Friday, March 20, 2009


Hey there citizens! Hows spring treating you? Everyone thawing out OK?

I'm gonna do something new here on this bloggie, so bear with me.

If you've grown suspicious from the title of this post & you're wondering if I'm gonna give you too much information about some aspect of my personal life that you don't want to know about, rest assured there will be no such unveiling tonight. The only "Hump" in this post is the name of the restaurant that DH & I went to the other evening.

And I'm gonna give you a review of it whether you like it or not, because I'm still floating from the sheer bliss of the experience.

First of all I must give props to a friend who graciously provided Josh & I with the opportunity to experience this lovely restaurant in all of it's splendor & my fantastic sisters in law & Tom who held down the fort while went off to act like adults for the evening.

I assure you, this was harder than I thought it would be, as every couple seconds I wanted to scream at all my fellow train riders, like an idiot, "BEHOLD ME....I AM AL......and I'm an ADULT, YO!!!!.....I'm FREEEEEEEeeeee!" whilst swinging carelessly from round train handle bars to handle bars & that would just ruin the whole delightful facade of being an adult individual, wouldn't it?

So here's my first restaurant review, don't worry fellas at the rate that I eat out, these reviews will be coming out as often as I give birth (Occasionally but not too infrequently to forget all together) I took pics w/ DH's Iphone & as the sun went down the dim light didn't make for very good shots so sorry bout that.

Well now on w/ the show ..........The Hump, is a LA style sushi restaurant located near Tokyo eki, with it's sister resturant of the same name in Santa Monica

First off, the decor was great, modern, classy & chic. Our booth had a full window view of the Imperial palace moat & grounds. And I was desperately trying to control my instinctive desire to grove like a lunatic to the happy-making but odd combo of gospel/trance music in the background.

We started off with cocktails. And DH insisted we try something so he got a tequila based cocktail called "Teqtonic" never heard of it, I got a vodka/cointreau based cocktail called "Balalaika". Personally I liked his better. (Should've gone w/ my instincts & gone w/ Tequila?)

KAMPAIIIII (this is right before I start raving to the empty restaurant about how ...."I'm a GROWN UP, on a DATE!" like a moron who is obviously not grown up nor on a date)

I went ahead & ordered the Chef's Choice 8 course set. And my DH, being slightly less adventurous with seafood, choose out his own course individually.(with a little help from me!)

Mr. Husband's edamame was nearly enough for me to ask for a nama beer to go with it, but I decided to save my stomach for the goodness to come.
My starter was a sora-mame & prawn salad with a delicate sesame dressing. Along with a very unique tasting sea snail (I forgot the name). It tasted salty & somewhat bitter but the texture was very soft & palatable and the broth in the shell was quite a pleasant little kick. Kinda hard to describe really.

Mr. Husband ordered his own sushi plates one plate of hon-maguro (black tuna) & one plate of this Bluefin tuna Otoro. (fatty belly cut of bluefin tuna) Bluefin is considered to be the KING of tuna, And if you've never tasted otoro, let me just say there's only one way to describe it....Sushi-gasm! (FOR REAL!!! TOTAL SUSHI-GASM!)

Imagine, if you will, the softest creamiest sushi with white fat marbled into it & around the edges that melts like butter in your mouth. MELTS!! There's practically no way to chew it because it just disolves like cream. Stop me already I could go on about this forever!

2 seconds before OTORO-GASM!!

Here's my sashimi plate. Maguro, ika & red sea bream. First impressions.....fresh wasabi is most obviously fantastic & mind-blasting (or should I say, nose blasting?). I still don't care for squid, there is no unpleasentness in the taste but the texture is just too muddy for me.

Here's his salad course, mix of grilled veggies: baby corn, mastutake mushroom, paprika, okra & shishito peper with a very light cheese dressing that I just couldn't place but it was something blue....lighter than Roquefort or Gorgonzola. It was creamy & delicate. Surprisingly my mushroom hating man-of-love tried the matsutake & found that it's meatier taste was a not entirely unpleasant.

My salad was awesome. Mixed greens with chicken & tiny squid (see them laying on the potato like it's a little pillow, awww!) they were grilled I think, and were surprisingly good. And the French mustard & balsamic vinegar dressing is something that I'm going to try at home for sure.

I had some tempura with a few veggies, one of which was baby artichoke heart. I LOVED IT, bitter but just really right up my alley. Te fish was wrapped in some kind of wrap or batter & sandwiched in with a sweetish soft egg-like batter filling as well. This was the most mysterious thing I ate, I wish I would've asked what kind of fish it was & what the filling was made of, I assume it was made with a fish stock as well.

