Monday, May 3, 2010

In Love With Taki

Practice restraint before ordering at Taki. The menu is loaded with drool-worthy items: assorted Bento Boxes for lunch, Yakisoba piled high with your choice of meat or veg, and for dinner & a show, Teppanyaki, where the chef prepares your food right in front of you. Substitute an entrée for two or three tantalizing appetizers like Taki’s special Crab Meat Rolls and perfectly Seared Scallops. The Captain Crunch sushi roll (shrimp tempura, crab, and cucumber with spicy sauce) will ignite the taste buds. Don’t forget about a cocktail; try the Wasabé Dirty Martini, made with wasabi and sake infused vodka. Taki has immaculate plate presentation; a feast for the eyes as well as mouth. Get gastronomically pampered at Taki, where you’ll find trickling water sculptures, low hanging lights, and earthenware dishes. Soft trance music sets the mood. This modern hot spot is a far cry from your standard Benihana.

An all-out dinner for two can start at $55 (an appetizer, a sushi roll, 2 entrees, 2 drinks), but for lighter eaters, two could share an entrée and get the rest of the fixin’s easily for under $40.

I eat my leftovers straight out of the box. The Rainbow sushi roll is a masterpiece and a mouthful.

Appetizer of champions: Crab Meat Roll. The purple, pickled veggies round out the dish perfectly. Creamy, crunchy, tangy, sweet, and savory are all flavors and textures inside this starter.

Hello, Yakisoba. You will forever remain in my memory, you tall noodle dish, piled with vegetables in a creamy sauce. The crispy, fried strings of sweet potato and beet on top is an excellent and exciting touch.

The cocktails deserve much recognition. The Painkiller (front - Pussers Rum, pineapple and orange juice, cream of coconut and sprinkled with nutmeg) set my world right. The Wasabé Dirty Martini (behind - a traditional dirty martini using wasabi and sake infused vodka, finished with a splash of olive juice) was surprisingly not a kick in the mouth, as it may sound, but rather smooth with subtle hints of wasabi.

I love Asian cuisine, and chopsticks are a requirement for consumption. Giving me chopsticks is like giving a fork to a monkey. Tim, one of the five owners of Taki, humored me in a chopstick holding demonstration. Step 1: Pinch chopstick with the thumb. (In the thumb pit, for lack of a better word.)

Step 2: Rest your third (ring) finger on the chopstick.

Step 3: Pinch the second chopstick with the thumb tip and first two fingers.

There you have it, folks. I hope you check out my new favorite Japanese restaurant, Taki. The atmosphere is full of energy, the food is superb, and the owners couldn't be more passionate about their work. Tell them I sent you.

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