Sunday, February 03, 2008

Saturday Sushi Left a Bad Taste in Our Mouths

Craze and I went out to dinner last night and it was a BIG disappointment. Going out for dinner is a big thing for me, since I cook every night. I really look forward to having one delicious meal a week that someone else slaves away in the kitchen preparing.

Also, since money has been tight lately, we've been going to places we know that are less spendy. My absolute faves at the moment are an Ethiopian place called Blue Nile up in a tiny strip mall on the north side of the city and Houagh Lough (which I think I totally spelled wrong), a Vietnamese joint on the far north side with the yummiest beef you've ever tasted. Just thinking about them both is making my mouth water!

But alas, last night, I was in the mood for sushi. So, we went back to a place we haven't been for a while, a place on Western Avenue next to the El trains and near Lincoln Village called Thai Oscar. About a year or so ago, Craze and I went there almost weekly. We've taken friends and family there who all marveled at their modestly priced, yet super delicious maki selections--especially the veggie tempura role which has historically been my favorite roll of all time.

But last night, after the very brown, verging on black with overcooking, and largely flavorless egg rolls, I remembered what I'd forgotten. We stopped going there because the food totally lost its zing last year. We had a couple of meals that were ok, but just no where near as good as they had been. And last night was the third strike in my book.

Beyond our almost burnt appetizers, the maki we ordered all tasted the same. It didn't matter if it was a spicy tuna, ebi shrimp or, my former fave, the veggie tempura roll, it all tasted mediocre and oddly similar. Even I, not claiming the culinary detective skills of someone like Gordon Ramsay, could tell that they hadn't changed their frying oil in too long and everything with a deep-fried ingredient had an oily, slightly bitter, rancid taste. Fifty dollars later, that bad taste in my mouth just turned to disappointment and annoyance.

I was pissed that their prices has gone up for such totally marginal food (our bill at the delicious Blue Nile comes in under $30). And I was even madder that I've been saving Weight Watchers points all week specifically for this dinner outing. My calorie cache had been wasted and I would have to wait yet another week for my palette to be satiated with something less than super healthy. Arrgh!

At least a trip to the movies was planned for after dinner and that did not disappoint. We saw the Spanish film "The Orphanage" which was both atmospheric and edge-of-your-seat scary (even though you never saw any real carnage like your garden variety horror movies). Really worth watching, just don't go alone!

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