Misadventures with Miso

Misadventures with Miso

Friday, July 31, 2015

Kula not Kura Kaiten Zushi

Sometimes it gets confusing trying to remember places I ate at. When restaurants chose to have similar names it makes it more confusing. Such as it is with Kura Sushi in Costa Mesa and Kula Sushi in Irvine, California. Both are kaiten zushi (conveyor belt sushi) and not far from each other. This time the visit was to Kula Revolving Sushi Bar.

We visited Kula not long after it opened. Kula is owned and operated by Kura Corporations of Japan where they have 322 Muten Kura Sushi restaurants. At this time they now have eight Kula restaurants in California.

Their site says they try to use organic products whenever possible. I'm not sure what part of the meal is that but they did have some items that aren't usually part of many conveyor belt restaurants like these uni gunkan.

The cucumber sunomono was fresh. Kula's site says they use an automated system to remove dishes after a period of time. The use of lids is also a good idea.

I don't have a lot of photos since back then my camera wasn't the best. But these California roll pieces turned out pretty well. Not sure who ate them. I thought the logo green tea cup was cute too.

However if it's yellowtail nigiri odds are it was mine. The Hakutsuru Draft Sake is also a clue.

No idea if this is farmed or wild salmon. I do remember I enjoyed the food they offered and thought the space was nice. My only complaint at that time was the music was so loud we couldn't have a conversation and hear each other. Hopefully they lowered the volume. I can't speak for how the food is now but they are doing well enough to continue to open more restaurants.

Kula Sushi Bar's website is here and here is their Facebook where there is more up to date information. The one we ate at is located at 17932 Sky Park Circle, Irvine, CA.

If you are curious about Kura Sushi, I did a post about it back in 2009 that is here.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Uwajimaya Summer Festival Redux

Since I posted about this year's Uwajimaya Natsu Matsuri I thought I would finally share photos from the previous two years. These are of Portland's International Ikebana booth from 2013.

Photos from the games area including people doing the cut out game in 2013.

This may have been the Ryobu-Kai karate demonstration. I didn't stick around for more entertainment because it was very hot like it was this year. Maybe next year Uwajimaya can put up some misters?

It was hot in 2014 but I made an effort to check out more of the entertainment. Really nice shamisen performance by Masaru Yamakage

A couple of the very nice ladies of Portland's Ikebana International Chapter 47. I wonder if they have beginners classes?

A few of their designs that day. They put them together in the booth so if you go early you can watch how they do this.

Always nice to see the variety of flowers and plants they use.

Pretty good food offerings last year. I believe that Uwajimaya offers the booths to various organizations to staff and raise money. Since the booths look the same each year but different groups work them.

Last year Nichiren Buddhist Temple staffed the crepes booth.

And the crepes were yummy! Unfortunately because it was so hot mine melted all over me. Even so it was delicious.

Another angle of Masaru Yamakage playing.

Tachibana Dance Group wowed the audience with their performances.

I hope to get a few videos of these performances on YouTube so I can share them with you.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Sushi at Yama

At the other end of the spectrum from conveyor belt sushi in the Portland Metro area are places like Yama Sushi and Sake Bar.

Which I stopped in last year just to see how it was. What I didn't know is this is one of the favorite places to eat sushi in Portland so I was lucky to get a seat. I was smart and took a photo of my order. You can see a little of what they offer.

If you want something to drink with your food Yama is well stocked for that.

Always nice to get a little something like these marinated cucumbers.

My order arrives. Yama's sushi is one piece but they are really nice sized pieces.

In front from left to right is striped bass with yuzu truffle oil, real crab gunkan which was beautifully done and tamagoyaki. Note how it is made with layers?

Back row left to right is maguro (tuna), yellowtail, wild salmon, premium snapper and aji (horse mackerel). Yama definitely lived up to it's reputation. I really enjoyed this.

With sushi this good Yama is popular so it's good to go when they open or make reservations.

Yama Sushi and Sake Bar is located at 926 NW 10th Ave, Portland, OR and their website is here.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Tracking Sushi at Sushi Track

Any sushi aficionado knows the fun of eating at a zushi kaiten or conveyor belt sushi restaurant. Interesting that the area of Oregon where I live has a number of these. A few years ago I checked a couple out including Sushi Track. Because we got there right before closing there were less choices and few people still dining. But since I wasn't dining alone this time we made the most of it.

They still had some interesting rolls like this spicy California roll which my dining companion enjoyed.

Along with regular California rolls.

I went for the nigiri. I don't know why maguro (tuna) ends up so pink in some photos. It really didn't look like this.

Pretty nice yellowtail that I asked for from one of the chefs.

I ended with unagi nigiri also made by one of the chefs.

Moving forward to last week when I stopped in again after their lunch hour. Good to see there were lots of plates of fresh fish and more available.

Started off with salmon and a seaweed salad with an assist of chilled bottle of Asahi. It's actually preferred to drink hot tea or beer with sushi. Sake is also good but it's drinking something made of rice while eating rice.

Goma Wakame salad. You know how they get this bright green color? It's most likely made with ogonori which is where agar comes from. Sushi Track's version was pretty good and not spicy.

I noticed a lot of interesting items going by including sushi rolls wrapped in soy wrappers.

These mushrooms caught my eye so I took a chance. Filled with a crab salad and capped with a mayo-base topping they were okay. I like the idea of using other things than rice for a change of pace.

I will say the size of the nigiri is small but then two piece for around $2 is not a bad price. The rice was okay and not soggy and the fish was fresh like this maguro. I would have liked a little more flavor with the rice but it wasn't unseasoned like some places serve.

Check out this wild salmon. I wish I had seen this at the start. A little more per plate but definitely delicious fish.

Tamagoyaki nigiri. Pretty much typical for a lot of sushi restaurants where it's made without layers. This was sweet but not overly.

There were a few desserts going round. I shouldn't have but I did try this chocolate cake. It had a mint flavor and a crumb base. On it's own it would have been good.

Sushi Track is located at the Beaverton Town Square, 11635 Southwest Beaverton Hillsdale Highway, Beaverton, OR facing Fred Meyers. I would say out of all the kaiten zushi places in the area they have more variety and the food was pretty fresh plus the staff has been good each time I dine there.