Dinner at Sumile Sushi
I had dinner with friends at Sumile Sushi this past Saturday night and it was excellent. One friend had the hanger steak and my other friend and I had sushi. The hanger steak with shitake mushrooms and Japanese salsa verde was cooked perfectly medium rare. It was tender but not mushy with a great beefy flavor that was brought out by the shitake mushrooms and a dab of wasabi (waiter's suggestion). For the sushi, my friend had the salmon & mango, California, spicy tuna, and crispy shrimp rolls and I had the anago & avacado, hamachi & avacado, and plain tuna rolls. I wasn't a fan of the salmon & mango roll, but all of the others were terrific. The California roll was made with lump crab meat. The spicy tuna roll had a nice amount of spice and not overwhelmed by mayonnaise. The texture of the battered and fried shrimp was a great contrast to the rice. Both the hamachi and anago rolls verged on richness overload, but balanced by either a light spicyness or citric tang. The tuna roll was nice and simple and really balanced out the richer rolls.
We ate at the sushi bar and the service was fantastic starting with the amuse bouche of age dashi tofu. The highlight of the evening was one of the house cocktails - the Eric Mason (iced tea with yuzu lemonade with vodka and a splash of bourbon). It wasn't exactly a good match to the food, but it went down very easily.
One surprising thing about the evening was how many empty tables there were at 8:30.
I went on a Saturday night on the late side and was disappointed to see how incredibly empty it was myself. A friend and I shared the grilled octopus to start and I had a few "chop tops" (squid, spicy tuna, and spicy salmon I believe) as well as some toro nigiri. The details are escaping me now as this was a long time ago but the service was wonderful and we had a delectable amuse bouche as well. Ours was some kind creme fraiche and caviar dish. This place is a hidden gem and I hope they do well!
I am so happy to finally hear some hounds who enjoyed Sumile! Though I don't go there a lot (as I rarely go to that neighborhood) but every time I went there I had some really good food and good time. I totally think that it is underrated. Actually I am going to Sumile tomorrow as they have a special menu for Japanese restaurant week. The tasting menu is only $40 or $50, so I am going to check that out tomorrow!