Sakana, Santa Barbara

As some of you know, I love sushi. I could probably eat it every day if mercury poisoning was the “in” thing this year. I was able to take a last-minute trip to Santa Barbara for a night and Jon talked me into going for sushi (which wasn’t hard). Tucked away in the Montecito shopping center you may just overlook this little sushi restaurant but it’s OH so worth it. We had heard about Sakana from some friends and decided to take a trip over. There was a bit of a wait but the hostess gave us a ring when our table was ready so we were able to walk around the little plaza.

Sakana, Santa Barbara, Sushi -acaffeiantedbrunette.com

Sakana, Santa Barbara, Sushi -acaffeiantedbrunette.com

 

The restaurant has a very casual feel to it. They put all of the decoration into their sushi.

 

Sakana, Santa Barbara, Sushi -acaffeiantedbrunette.com

The menu at Sakana can be a bit intimidating. They have so many sushi rolls you don’t even know what to do with yourself. So instead of trying to flip a coin to decide (we would’ve needed lots of coins), we sat back and let the chef do his thing and decide on what to feed us. I think he did a very good job.

Sakana, Santa Barbara, Sushi -acaffeiantedbrunette.com

To start we received their habanero yellowtail roll and the merry go round roll. It was phenomenal and we knew we were in good hands.Sakana, Santa Barbara, Sushi -acaffeiantedbrunette.com

Sakana, Santa Barbara, Sushi -acaffeiantedbrunette.com

Sakana, Santa Barbara, Sushi -acaffeiantedbrunette.comNext came a big boat of fish.
Sakana, Santa Barbara, Sushi -acaffeiantedbrunette.comVery fresh and delicious fish of all sorts.
Sakana, Santa Barbara, Sushi -acaffeiantedbrunette.com

The sushi just kept coming. My mouth and belly were in awe and oh so happy. The next roll we received was their blackened yellowtail roll. Sakana, Santa Barbara, Sushi -acaffeiantedbrunette.com

Sakana, Santa Barbara, Sushi -acaffeiantedbrunette.comAnd last but not least the lobster melt.
Sakana, Santa Barbara, Sushi -acaffeiantedbrunette.com

Sakana, Santa Barbara, Sushi -acaffeiantedbrunette.comFrom the presentation to the sushi’s unique flavor Sakana will have you coming back for more. Sakana is one of the best places I have had sushi so far in my life actually. Definitely in the top three and I plan on going back very soon. You can find Sakana at 1046 Coast Village Rd in Santa Barbara. You won’t be disappointed.

Happy Eating!

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Black Sushi

One day I ran into a window washer outside of the Black Sushi House and we started up a conversation on well…window washing. Very interesting right? BUT THEN…

Well, long story short, we got down to the nitty gritty and he was actually the chef. A man who has traveled all over from Thailand to Vietnam and just about anywhere to seek the perfect sushi combinations.

I think he found some.

Every summer after that, I’ve been enjoying delicious creations from the same chef.

You’re going to like what you put in your mouth at this restaurant. IMG_1911

IMG_1899To start you always need the essentials: seaweed salad and edamame.

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Blending flavors of sweet and salty perfectly, the squid salad has a huge amount of flavor. IMG_1903

My absolute favorite and what I keep going back for are the oyster shooters. (I actually made sure the owner ordered enough oysters for dinner that night, as they ran out the night before) They are just…exceptional. One of the best places I’ve experienced oysters. IMG_1945

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Mango Madness Roll: Spicy tuna, fresh mango, asparagus, & avocado. IMG_1909

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Sweet Jesus: I don’t know about sweet but Jesus this roll is good. This bangin’ roll includes escolar, lemon, shiso leaf, avocado and citrus tobiko. Can you say MMMmmm…
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Green Eggs and Ham: Dr. Seuss may not have had anything to do with it but I can tell you, you will like these Green Eggs and Ham Sam I am. And if your name isn’t Sam? You’ll still like it…just trust me. This roll includes yellow tail with scallion, avocado and topped with wasabi tobiko. IMG_1908

 

Black Sushi is located on 259 Main Street. Just give a good hop, skip and a jump from anywhere in Ogunquit and you’ll make it to the front door. I can’t say the same about the walk back…

Zen of Northampton

The other night we went to one of my favorite little towns, Northampton.

