Sunday, March 20, 2005

Angelfish, Part Deux

Hirame, Suzuki, Shiromaguro, Hamachi, a Spicy Tuna roll, a Negihama roll, and an Ume-Shiso-Kyu are always mandatory.

My favorites are Shiromaguro and Hamachi, then Suzuki, Hirame, Saba, Unagi, Ika, then Maguro and anything else.

Stuff they have in particular that's tasty:

Tuna salad - this is actually a regular green salad with a particularly tasty dressing, and small slices of raw tuna and some tobiko.

Spicy Lobster Hand Roll - it's deep fried bits of lobster in their spicy tuna sauce, which is strangely subtle compared to most other place's spicy tuna sauce. The lobster is tender, crunchy bits of fried-ness... Yum.

Tuna Salsa - imagine salsa, but with the tomato replaced by raw tuna, and a dash of sesame oil, served on deep-fried wonton "chips." Sounds weird, but is surprisingly tasty, and a very interesting way of eating tuna. It's one of those dishes that I didn't expect would be good, but would be interesting. But like everything at Angelfish, the flavors are beautifully balanced, and the dish both focuses on the tuna, and enhances it in a way that's different than anything else on the menu. Not something I get very often, largely because I like other things better, but it's worth trying at least once.

Unagi - so, almost anywhere has Unagi, and it's often pretty unremarkable, because it's usually the same prepackaged eel, with the same prepackaged sauce. I have no idea whether they're using the same stuff or not, but it's perfectly caramelized, and the texture is better here than anywhere else I've had it. The first time I had unagi at Angelfish, I didn't even realize what it was, because it tasted so different. Different in a really excellent way. Whether it's a figment of my imagination or not, I genuinely don't know - but at least that first time, it was *mindblowing*. Subsequent tastings have been very, very good, but only that first time was totally extraordinary.

There's flashier food to be found. But in terms of quality, and more importantly, *balance*, I have yet to find Angelfish's equal. Every flavor feels perfectly crafted, every combination of flavors works harmoniously. The owner is extremely personable, the waitstaff is attentive and quick (though one girl pretty consistently gets orders wrong, so if you know to watch out for her, you're set), and the ambience is simple and elegant without being overwhelming.

Hands down my favorite sushi restaurant, and one that's actually made me think about how flavors can complement one another.


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