Sushi vs Sushi

June 24, 2010

If I had to pick a last meal other than breakfast (which is, hands down, banana and peanut butter pancakes), I’d pick sushi. End of story. There’s just something about it that makes it a perfect meal. Maybe it’s the cool, crisp veggies, the smooth, creamy avocado, the B vitamins and texture of the nori holding it together, or even the carbohydrates from the rice. Whatever is in that combination, it makes sushi a stellar meal for me.

So while we were at the beach, my dad and I sampled two different sushi joints. Both claimed to be Japanese and Thai. Both claimed to have the best sushi in town. Both had legit, almost novel-like menus. Of course, you can’t really have two favorite sushi places, according to one of my friends. So I present to you…. *drumroll please*

The Great Sushi-off Competition 2010


In the first corner, we have Siam Orchid. An old favorite, a seasoned contender, and a fabulous meal every time. Siam Orchid boasts a full Thai and Japanese menu as well as a sushi bar. It also has ballin’ decor.

In our second corner is Sake, a definite underdog. Unknown until a few weeks ago (though they’ve been open since 2000), Sake claims to serve the best sushi in all of town.

Round one: Menus

At Siam Orchid, the menu, as mentioned above, is extensive. But it’s Barbie pink.  That’s a possible weakness. Plus, the pictures can give the diner the impression that the food is more or less the same quality as those takeaway Chinese places with similar pictures. As if I didn’t know what sweet and sour chicken looked like..

At Sake, the menu is NOT hot pink. Plus. But the menu is a novel to get through and has a ton of good options.

See that strength? It’s in a binder, enough said. The food is also clearly divided into sections by geographical location, and is well organized. Plus it has less typos. Round one goes to Sake.

Round 2: Appetizers

At Siam Orchid, there’s only one appetizer that will satisfy a hungry vegan until sushi arrives. And that is… tofu rolls!

Served on a gorgeous plate with scrumptious peanut sauce. The outside tapioca roll is the perfect compliment to its innards. Inside the rolls are the usual suspects – vermacelli noodles, carrots, cucumber, and tofu. BUT WAIT, what’s this?! Arugula? Some kind of spicy green leafy! Unexpected and definitely a good twist. Sake’s going to have to try hard to recover from that blow.

Sake’s appetizer is a pretty legit bowl of vegetable soup. It might appear to be a plain looking broth with mushy vegetables, but looks can be deceiving! First off, the spoon that’s hiding behind is adorable. Secondly, the broth was tasty without being overly salty like a lot of soups are. And the veggies? Crisp and delicious. But what’s this? Mushrooms?!*puke*

Round 2 definitely goes to Siam Orchid!

The Final Round…

MAKIZUSHI.

The long awaited moment has arrived. We’re all tied up in the last round, whoever wins this is going to take it all.

And just LOOK at that presentation from Siam Orchid! The sauteed vegetables were served in a martini glass, which was “glued” to the plate with hot wasabi paste. Genius. All of the basics are covered – makizushi, wasabi and other assorted hot pastes, tofu, and Nigiri-zushi. Looking good.

What this plate of deliciousness lacks in martini-glass-ness, it certainly makes up for it with flavor. It packs a giant tastebud punch (what a pun, ha ha). The tofu (inzrizushi) is moist yet crunchy without being chewy; the makizushi itself is absolutely divine. Having the rice on the outside and the nori on the inside is just plain awesome, because I don’t like the look of nori that much. This plate of sushi was colossal. Amazing. Delicious. I was actually unable to finish it. Om nom nom.

The winner of round 3 goes to Siam Orchid because I just can’t get over that darn martini glass.

So the winner of the first ever Sushi-Off… is actually both Siam Orchid and Sake!

Because wrestling is silly. And sushi is always a winner.

What’s your favorite restaurant and why?