Thursday, August 27, 2009

Origami Sushi and happy hour

So I decided it was time for the Wine Chick to shake up her week a bit and suggested she and hubby go out to dinner. The stipulation was it had to be somewhat healthy and inexpensive…..ha, I already knew where I wanted to go; Origami Sushi located at 6507 W Waters Ave, Tampa. Origami offers happy hour 7 days a week from 3:00PM to 7:00 PM. Not just on drinks but food too! We sat at the sushi bar and sadly were the only ones in the restaurant. It was only 5:30 but we wanted to make sure we didn’t linger past the happy hour. I’ve dined at Origami in the past on Saturdays and they do have a few more tables but I’ve never seen them do a lot of business. It’s in a horrible location but the food is fantastic. We belly up to the sushi bar and each order a glass of Merlot (the only red wine on the HH menu). The glass contains 4oz of wine and costs only $2.25! I ask what the house wine is and was told it’s Copperridge. Upon further research I find this wine is a special brand made by Gallo and sold only to restaurants as their house wine. The wine had a fruity flavor and was not too sweet. It was very smooth but did not have a strong finish. Now I’m not an advocate of Gallo but at $2.25 a glass, who cares! It was surprisingly drinkable and it’s too bad this doesn’t sell retail. I did come across a few websites that do offer it by the case…..let’s not go that far.

Origami other HH offers include the Spicy Tuna Roll at $4.75 (very good), Edamame for $2.50 (hard to screw this up), The Crazy Horse for $5.95 (this is phenomenal but very filling). This dish contains tempura shrimp, cream cheese, avocado, roe and crunch (panko crumbs) all topped with a yummy sauce.

The only disappointment was when trying to decide between the Halloween roll and the Victorian roll. When we asked the server which one she preferred she replied she had never had either. Upon asking the Sushi Chef his only reply was “it’s a tough choice”. Really, this is your restaurant people sell it! Note to ALL restaurants…please be sure ALL servers are familiar with ALL menu items and can offer their preferences when asked. Also, Chefs, sell the crap out of your food, this is your chance to shine!

In the end we asked the server to surprise us. She and the chef chose the Victoria. The Victoria is a raw roll with tuna, asparagus, roe, crunch all wrapped in rice paper, priced at $8.95. It was very refreshing but I feel like it needed a little more flavor. I think it was the rice paper that made the roll a little bland. It comes with a what I assume is a plum sauce but tasted more like steak sauce. I used some left over sauce that came with the Gyoza ($3.50 during HH) and this added a little more flavor but still did not have the finish I had hoped for.

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