recently returned on a trip from La Jolla, California where I satisfied
my craving for the freshest sushi I could get my chopsticks on.
Rappungi Sushi Bar, centrally located in the heart of downtown La
Jolla, was the place of choice.
of the days years ago that I spent working in the great food city of
San Francisco and being spoiled by the delights of this new-to-me
cuisine, my earthy Midwestern food roots were instantly replaced by
tiny raw-fish I could shove into my mouth in one bite. Who would’ve
forward to last month’s return home to Chicago after a few days of
California dreamin’ and I was ready for more. But where? When you eat
sushi, it has to be good. It has to be fresh. And only experienced chefs can deliver both.
friend recommended I try Rama Thai Kitchen, located in Glenview, just
north of Des Plaines on Milwaukee Road (see full details below).
welcomed my friend’s idea because she’s not only a fellow food-lover,
she’s a great companion at the table (I say the two go hand in hand). Besides, she knows sushi.
been there before and knew just where to sit and what to order. Thank
goodness, because I was simply overwhelmed by the numerous choices of
special sushi rolls, all of which came with enticing pictures
resembling edible art.
I couldn’t decide between the Caterpillar (eel and cucumber topped with avocado), the Ichibun (spicy tuna with crab, wrapped in cucumber paper), or the Double Sake Punch (spicy
salmon cucumber inside with salmon and avocado on top), mainly because
I liked the names of these dishes so much I just wanted to say them.
Much to our waitress’ delight, I finally decided on the Tiger Roll, (a crab and shrimp tempura inside with avocado on top); my friend ordered the Volcano Roll, deep fried spicy salmon, avocado, asparagus and oba leaf. We were definitely going to be sharing!
we waited, our waitress served up a Japanese style kettle of a warm,
red flower tea, the most delicious I’ve ever had. It was sweet, with a
slight tang to it and went really well with our sushi once it came.
Free refills of the tea allowed us to pair it with our meal and enough
for afterwards, too. I kept asking the name of this tea, but the only
response I got was, ‘red flower tea’. It’s o.k. I’ll take it.
The Tiger Roll
was superb. It had a crunchy texture that made it fun to eat and gave
it some weight, or substance not often found in light sushi rolls . The
freshness of the crab, shrimp and the avocado were easily detectable,
foods that if aren’t served fresh really can ruin the reputation of a
dish, or a restaurant.
The Volcano Roll was
delectable, unique. I think it was the oba leaf, which I’d never tried
before, but it gave a flavor that I couldn’t replicate at home because
I would never think to buy it, let alone wrap it around fish. The
asparagus combined with the fried and spicy salmon was a creative
combination for the two. I’m not sure what types of spices they used in
this roll to flavor the salmon, but whatever it was, I was too busy
enjoying the rolls to even think of asking.
wish I could try every roll on this list, but I would have to go out
for lunch at least two and a half weeks before I even got somewhat
through tasting all the different sushi rolls. And I didn’t even get a
chance to look at the salads, soups and appetizers!
Needless to say, I will be going back.
friend’s recommendation can go a long way, but when it becomes a lunch
date with that special person, one who actually knows what to order
from a particular restaurant, I think your chances of a great lunch are
pretty darn good.
For great pics of the sushi rolls at Rama Thai Kitchen and Japanese Cuisine, go to their website: http://ramathaikitchen.com/menu.aspx
Rama Thai Kitchen
1320 Waukegan Road
847-657-THAI, or 847-657-8424
Note: If you have a recent
business card of theirs, the phone number is incorrect.