DH had a seared Kobe beef sashimi with a daikon oroshi/ponzu dressing. This too was fantastic (though I was only rationed 1 slice) the goma sprinkled on the beef & the yuzu in the dressing was the clincher as far as I was concerned.

The picture is a bit fuzzy but this was the much loved spicy tuna roll & California roll. Sadly my only California roll involved a lame food-court experience in Texas (not to be repeated EVER!) but this California roll was positively overflowing with soft & creamy goodness -- everything from the avocado to the crab meat to the tarako & the mayo garnishing it was a win-win situation for me.

DH quite obviously lost his mind right about the time this spicy tuna roll came to the table (along with his 2nd Tequila cocktail & my Champagne.) According to my sister in law this is basic "spicy tuna roll" in LA but it was all new too me. The maguro-tataki was spicy enough & wonderfully creamy and with little bits of tempura it had a crunch that made it all the more fun. The slivers of dried red pepper garnishing it are supposedly the norm with spicy tuna rolls. would I know, I'm just a little gaijin. We went ahead & ordered another plate of these babies.

And finally my sushi, at last! From right to left: Dashi-maki, ikura (come to mama) ebi, akagai (blood clam, whatta name and looking suspiciously like a part of the reproductive, hamachi (yellowtail), I dunno what the white one was?? Sea bream?, chutoro & otoro. By this time I'm like, holding back the tears of joy & quietly yet earnestly singing "I LOVE JAPAN".

Not a very good picture at all of the most awesome miso ever with a huge chunk of some kind of fish (again...sorry, couldn't place it) it was steaming hot, just like it should be...too hot to drink right from the start. Someone give the miso guy in the back a huge hug for me. Wonderful wonderful!

Lastly there was my dessert of sakura cheese cake. I loved how this was not very sweet at all, so you could taste a very subtle floral taste of what I assume was sakura blossom water? Maybe not, but I like to imagine it was something baby pink & delicate. Look at that strategically placed sakura petal.

Dinner ended with two hot cups of ocha & much nodding & silly smiles of satisfaction which continued all the way home as you can see.

Awww, as you can see Mr. Daddy is busy checking in with home base to make sure all the tyrants are under control & getting into their tyrant PJ's. And I tell you my friendly friend as Gene Kelly says:



Anonymous said...

WOW! LOOKS SO GOOD! ur new profile pic is nice too.

Joy said...

LOL. Very entertaining. I liked it! Wish I could eat some decent sushi, never really got the chance in Japan.

Anonymous said...

Wow, AMAZING! Looks so good, I can tell you write about food a lot! All those creative terms... I miss Japanese food... Glad you had a great time!

Lil said...

So good and so entertaining, it's like we all went there, as creepy as that may sound ;) otoro!! omg I think I've had it all of 2xs...butterrr
The california roll looks like the same rolls they have here everywhere too. You both look really great all smartly dressed, one wouldn't know there was a full fledged crowd waiting back at home :) Classy restaurant and awesome review, has confirmed I must visit one day

Anonymous said...

looks good!will have to check that place out.

Aimee said...

So glad you guys got to go on a date. I know how hard that can be to manage. You just have to feel like a real adult sometimes, not just a mom barefood & pregnant in the kitchen.
You look pretty, Al.
Awesome food!! I think this restaurant is calling my name.

Aimee said...

woops! that would be "barefoot"

Carol said...

So happy you two were able to get some "OUT" time together! Great story, although I'm not one for much sea food.....Glad you had a blast, you deserve it more often Alisa! Josh looked happy on the way home.....LY!!!

Florence said...

Al, you deserve this and so much more. I will invite you to my house and cook for you!!! (We will have a lightly seared toast with crunchy surface and pleasantly chewy insides, with a side dish of scrambled eggs with a generous flavor of grease and soysauce. That's...if you come for breakfast.)

Mark said...

So happy you were finally able to make it. Sounds like you had a wonderful time as well. Hope to see you all some time soon.

Mark said...

Al you got to watch this on you tube I think you'll really like it. Look it up. Jeff Dunham-Peanut and Jalapeno on a Stick

Aich said...

"2 seconds to otoro-gasm!" Waahhhh... laughed very hard. I love your food descriptions. You also look so pretty!

BladeMaster said...

awsome post and i love the pics