friday nights are happiest at our house when a date night with myself and the redhead is achieved. his work schedule allows for it and plus, it was a religion at my house growing up. EVERY FRIDAY NIGHT.PERIOD.
last night i was feeling asian. which at one time i swore once wasabi was consumed it got in my blood and wouldn't leave. but recently we did find a family relation in the area and he happens to be asian. it explained the mysterious tale of my moon eyes and how on our wedding day my red head might have thought his bride turned asian. ( i was smiley that day) i love asian food, especially in the winter time. the trick to a good asian place is lots of fresh vegetables, fresh- no grease. there are a few local places that we have had obsessions with thru the years. windy's is an old favorite. but the problem with it is that it is just that. old. we took my family there once and they were horrified by the old smells and need for remodel. it is a very hot place usually requiring a wait and we haven't been able to go back since the parentals sited this ghastly problem. plus, it can get heavy and greasy.
a couple of weeks ago our friend who i will classify as meat and potatoes told us a funny story about her bosses taking her to a lunch to celebrate her long career with their bank. they took her to a cool little japanese place and ordered edamamae. looked like snow peas to her, so she daintily shoved the whole thing in her mouth chewing endlessly on the tough skin. she had to spit it out after her bosses were bright red and choking from laughter. that was our only recommendation for the place so we decided to give it a whirl last night.
this is why you should all be running to hanamura.
it is right behind the macey's on 36th in the town of O for all you locales.
it was clean, fresh, bright and incredibly inviting. it is family run which makes my heart leap. there are good things going to happen when mom and dad are cooking in the back. it was not stuffy. last month i tried the new TONA, also in our little town, with no desire to go back. too salty, too stuffy and apparently only the raw sushi is fab. the redhead frequents there often with his MD and they gorge on exotic rolls. if this is your thing, tona offers a very wide range of flavor for sushi, but in my opinion not for anything else.
as we were seated we noticed the loyal patrons eating. all knew this cute waitresses life and her parents. the prices were a bit high (17.50 for the delux dinner)so i was planning on being disappointed. i decided to go with the gyoza dinner. you can always tell the quality of a japanese restaurant by the gyoza in my opinion. if there are signs of vegetables united with the ground meat you can be sure it is fresh and not some rubbery mystery meat stuffed inside. and boiled. a good gyoza is gently fried on the outside with a bit of crunch when consumed. we were started with miso soup. i appreciated the light colored bowls that allowed me to see that it was a nice creamy color. one indicator to me of a good fresh restaurant is how their foods are cut. big sloppily cut food usually means a bummy don't care about it kid is on prep duty. the tofu in the soup was daintily and very finely cut.
next the appetizer plate was brought out which was included with the meal. it was brought out by the sweet mother that was so cheery and happy that we were eating her food. it was an incredible array of things which I REALLY LOVED. salad, an amazing prawn that was grilled in the shell, i am assuming brined and served cold, it was amazing. also, asian short ribs on bib lettuce and a plethora of amazing bites. i loved the array. i did not grow up or live anywhere in asia. therefore, my buds are always willing to expand and taste more. it was a great way to taste a great variety of things, it was killer.
our main dish was then brought out. it was beautiful. served with a crab salad sushi roll, gyoza, beautiful tempura on a skewer, and salad with the perfect ginger dressing.
i ate every last crumb. the portions were well thought out and were in no way overwhelming. i left with my appetite so incredibly satisfied i can't stop smiling about it. i talked about it all morning with my red head and now, i share with you. i know this might turn you on to my crazy food passion, but i do like to discuss food, analyze and critique. i can't help it. today i was in charge of a funeral dinner and i think there were some eyes in the kitchen helping that were opened to my silly food passions that lead to intense conversations. i am serious about my food folks!