Monday, March 2, 2009

Don't Eat Here, Eat Here

Friday night was one of those tired evenings where I wasn't going to make dinner, Jake just doesn't make dinner, and, well, yours truly doesn't eat pizza as a general rule. (I do sometimes, but it's a very rare occasion.) So Jake and I, grumpy as you might suspect, went out in search of something to eat. After much debate, we wearily settled on Jasmine, which is a Chinese restaurant in Lone Tree that we often go to when we don't feel like driving downtown and/or spend very much money.


But how were we to know that in the few months we hadn't frequented the place it would have taken a happy little nosedive into to realms of the UNIDENTIFIABLE ASIAN-ISH genre? My instinct was to turn around and head for the closest burger joint when I noticed the main sign had been changed to include the words "Asian cuisine" and another computer-printed sign in the window advertised the "grand open" of the sushi bar.

But we doggedly entered the establishment anyway because we hadn't had a problem in the past. As we walked in, I attempted to ignore that sure enough, Jasmine had built a sushi bar within their restaurant. I was also quite annoyed to find that the menu now included Thai selections as well as Japanese dishes. Actually, let's call them "Japanese" dishes. OK--so NOT even similar regions of the VAST continent of Asia, all on the same menu, and not even claiming to be fusion or something ultra modern like that.

We still didn't run, and we really should have.

I'll try not to bore you with the details, so here's a quick synopsis. First and foremost, someone put mushrooms in the kung pao chicken. No, more like "kung pao chicken." The dish came out and both of us leaned in to get a closer look at the mess--but the waitress declared that it was indeed kung pao chicken. I ordered the Singapore noodles. Basically, this is their version of Singapore noodles: dump rice noodles in pan, dump other stuff in pan, and finally, dump in a pile of curry powder and no other seasonings. Stir. That's it. Big sigh here.

Did I mention that I hate bad food?

But I love good food--pretty much up there with how much I love my husband and children. So I think it's fitting that my most beloved husband took me to my favorite restaurant in town on the anniversary of his proposal to me five years ago. That is to say, on Valentine's Day.

We went to Sushi Sasa and I am telling you unequivocally that Chef Wayne Conwell is a genius. He had a special menu for Valentine's day--an 8-course treat:

Duo of Oysters: Japanese Peruvian Ceviche & Ume Kombu Ponzu

Japanese Bruschetta: Hamachi tartare, ankimo and foie gras pate, etc.

Yellowtail & Roasted Beet Salad

Japanese Bluefin Carpaccio

Pinkberry Frozen Yogurt Float

Colorado Lamb Chop, Broiled Black Cod, and Seared Scallop

Premium Nigiri Selection: Salmon, O-toro, Anago, Madai

Chocolate Cake

Everything that could be served raw on this menu that didn't indicate otherwise was. It was wonderful! My one complaint is that someone put mushrooms (shiitake, to be exact) in my carpaccio, but even that was forgivable.

It was a perfect evening--a perfect reminder of all the things I love in life. (My husband, my family, and good food.)


parrish fam said...

So I guess we need to go to Denver and eat. the GOOD food sounds amazing. I have been craving your mom's food lately. I decided she needs to write a cook book. In my currant conditions, I am having serious and undeniable Japanees foodd cravings and if you think you have food problems in your neck of the woods try Montana!

Tony and Heather said...

ooohhh. Your Valentine's dinner sounds sooo good....