Friday, September 22, 2006

Tsunami Sushi & Sake Bar
During my internship, my co-workers and I wanted a good place for happy hour-ing and dinner. Tsunami, which is open until 2 a.m., seemed like the right match. I was also in the mood for inauthentic sushi--sometimes, you just need some.

The space really isn't that big, but we made reservations for the "lounge area," which was really more like a couch with low tables against the wall. I didn't really understand what made the place trendy. Decor--the red accents and sake wall were pretty played out, and not sterile enough to be swanky. Age group--I was again the youngest one there by a good number of years. Flavor profile--I can get sweetened avocado and eel anywhere. Gentrifying neighborhood with matching crowd--that must be it.

Magic Mushrooms

I forgot to note the prices nor descriptions, so I'll take my best stab at descriptions. We started off with one of their signatures, the magic mushrooms. I think it was enoki wrapped in fish cake, topped with cheese and tobiko, and baked. Surprisingly, this was pretty nondescript. I didn't really taste anything besides the cheese. I was expecting something much more shroomy, so I would have expected shittakes in place of/in addition to enoki. Unfortunately, nothing psychedelic here.

Scorpion Roll - tempura shrimp, topped with eel and avocado

I was in the mood for a sweetened avocado/eel combo, a "comfort" food, if you will. This was just average, with tough/dry unagi, flavorless sauce, and mushy tempura. Seriously, can you really mess this up?

Mt. Tam (left) - snow crab, maguro, topped with tobiko/ ??

The Mt. Tam was quite disappointing. The snow crab tasted like a typical over-mayonnaised filling of california roll, and the maguro was mushy. As for the name, is it a Mt. because it's a triangle? Creative...?

The mass to the right, I forget what it was called. It was basically the Mt. Tam, but topped with avocado, maguro, and a bunch of shaved radish. Really bland; at this point, I was drowning it with soy sauce to please my angry taste buds.

Sushi combo

As we were there for hours, I became quite hungry again. But as the night progressed, I also became more risk averse with their "creative" rolls, which, to my chagrin, were not so creative (or appetizing). I hoped I would fare better going with the traditional: the sushi combo that came with the typical yellowtail, salmon, snapper, tuna, etc. and california roll. The fish wasn't the best quality, and the rice was again hard and bland. Utterly disappointing again.

I guess one draw of the place is its sake list and relatively creative cocktails. I ordered the Sweet Geisha (plum sake, soju, lime sauce and cranberry) which at first tasted like cough syrup, but it sort of grew on me since it actually tasted like something; afterall, I had been eating bland rice and fish all night.

I don't see why this place is popular. The sushi isn't good, it's pricey ($15+/ roll), and the pseudo-trendy atmosphere/crowd is rather vexing. I'm adding Tsunami to my "how to be a masochist" list.

Tsunami Sushi and Sake Bar
1306 Fulton St.
San Francisco, CA 94117
(415) 567-7664



Blogger Bibliochef said...

Turns out my link to your site suffered from a typo and thus was wrong. Just discovered this and fixed it. Love the inauthentic sushi thing. . . . there's something in this about authenticity as itself fraudulent but.. . . too tired to think what!

9/29/2006 1:39 PM  
Blogger Kris Ardent said...

Go to Deep on Church! It has the perfect combination of trendy/fresh. Everyone in the place is swilling sake (staff included) and hooting, and the rolls are amazing. I can't remember the names of anything, but get the stuff with the shiso in it. It's got the word "Slutty" in the name, maybe "Shiso Slutty" or something clever like that. The sashimi is also really fresh and immaculately prepared. Service is sassy, but in a good way.

10/07/2006 11:02 PM  
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