Thursday, August 16, 2012

Tomo Sushi

She had been trying to get me to go to Tomo Sushi for a long time, over and over again, after the movies, probably thrice. And then just one day, after ComiCon, we had dinner together. The invite included Ms. Bonilla, Ms. Jacobovitz, and Ms. Bonilla. Sisters, the first former and the latter, the latter invited on a whim because we believed she’d be busy. But, we were in good graces, as she was not, and came along. Tomo is truly a hole in the wall in Burbank’s Promenade (town center?), and this always, always makes me happy. It’s designed like Jinpachi, small and skinny, my wingspan able to touch wall to wall. But it goes deep. The walls were covered with bills, ranging from dollar to tens, written all over it. There weren’t a lot of people in the place, as there was a car show going on, but nonetheless, the food. That’s why we went, right? Well, no. We went for conversations that needed to be had.

As everyone knows, I’m an adventurous eater. But perhaps, these women did not, as I ordered each dish, their eyes got bigger and bigger. To me, they were my staples. To them? Not so much. However, they are out of order, so please forgive me, I know not what I do (that’s a song…).
Uni-ka! And ikura (pronounced eee-kur-a, with a roll of the tongue, kurrrr). The uni was sweet, as usual, though I would like to have mine more… “intact”, as seen at Jinpachi. The quail egg was brighter yellow than what I was used too, which was a welcome surprise, and they were deliciously simple. Ikura is salmon roe, normally looking like bait for fishing. This ikura was cold, pops of saltwater, little bursts of the sea. It’s really hard to mess up ikura, perhaps warmth and softer eggs would do it. But for the most part, it’s good everywhere.

The second dish, third staple, was Spanish mackerel sashimi. This one was a little less prepared than I’m used to, as it wasn’t thinly sliced and then chopped into small squares, and then mixed with ponzu, green onions, and chili sauce, on a bed of spiraled white radish. And I didn’t receive the bones, or the skeleton of the mackerel. Which is the part I love, deep fried and crispy. However, while the preparation was not up to my par, the fish in itself was very tasty. Sweet and delicate, a beautiful silver color, soft texture. I would’ve eaten it with my hands, but alas, I did not.

I believe that Ms. Bonilla (the sister that was eating) ordered a crunchy roll-tempura shrimp, avocado, crab meat wrapped in soy paper. And it was good! Ain’t nuttin’ wrong with a good ol’ simple roll. The crab meat was imitation (rarely do you find crab mixtures with real crab meat in rolls), but cold and moist, never dry, and the tempura. Well. Who doesn’t like tempura? A lighter version of fried yumminess? Yes.
Sweet shrimp! Fourth staple, third dish. With heads! These heads got the best of my companions, as I don’t think they’ve ever seen them before, live (well, alive live, but lively eaten? Whatever, it makes sense in my head). The shrimp was…erm…a little more moist than I would like. Meaning it wasn’t dried enough before it was...or its life was taken.

They’re usually alive in a bag, sitting on cool water and ice, but sometimes can get too water-logged. As this case. But the heads were scrumptious, if not a little bony. Again, with the fried yumminess, everything is good. Usually there is more meat (brain? cheek? do shrimps have cheeks?), but I was happily gossiping away, taking more notice of my companions noticing what I was eating.
Ms. Jacobovitz ordered an avocado roll. And anyone from California knows that the avocados are simply the best. I am sad, for now living on the East Coast, avocados don’t fall from trees at my feet. It was creamy, and sweet (notice the trend, once again?).

And lastly, Ms. Bonilla (the sister still eating) ordered a spicy tuna roll with avocado on top. The spicy tuna didn’t lie. It was spicy! Whew. I still remember. But it was good as well.

A couple of things…I’m not a roll eater, for the most part. I tend to order them because my companions are roll eaters. If I’m by myself, on my own tab, or with someone who will eat what I tell them to eat (no questions asked), you won’t see them on my table or at the bar. However, if the chef gives me something roll-esque, I will never refuse. But I do judge a place by the stickiness of the rice, obviously, the stickier the better, and Tomo had good stickiness.

But I would have preferred…more…oomph. The little bits of extra that one will sometimes get. But perhaps eating at a table might do that. Sushi with friends is always a pleasure though, maybe because of the way the food is served, in several dishes, all at different times.

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