Friday, May 2, 2008


Spring is in the air. You can feel it in the cool breeze in the shade, see it in the crimson sunsets at dusk, and hear it on the bustling sidewalks. But most importantly, you can smell and taste it in the food you eat. Shirlington is one of the best neighborhoods to enjoy a beautiful day with its eclectic pool of restaurants serving cuisines from all over the world. If one is full, just walk over next door to find an empty table. I haven't yet tried all the restaurants but I have given myself a challenge to do so this summer and share my experiences with you.

I visited Bonsai a couple of times but it's been years so I don't remember how well my dining experience turned out. I do All I remember thinking was yet another sushi restaurant owned by Koreans; not that that's a bad thing. They usually do a pretty good job I think.

Chu and I got a table outside and was promptly greeted by our waitress in a bright red shirt and a big smile. I pondered over the menu. Chu had told me their Spicy Tuna Rolls were delicious so that was already on the list. I wanted some sashimi so I opted for the yellow tail and salmon. As an appetizer, I chose the yakko tofu which sounded something refreshing and light.

Chu was served a bowl of lettuce with peanut ginger dressing and a small bowl of miso soup. My yakko tofu, "fresh" tofu sliced in square blocks was topped with sliced scallions and grated ginger flanked by a few pieces of ice cubes. I guess to keep it "fresh". With a bowl of soy sauce. I put the ginger and onions into the soy sauce, cut a piece of tofu and dipped it in the sauce. The tofu was firm and tasted like tofu. No seasoning other than the dipping sauce. I do enjoy my tofu, but this might have been too fresh. I felt like a criminal who had just finished her jail sentence and was given her first meal. A Korean tradition I've seen many times on television and in movies but don't know the story behind it. Maybe I should wiki or google it; sounds like an idea for a post in the future. Everything you wanted to know about tofu...

Then came the spicy tuna rolls. And let me tell you were they spicy. About double the size of a Combo pretzel snack, each tiny roll was packed with flavor. When you least expect it, the punch of wasabi hits the back of your throat and fumes up your nose causing you to cry like a girl. There were three pieces each of the yellow tail and salmon. The presentation was beautiful, with the yellow tail fanned up against a green leaf supported by a mound of shredded daikon, the salmon twirled into a shape of a flower and to match, a bloom of ginger. The fish was decent, a bit on the warm side. I do prefer my sashimi to have a bit of a chill. I wouldn't say it was the freshest, but it had a good clean taste.

Chu had the Teriyaki Chicken that came on a hot plate with a few pieces of steamed vegetables and a small bowl of rice. The flavor was slightly bland, felt like something was missing in the seasoning, maybe the presentation was not up to par as the sushi plate. I tend not to order teriyaki anything, but that is a personal preference. Overall a pleasant experience.

And for dessert. Hot Chocolate from Caribou Coffee. The whipped cream and chocolate shavings were the best part. I could have just eaten a cup full of that.

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