Merluza En Salsa Verde: sea bass, cockles, salsa verde. Summer prix-fixe menu $38 Tinto, Palm Springs CA
The sea bass had a light and fluffy texture but it was definitely on the salty side. The cockles were ok but the sauce was too starchy and pretty much set while we were eating, gross! They didn’t have much flavor, but then my tastebuds were fried from the salty sea bass.
Moules Basquaise: mussels, chorizo, sauce basquaise, french fries.
I wasn’t expecting this. The mussels were shell-less, and they tasted really sour especially when paired with the salty fries. Part of the fun was lost because there were no shells to dig through. And the sauce tasted suspiciously like chili – odd.
Jumbo Rocks campground, Joshua Tree National Park.
Sea bass caramelized with garlic, fish sauce and served in an earth pot. $16.95 Vung Tau Restaurant, San Jose CA
I laughed when they brought this out! This was the saddest clay pot I’d ever seen. The singular piece of fish was tiny (notice its size relative to the spoon), and it looked pathetic in the dried, crusty clay pot. They cooked the hell out of this dish so the fish was dry and the remnants of the sauce was super salty. Yuck! This was a complete rip off at seventeen bucks!
Outdoor patio party crowd mural, Mac’s Club. Gotta love the murals at this bar. This is a fun composition, espcially with the drag queen(?) chillin’ on the moon with a rainbow colored umbrella, hehe!
Wow, this dish had everything in it! It was SO delicious and definitely more refined than a simple fisherman’s stew. The seafood were cooked beautifully and the flavors were amazing.
Mission San Francisco de Solano (Sonoma Mission). This was founded in 1823 and built by Mexican authorities to prevent Russia from extending their territorial control into Alta California. Today the mission is part of Sonoma State Historic Park.
Spicy crab, cucumber, avocado, gobo, lightly seared suzuki, sliced chiles, chili aioli, tobiko, and scallions. $14.25 Tokyo Go-Go, San Francisco
Wow, this roll was frickin’ amazing! I loved the heat from all the spicy components, and it looked pretty cool too. I thought I would experience Montezuma’s revenge afterward, but I didn’t – hehe! The lightly seared sea bass tasted great and had a great texture. The chili aioli was so flavorful and I loved the pale yellow color of it. The sliced chiles added extra heat and flavor. Not sure I could really distinguished the gobo (burdock root), but I actually didn’t know what it was when I ordered the roll. I will definitely order this delicious roll again!
Slice of sea bass on a mound of rice with a dab of wasabi and garnished with sliced scallions. $3.99 for two pieces
Slice of tuna. $3.99 for two pieces Crazy Sushi, San Francisco
Both these nigiri have such a beautiful pink color. I loved the maguro, and I recommend maguro nigiri to all the novice sushi eaters out there since I think it’s one of the least fishy tasting. Maguro is readily available at sushi places and is more forgiving on a squeamish palette. I’m definitely no sushi expert, but I try to eat out of my comfort zone. That’s why I tried the suzuki, and I’ll say that I’m not a fan. Perhaps Crazy Sushi’s cut wasn’t fresh, but it had an odd flavor that did not agree with me. I had to dunk that piece mulitple times into the soy sauce to get it down.
I love the free side salad at Japanese restaurants with the familiar sesame, ginger dressing. Yum!
And what’s a sushi dinner without some Japanese beer? Sapporo is my prefered choice, hehe!
Tender white sea bass with summer squash, plum tomatoes, purslane(?), saffron and aioli. $29 Bar Agricole, San Francisco
The fish was cooked perfectly, but I must say that the broth stole the show. It was so flavorful and refined. The chunky cuts of plum tomatoes and squash were perfectly proportioned and provided great color. What I didn’t like was the purslane. It looked cool as a garnish, but it was too slimy and the fleshy texture was off-putting. Maybe I wasn’t supposed to eat it, lol!
Bite sized pieces of grilled sea bass served in lettuce cups with sweet soy and black sesame seeds. Andalu, San Francisco
The miso glaze and sweet soy were wonderfully delicious in this dish. Unfortunately, the sea bass was overcooked so it was on the hard and dry side. Otherwise, Andalu serves up another simple and delicious dish!