It’s one of my favorite places to walk around and shuffle through the eclectic shops.

One of my favorites is Faces, they have a ton of odds and ends you’d never think you need except you always end up with a handful of goodies at the cash register.

faces northampton

It was a scathing 90 degrees out so we hopped over to the Northampton Brewery for a cold one and some of their delicious brew house nachos.

northampton brewery

They have a great rooftop with tons of seating, perfect for sunny days like these.

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After we plumped around a bit more we started getting hungry again and ready for the main meal.

No, of course nachos weren’t enough.

We headed over to Zen of Northampton, a pan-asian cuisine restaurant.

zen of northampton

We started off with some delicious fried oyster shooterszen of northampton

And a plethora of chopped up sushi coated in a delicious sauce and left for fighting chopsticks.zen of northampton

As our main we just couldn’t decide and went for a bunch of rolls.

Caterpillar roll, Firecracker, Spicy tuna, eel and white tuna.

It was all delicious and fresh. The restaurant windows open up giving the place an airy feel and the set up of the restaurant gives a warm ambience. The staff was very attentive and the manager came to check to see how our meals were, extra nod for him.

Next stop, Maine this weekend. Hope you’re up for some more seafood posts to come!

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Guide to Everything Sushi

Ever since I first tasted sushi I have had it about every week of my life…well not every week but you get the picture. I have made my friends try it, some willing and some not and have become a sushi connoisseur. I’ve tried sushi all around the United States from a guy in Maine who traveled the world to find the most different sushi to a Mexican place in Texas. Whenever I go out with my friends, there’s always a newbie or someone who has no idea how to eat sushi, except with a fork or maybe their hands. I’ve collected most of what I know in a sushi guide for you. Hope you enjoy and then go enjoy some sushi too.

Arriving:

If you are interested in watching your food being prepared ask to sit with the “itamae” or sushi chef at the sushi bar. I love doing this because you can then get to know the sushi chef and they have wonderful suggestions and are happy to make something of their own design, usually not on the menu.

Ordering:

  • Never ask if something is the fish is fresh, it’s insulting to the sushi chef.
  • Ask the sushi chef what they recommend. Remember he can get very busy so try not to take up all of his time.

Eating:

  • The wet towel is used for you to wash your hands before the meal. Fold it neatly before returning it.
  • Do not rub your chopsticks together.
  • Chopsticks should be placed parallel to yourself on the holder.
  • It is ok to eat sushi with your hands. Sashimi should only be eaten with chopsticks.
  • Ginger is considered a palate cleanser and should be eaten in between different types of sushi.
  • Place the entire piece of sushi in your mouth.
  • Do not leave your chopsticks sticking up in rice, it is rude in Japanese culture.

How to use chopsticks:

  1. Rest first chopstick in the crook of the thumb.
  2. Hold second chopstick like a pencil.
  3. Move top chopstick downward to pick up rice or sushi.

Best sushi for beginners:

Vegetarian:

  • California Roll
  • Sweet Potato Roll

Less Fishy:

  • Spicy Yellowtail, Spicy Tuna or Spicy Salmon
  • Shrimp roll (cooked)

What’s in these rolls?

  • California Roll: Cucumber, Avocado and real or imitation crab
  • Caterpillar Roll: Eel, Avocado and Teriyaki Glaze
  • Rainbow Roll: Assortment of sashimi (yellowtail, salmon, tuna, etc) on top with California roll inside.
  • Philadelphia Roll: Salmon, Cream cheese, Cucumbers and chive.