I know we’ve written a ton of posts on Blue Ribbon Sushi Izakaya. But none since our chef, Takashi-san has departed to go to Blue Ribbon Sushi back in January. We have visited, but only to sit at the bar, for drinks and nibbles, we haven’t been back for a true sit down dinner, for an omakase since. Today is our first time. Today, we visited chef Karma (I hope I’m spelling his name correctly. It could be Kama, could be Karma, I didn’t want to ask after the 5th or 6th time. We’ll confirm the next time we go, and if I F’ed this up, I promise to come back and correct!).
Overall, it was very good. Restaurant is the same, vendors are the same, and Karma-san is after all, Takashi-san’s disciple, so you are guaranteed a certain level of quality. Funny that rule doesn’t apply to Blue Ribbon Sushi… There are some small deviations, and some slight quality questions, but overall, close enough to our tried and true Izakaya omakase. And of course, one of the reasons why we love it here as much as we do is atmosphere is dim/dark/sexy, service is great, and reservations are reasonable. We are very happy to say we will start coming back regularly!
Before we discuss tonight’s omakase, it’s imperative that I take a minute to shame a couple of our sushi-counter-patrons of the night. When you’re at the sushi bar, order the omakase. If you are too timid for the omakase, at least order sushi or sashimi. Do NOT go and order a burger and fries, while your date orders a salad. Come on! Go sit at the bar counter then! Don’t sit at the sushi bar for that!!!
Small Plate 1 Sea Bass & HAMACHI
- Local Long Island Sea Bass – I’m a huge fan of the light whites, so this was a good start. Very nice, fresh and mild.
- HAMACHI SUNAZURI (Young yellowtail belly) – Served with jalapeño pepper sauce, decent quality, but BORING! Everyone one serves HAMACHI SUNAZURI, something a little more exotic would have been nice…
Small Plate 2 & 3 – 2 platters of ISE EBI/AJI/LINKODAI (it’s really one serving of each, but chef is nice enough to separate it into 2 platters for our ease.)
- ISE-EBI (lobster) – This is made 3 ways, tail into Sashimi, and the rest poached, the claws are served as is, while the body is made into a sushi roll with an egg wrapping (as opposed to seaweed), all served with Miso Butter, which is just an awesome compliment. Boyfriend was THRILLED to see that Izakaya was still offering this as part of their omakase. Our fave chef, Chef Takashi, is no longer able to include this in the omakase at Blue Ribbon Sushi…
- AJI (Japanese Mackerel) – Blue Ribbon always has decent AJI. And they also always fry the carcass – yummm… Very happy with this serving!
- KINTOKIDAI (Red big eye snapper) – Usually, when are served this as a starter, we get the whole KINTOKIDAI, like they did for the AJI. This time, just a few cuts. And usually, I’m a HUGE fan. Today, not so much. So I suppose just a few cuts is plenty enough…
- AOYAGI (Orange Clam) – DELICIOUS! Super fresh and crunchy AOYAGI in a nice vinegar mixture with sliced cucumber and sesame seeds. Please sir – may I have another?
- CHUTORO (Medium Fatty Tuna) – Decent, zero funky tinge, but definitely some veins, some chew…
- AKAMI (Lean Bluefin Tuna) – Same deal as the CHUTORO, good Tuna, but a little chewy
- SHAKO (Mantis shrimp) – A super mild, slightly cooked, slightly sweet, almost flavorless shrimp. This is my least favorite of the shrimps. Even below the plain old EBI (which is not fit for consuming raw).
- KINMEDAI (Golden eye snapper) – The SHAKO wasn’t on my larger picture, because chef knows I am not a fan. Instead, chef offered me the KINMEDAI. I thought WIN!!! But My KINMEDAI was fishy. BOO!
- TAKO (Octopus) suction cups grilled – Served with a sprinkle of spice and salt seasoning. Good, but I prefer the raw, as opposed to the grilled anything… Boyfriend loves it though.
- Ocean Trout – SUPER fatty, with the skin ABURIed (torched), and served with a pico de gallo is good (A Mexican style blend of tomato, onions, peppers, and lime), and a mayo sauce. Very good.
- Kumamoto Oyster – Super plump and sweet oyster, served with Ponzu, MOMIJI OROSHI (Grated Daikon Radish marinated with red chili pepper) and chopped scallions. This was my number 2 on this platter!
- NODOGURO (Black throat) – One of my favorite whites! Served with a little bit of shave yuzu and a sprinkle of sea salt. Really, really, so good.
- IWASHI (Japanese Sardine) – One of my favorite silvers. Served with a healthy helping of Tokyo scallion (a super mild chopped scallion), insane!
- AKA BANA (King Amberjack) – Per chef, this is the big daddy, the grandmaster of the amberjacks. The oldest and largest of the amberjacks. I don’t know that I can tell the difference, perhaps a few more, and maybe a side by side comparison would help!
- SHIRO EBI (Sweet white shrimp) – Very good quality, light, sweet, still crunchy. YUM
- SHINKO (Baby Shad) – Compared to a SANMA, this was a bit fishier. I prefer my SANMA…
- OTORO (Super fatty tuna) – Very yummy. When ABURIed, it cuts down the fat some, and along with the MOMIJI OROSHI, this is super tasty!
- HOKKAIDO UNI (left) – Very good. Hokkaido seems to be the winner this year.
- CALIFORNIA UNI (right) – I actually had to do two rounds of this. I had the first one, and was not pleased. Both the chef and boyfriend looked at me with disbelief. YES, I’m sorry to call a spade a spade, but it was not good. Chef served me a second round, in attempts to change my mind. I smiled and nodded and said this one was better. But it wasn’t, I was just being polite.
- ENGAWA (Fluke fin) – Served ABURIed and topped with MOMIJI OROSHI and scallions. I MUCH prefer a drizzle of citrus and a sprinkle of sea salt.
- AOYAGI (Orange Clam) – Still super fresh and super crunchy just as the sashimi portion, but we preferred the flavoring of the sashimi serving.
- TORO and TAKUAN hand roll – Always a lovely end. I love that chef doesn’t skimp on the TORO nor the TAKUAN, and offers just as high quality for the TORO. Lovely finale.