Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Arigato Sushi

When I went to California on spring break, many surprises lurked around the corners. I ran into Kobe Bryant at Disneyland. I noticed that pretty much every single restaurant in The Golden State has garlic bread on their menu. And finally, I discovered that California's sushi was rather good. I went to Santa Barbara with my grandmother, and we decided to eat at a sushi restaurant named Arigato. After driving to the restaurant in my uncle Max's Mazzerati, and running into the Bachelor's Andrew Firestone on the way there, the six-person group that we made up entered the two-level cosmopolitan sushi restaurant. However, there was a 45 minute wait, so we stopped by Oprah's favorite bar. After returning, we ordered a magic mushroom roll which had five types of mushrooms, asparagus and avocado. We also ordered a Dracula roll with tuna, ahi, albacore, endive and onion. Another of the strange dishes we wanted to try was the wiki wiki roll with crab, shrimp, papaya, sprouts and avocado. While all of these rolls were unusual, and did not use the most commonly mixed ingredients, the gold shot topped off the list for just plain weird. The components of it were: sea urchin, quail egg and lime juice. It was unbelievably good, and it made my tongue tingle. Also, we ordered two orders of the shrimp gyoza just because it had such tenderness, and tastiness. I asked for two pieces of the smelt roe sushi which had been just prepared in the kitchen. It was very good, but it had too much of a salty component to it. Our last dish was the foie gras which was very rich, and I hated it. But that was just my opinion. Overall, I really loved the food, and the service was quick, elegant and polite. The decor was a little plain and simple, but that probably was because we were on the top floor of the restaurant. The dinner was a little bit expensive, but the meal was definitely worth it. I give Arigato a 8.1/10. It's main highlight was the gold shot.
I felt really grown up.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


For me, math is the hardest subject. After all, I write reviews, not equations. So on a Thursday evening, with twenty math problems on my palette, I was not excited for the upcoming night. However, there was one bright side to the evening, other than it being my grandmother's birthday. She was taking us to Jean-Georges, the casual part. When I was told, the first thing that went through my mind was not: "Oh, yeah, I'm so excited!" No. Not at all. Instead, it was: "Jesus, I am so fricking spoiled." After doing most of my math problems wrong, and having to correct them, we began the three block walk through the chilled air to the ridonculously big Trump Hotel. Yes, I meant ridonculous, and not ridiculous. As we entered the restaurant, the warm draft of air brought back partial feeling to my extremities. We relinquished our coats to the coat check, and half walked, half plodded into the restaurant. My grandma had already arrived along with her partner, and my gangster cousin Ivan and his wife. After a long discussion, I talked him out of the $65 steak, and advised him to go with the chicken. Then, when everyone started talking about the recession, I began to doze. Stocks, and market trading are not my thing. However, the aroma of freshly fried salt and pepper calamari will wake someone just as well as Ambien can make someone sleep. The calamari was delicious, its crispiness providing a great contrast to the aioli, and the lemon. After that amazing appetizer was taken away, my pasta and lobster arrived. I am not very familiar with lobster, so eating it was an adventure. It was served with passion fruit, which I felt took away from the dish, by making it too sweet. The excessive sweetness was one of the lower points of the meal. The service was elegant, but seemed a little bit too relaxed. The waiters were socializing with each other, and talking when they were not supposed to. I had read the same thing in Zagat Survey. The decor was simplistic, but very beautiful. For dessert, I ordered some mixed berry and green apple sorbet. It I was very satisfied with the meal, but it could have been improved. I give Jean-Georges a 8.6/10. However, I think that in the event of my family going to another fantastic restaurant like this, I believe that I should stay home. After all, we are in a recession.

Saturday, March 7, 2009


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