Dinner

Dinner tonight, gentlemen, is a thing of beauty. It comes in a small light wooden box tied with yellow bamboo. Inside, are eight slices of broiled freshwater eel on rice pillows, along with chilled lotus root, sake-braised yamagobo cut into the shape of a maple leaf (a hint of seasonality), mountain potato in ichiban-dashi, a slice of salt-grilled salmon, a single crisp snow pea sliced and fanned across a scallop. This is Rosanjin, the new Kyoto-style restaurant on SeamlessWeb. This is miles away from the crappy Italian and even crappier Chinese most of us eat night after night. Yes, I have to shell out a little of my own cash for it (the cheapest entrees are $23-26), but it's worth it. If you can't tell, I highly recommend the place.

So what cubicle cuisine do you guys like? I need some more variety.

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Comments (26)

Sep 14, 2006 - 7:02pm

any given day, i typically used my food allowance over the summer to buy - all at once - several mcdonalds sandiwches, chicken nugget value meals, and more. it sounds funny, but anything else is way too expensive in manhattan, and the delicate 2 ounces of sushi described above just doesn't fill me up.

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Best Response
Sep 14, 2006 - 7:11pm

See, I'm fully satisfied with a few ounces of fish and vegetables... never eat fast food, and I wouldn't feel good or happy if I ate McDonald's anyway. I have heard boys complaining that they can't get enough food with $20, though.

Flashbang, yes, we get $20. But I have the option of using my personal credit card to make up any overage. Additionally, if any of my fellow analysts ever leaves early, I usually use their account (with their permission) to order myself something exorbitant, like the tidbits described above.

Andrew: Broiled eel tastes rich like dark meat chicken, yes... but it feathers when you put it in your mouth, and it's usually coated with a dark, tangy Japanese barbecue sauce that brings out the smokiness of the eel. Purists demand that their eel be broiled on a charcoal brazier (an element of Japanese life that's become all but obsolete) because of the affinities between smoke and eel. You might want to try it someday. It's a great way to ease into the more exotic Japanese foods.

  • 2
Sep 15, 2006 - 3:23am
Broiled eel is lovely.

If you are ever in Newport Beach, you must try Blufin.


You're talking about the place in Crystal Cove right? I went there right after it opened and frankly I was rather unimpressed. I've been following Chef Abe for a few years now and I wish he would've stayed at Restaurant Abe in Balboa (I was there recently and I'm sad to say the quality has declined after Abe's departure).

Eel is quite tasty, though I prefer hamachi myself!

Sep 15, 2006 - 6:50am

Eel and negihamachi have got to be the two best things you can order at a sushi place. But it's got to be negihamachi for me, not just hamachi. Otherwise it's too... um... flat, I think might be the word. Two-dimensional. I think my palate is too accustomed to sauced/spiced Western food, so it needs a grace note (like the aforementioned eel sauce or scallions).

  • 1
Sep 14, 2006 - 10:19pm

Decided to register :).

Your description of broiled eel is one of the better I have read. You should consider writing a sushi book. Speaking of that, I bet that would be well selling book. Basicaly a book that describes all the different fish, how it tastes and other relevant details with pictures.

And to answer your question... Unfortunetly, Carl's Junior, which is sort of one notch above McDonald's. Since I work on the buy-side, I actaully get home at a decent hour, but the there are only a few places I can walk too without it taking too long.

But last night, drinks and dinner were on Bear Stearns. :)

---------------- Account Inactive
  • 1
Sep 15, 2006 - 3:33am
zala rules:
If you are ever in Newport Beach, you must stop to ask yourself, "What am I doing in this godforsaken clusterfuck of vapid human beings?"

'Cuz the nicest restaurants in OC are down near there. Sorta agree with the "vapid" comment though. ;)
Sep 15, 2006 - 8:08pm

Salmon in my favorite by far. 'Toro' salmon a step above. Ponzu sauce is my favorite way to accompany salmon.

Regarding Blufin at Crystal Cove, there is a bit of variability in the dishes, I will admit. I honestly can't say though that Abe on the penisula was ever any better. Over time Blufin has improved, likely because of start-up problems. They have also changed a couple of the sushi chefs. They get some very good stuff there.

Abe served at a small place in Costa Mesa for awhile while he was waiting for his new place to open and that is where I leared to appreciate his sushi.

If you live in the area, there is a place in Tustin, a sort of whole in the wall, that is excellent. Everyone I have taken there has said it is the best they have had, ever. My step-father works for Mitsui and all the senior management rate this place the best in Orange County. It is called Wasabi and is off the 55 on Newport Ave. It is Omekase style only.

