (scallop) and broiled bincho (albacore tuna). Both dishes were good, but the broiled albacore didn't taste much different from the non-broiled version that I'm used to.

In between the two rounds of nigiri, our server (whose name unfortunately escapes me) brought over a small tokkuri of umeshi sake, on the house. While the gesture was nice, we normally eschew warm sake, so we continued drinking our daiginjo. However, after the bottle was empty, we decided to try the complementary sake, which cooled off to room temperature. Boy, were we surprised! The sake had a pleasant aroma of almonds, which was strong but not overpowering. It was very smooth and quite sweet. Normally, I can only tolerate so much in the way of sweet alcoholic drink, but the amount of sake that we had was just right. It was a really nice way to cap off our dinner.

Karen and I both had a good time last night at dinner. Each time we have been to Tsunami, the food has been great and the service friendly and attentive. The complementary sake was very nice as well. In addition, they gave us a gift card from the CozmoDeck to the sister restaurant, Nihon, which I thought was another nice touch. We'll definitely have to make another return visit to Tsunami.