All weekend, I’ve been struggling with recapping our trip to Masu on Friday night. I’ve been wanting to go there in a big way since I knew they were opening. And the food was delicious, just what you’d expect from La Belle Vie chef Tim McKee (have I mentioned I’m a fan?). But, I was having trouble putting pen to paper. Or keyboard to blog, rather.
I think I have a working theory on what the problem has been. I’m generally shot by the time Friday night hits. A tired heap. And this Friday, I had darted across town as fast as I could to get to my hair appt on time. And from there, the plan was for Zach to meet me at Masu, since I’d already be in NE.
It was raining. There was traffic. Not a lot of street parking. And only one of us with cash for valet parking. There was a bit of snappiness as we exchanged phone calls asking about the other’s ETA as we each tried to find parking.
But finally, we had both arrived and handed our cars off to valet (I graciously paid for my husband).
We were taken to our table. And unfortunately, it was in the middle of the restaurant, right smack dab in the center of more hustle and bustle.
We tried, we really did, to be all zen and content, but I couldn’t help but realize that we were both exhausted and not on our a-game on date night.
So, all in all, the night just didn't live up to expectations. And perhaps I didn't want to document that.
However, the food was delicious, and lifted our spirits a bit. I don’t pretend to know anything about sushi. I’ve always liked it when I’ve had it, but I could probably count the number of times I’d had it on one hand. But I know when things taste good. And things tasted good on Friday.
The menu is extensive with lots of different options that are perfect for sharing: sushi, rolls, robata, noodles, some killer desserts.
After we ordered drinks pronto, we started with the Firecracker Roll, with tempura shrimp, crab, avocado, and spicy tuna. Cleary fresh, great flavor, good textures. Pretty, to boot!
Then we shared a mighty fine skewer of BBQ Short Rib. Two perfect cubes of beef. We immediately wished we had ordered about 10 of them, they were that good.
And then we moved onto the ramen. This was what I think I was most excited about. I’d been hearing buzzing about the ramen for weeks. We had the Tonkatsu Curry Ramen, with pork, Chinese broccoli, and a soft poached egg. We liked. Tasty and brothy, perfect for a rainy night. I’ve heard they fly the noodles in from San Fran every day. The Pork Belly Ramen is on my radar for next time.
I think maybe my favorite part though was dessert. I happen to love rice pudding, so I ordered the Coconut Rice Pudding Brulee, which was just like it sounds. Creamy rice pudding with a torched top, served with fried bananas and a plum dipping sauce. Total perfection and not something you'll want to share.
We will be going back for sure, but not on a Friday night, and not in two cars. And if I have anything to do with it, we’ll also not be seated at that terrible table in the middle of everything.
Who knew a chef who is a master of French cooking could also rock Japanese?