Friday, August 13, 2010

Arigato Sushi

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Arigato is the goto sushi restaurant for my good friends that live in Santa Barbara. I have eaten here before, but it had been awhile, I was excited. We were in sort of a rush so we didn't enjoy everything Arigato had to offer, but we did have was great.

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We sat at the sushi bar in front of Brian. Our meal started off with Halibut Carpaccio and Yuzu Pepper Tai sashimi. Both were delicious, the tai sashimi was really fresh, there was a little too much sauce on the carpaccio and it over powered the fish.

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Next up we had Ankimo, delicious! The chefs made a few special items for us, didn't know the names or all the ingredients, but they were incredible. The highlight was a thinly sliced seared scallop topped with a crab mixture and tobiko. It was also served with cilantro oil and black sesame sauce, it was awesome.

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Looking forward to my next visit. See more photos here.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Church and State

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Missed my opportunity to eat Chef Manzke's food, but Chef Josh Smith still delivered a great meal.

It was a birthday celebration, table for four on a Friday night at 8:30. It's not in a great part of town, but the actual location is pretty cool. We arrived early and sat at the bar to have some cocktails. Don't remember the names, but they were delicious and very inventive.

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The place is bustling and the energy spread throughout the room. We sat down and perused the menu, classic French bistro fare with a few modern interpretations. The bread arrived shortly and was nice and hot, the outside crust was crunchy and the the crumb was fluffy, great start.

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So many of the starters looked good and we were starving, so we asked our server if we could order starters and then order entrees if we were still hungry. With a little hesitation, he said that wouldn't be a problem. We ordered the following:

Moules Marinières
Steak Tartare
Escargots de Bourgogne
Rillettes de Porc
Salade Frisée aux Lardons
Gratin de Macaronis et Fromage

They were out of the Crispy Pig Ears.

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The mussels were good, tender and fresh, the broth was flavorful, but could have used a little more salt. I was disappointed with the Pork Rillette, it was dry and just didn't have the texture I've had from Comme CA or AOC, I also wasn't a fan of the prune. The Frisee salad, Escargot and Steak Tartare were all decent, several of the dishes were served with french fries, they were tasty too.

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The star for me was the Macaroni and Cheese. It was so rich and cheesy and the blend of cheeses was delicious. I couldn't stop eating it.

We never made to ordering entrees and decided to go somewhere else to have dessert. I would love to come back and have a more structured meal, maybe even lunch.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Kyochon - Korean Style Chicken Wings

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I love all kinds of chicken wings!

So I had to try Korean style chicken wings. These weren't bad. But I would definitely go for the fried version versus the grilled version. The fat is rendered out so the skin is much crispier. I love anything spicy, so the spicy version I found much tastier than the sweet version. It definitely had some heat.

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We also tried out the Sal Sal chicken strips. These were chicken tenders that were battered with flour mixed with small rice balls. Definitely better than your average chicken strip, so much crispier. The dipping sauce options were not good, all of them were cloyingly sweet and one of them was supposed to be garlic.

They were the best chicken wings I've ever had, but I can see having a craving them.