---------------- Account Inactive
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Sep 17, 2006 - 6:50am
buysideanalyst:
Salmon in my favorite by far. 'Toro' salmon a step above. Ponzu sauce is my favorite way to accompany salmon.

Regarding Blufin at Crystal Cove, there is a bit of variability in the dishes, I will admit. I honestly can't say though that Abe on the penisula was ever any better. Over time Blufin has improved, likely because of start-up problems. They have also changed a couple of the sushi chefs. They get some very good stuff there.

Abe served at a small place in Costa Mesa for awhile while he was waiting for his new place to open and that is where I leared to appreciate his sushi.

If you live in the area, there is a place in Tustin, a sort of whole in the wall, that is excellent. Everyone I have taken there has said it is the best they have had, ever. My step-father works for Mitsui and all the senior management rate this place the best in Orange County. It is called Wasabi and is off the 55 on Newport Ave. It is Omekase style only.

I did try Bluefin right after it opened, so maybe it was having some growing pains. I'll try to make it back down there. I must diagree about Abe though; in its prime I considered it the best sushi place in OC. It's where I really started getting into sushi after I cut my teeth at Sushi Wave in Costa Mesa.

I believe the place Abe worked in the interim period was called Zipangu. Never had a chance to go there.

Sushi Wasabi does look promising though:
http://www.ocweekly.com/food/feature-review/snowflakes-from-the-sea/257…
Omakase only...no rolls...I'll add it to my (long) list of places to check out.

Sep 17, 2006 - 1:54pm

Yep Zipongu. Was a great a little place!

All I am saying about Abe is that the quality at this time is no different than Blufin.

The only problem at this point with Blufin is that I think the chefs are often times too busy.

You really need to go during the week when Abe is there. Sit all the way against the wall and likely he will serve you. And hit up the specials on the chalk board. He had some amazing white salmon there several months ago.

You have any LA suggestions?

---------------- Account Inactive
Sep 17, 2006 - 7:58pm
buysideanalyst:
Yep Zipongu. Was a great a little place!

All I am saying about Abe is that the quality at this time is no different than Blufin.

The only problem at this point with Blufin is that I think the chefs are often times too busy.

You really need to go during the week when Abe is there. Sit all the way against the wall and likely he will serve you. And hit up the specials on the chalk board. He had some amazing white salmon there several months ago.

You have any LA suggestions?


Concerning Bluefin and Abe, "at this time" is the key phrase, as Abe has gone downhill and Bluefin sounds like it's improved. Interestingly enough, when I was at Bluefin, I was able to order some old items from Abe that weren't on the menu, notably the halibut carpaccio.

As for LA, I like Tsukiji in Gardena for pure sushi. Katsu-ya in Studio City adds a bit more flair; it's also where I had my most memorable piece of sushi ever: their "super" o-toro which just melts in the mouth.
Abe worked under Nobu Matsuhisa; and I like both Nobu Malibu and Matsuhisa Beverly Hills (their Wagyu tataki is probably the tastiest beef I've ever had). However those places are better for their "cooked" food rather than sushi, which I think is merely competent.

Sep 17, 2006 - 8:53pm

Ah, I think you have hit the nail on the head. Abe is more interested in the cooked dishes than the sushi but perhaps skews himself a bit more toward the sushi than Matsushisa.

With respect to Rest. Abe and Blufin, you are correct in that you can order any old Abe dish at Blufin. One of my favorites is the hamachi and jalapeno dish.

Do you work in LA?

---------------- Account Inactive
Sep 17, 2006 - 10:59pm
buysideanalyst:
Ah, I think you have hit the nail on the head. Abe is more interested in the cooked dishes than the sushi but perhaps skews himself a bit more toward the sushi than Matsushisa.

With respect to Rest. Abe and Blufin, you are correct in that you can order any old Abe dish at Blufin. One of my favorites is the hamachi and jalapeno dish.

Do you work in LA?


Nice pick with the hamachi/jalapeno, which was actually my second favorite dish at Matsuhisa behind the tataki; I haven't had it at Bluefin/Abe though.

I actually live and work in OC, so unfortunately I don't have the chance to go up to LA all that often.

Sep 18, 2006 - 3:40am

Who's Huey Lewis? And why is this on the topic of dinner?

Sep 18, 2006 - 6:28am

This vapid conversation of dinner only reminds me of American Psycho--hence the Huey Lewis reference.

Could be a combination of my dry sense of humor, or the fact that its 6 am, and I'm still at work..

Sep 18, 2006 - 2:02pm

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