Best Asian fish fillet entrees? (+ a report on Imperia's Miso-lacquered Chilean Sea bass)
I've been craving fish fillets lately, specifically Asian preparations of fish. This caused me to seek out Imperia, and wanted to mention how delicious their "Miso-lacquered Chilean Sea bass" was.
When dining at someplace for the first time, I usually ask the manager or server "What is the highest preference entree and appetizer?" (If I think the server won't understand the jargon "highest preference entree" I simply ask, "What do people order the most and seem to like the most?".
If the server responds with "I recommend...", I listen, but then repeat the question above (which is asking a different question than "What do you recommend?")
Upon looking at the menu, I was leaning towards the tuna, but the server both raved about the sea bass and said it was highest pref. Am very glad I ordered it. Could taste the flavor of the miso-sake marinade all the way through the 2 inch tall (at least!) fillet. This marinade made the biggest positive flavor difference on any fish I've had in a long time, without being overwhelming in a negative way.
Did not like the Thai green beans at all, and I usually love green beans. These had a flavor that I haven't tasted before and didn't like, possibly due to the chilis?. But they didn't seem too spicy hot, and I haven't tasted a (known) chili flavor I didn't like.
Enjoyed the massive slab of lit-from-behind Onyx covering the back wall above the booths, and the lights-in-wood-on-mirror effect on the side wall.
I am definitely going to return to Imperia, and I'm also going to try to reproduce that flavor and prep at home.
What other places offer delicious fish fillets with Asian-style preparation or flavors?
The only other one I've read mentioned frequently is the sometimes-excellent sometimes-soggy (my last experience) Spicy Fish from Asia Cafe discussed here:
I used to be a fan of Bistro 88's miso toothfish [which is usually rebranded as sea bass; thanks for the reminder, chuckles], even when I didn't like anything else on the menu. However, the last time I ordered it—which, granted, was about 10 months ago—it had gone way downhill (http://www.chowhound.com/topics/401473 ). In fact, the food was so bad that I stopped frequenting the restaurant altogether.
Can anyone provide a description of a recent meal there? I'm wondering if the kitchen at Bistro 88 has improved in the past 10 months.
MPH, I went a couple of months ago for dinner with some girlfriends and it was decent, but not as good as I remembered. I had the sashimi, which was nice and fresh. Another friend had a shrimp dish that came out much more like a typical Americanized Chinese place's sesame shrimp than what she thought it would be. It was still pretty good.
I went back that week for lunch and the food was so bad that I swore I'd never go back. It was expensive and just not good. Sticky, gloppy, sweet ick. I honestly thought it was so bad that I can't even remember what it was.
In a similar vein as Imperia (atmosphere-wise), the 5-spice sea bass at Mars renewed my faith in seabass. It was a nice thick, oily chunk of fish rubbed with five-spice and cooked on the money. Not entirely Asian though ... the Middle East found its way on the plate in the form of couscous IIRC.
My preference for "Asian"-preps of fish usually come from places like Asia Cafe.