27 Jan

Rating: 1 Unicorn

I’ve been wanting to try Yosake for quite some time. I’ve heard a lot of good things and I’m a huge fan of sushi. A friend surprised me with a gift certificate so away we went to the land of downtown.

My first impression after walking up the steps was that this place was weird. It had the vibe of an upscale restaurant and a crappy anime convention all in one. Just what I’ve always wanted. Since it had gingers on the wall I decided it was kinda cool and went about looking over the drinks menu. After all, that is the foundation of any good meal worth not remembering. I cruised through and saw something called the Sake-tini. Ok not exactly called that but their website isn’t entirely up to date so close enough. It lured me in with promises of ginger and cucumber; two of my favorite flavors. For $9 I figured it was probably a ripoff, but worst case it still contained booze. My fellow diner ordered PBR, because he was born with a higher IQ than I was.

The drink was around the size I expected, but I forgot it was sake based. I kind of hate sake. It’s wine, but it’s treated as liquor. It’s a goddamn novelty jip-off. The drink had a decent cuke flavor, but without the sweet burn of the hard stuff. Whatever, I chugged it and ordered the first course of Firecrotch Shrimp. Note: I decided to order item by item to get the largest and freshest sampling of their foodstuffs. Probably a dick move as far as servers are concerned, but I also took that into account with wait times. After a short wait this pile of shrimp arrived at the table.

My first thought was that this looked delicious. Then I took a bite. It was amazing. I was slightly let down by the heat since they were advertised as spicy, but the more I ate the more the heat built which is something I appreciate in dishes. I’m fairly certain the “Shanghai Sauce” consisted largely of sriracha and mayonnaise but who can find fault with that? No one except Hitler and Nickelback, that’s who. I’ve heard people rave about this appetizer and in this case the praise is justly placed. I wanted to ask for a spoon to scrap the bowl clean, but opted not to; occassionally I do try to act semi-civilized in public places. After getting halfway through shrimp heaven, I decided to order the Spicy crab dip.

I’m a fan of crab dips when they are decent. This was beyond decent. Even past good. I would say it wanders into awesome territory. The waitress came to check on us and I ordered a PBR for myself. The crab dip came with pita triangles and scallions on top. Scallions make everything better. The crab dip was your basic delicious version plus the added ginger and chili according to the menu. I’m going to take a flying leap of faith and assume that “chili” was once again sriracha. Surprisingly the pita ran out before the dip. About halfway through scromming the hell out of the dip the waitress brought over my PBR and I realized that I had completely forgotten I had ordered one. This may honestly be the first time a food was so good I forgot about the hooch. I ordered some more pita bread for the dip and a couple of sushi rolls to munch on while deciding upon dessert.

I ordered the Spicy Tuna and Shrimp Tempura rolls. We’ve all had good sushi, this was decent to good sushi, and well worth it, being on the specials menu. Next.

 After the sushi fest I asked for and received a dessert menu. I was torn between a Chocolate Menage A Trois and Peanut Butter and Chocolate Wontons with Coconut Ice Cream. Since I was reviewing, I went down the road less traveled. That was paved with ice cream. And this definitely did not disappoint in the entertainment department.

The peanut butter wontons were exactly that with chocolate chips stuffed in as well. The ice cream was probably my favorite part, to be fair. I offered my dining companion a wonton partly out of kindness, mostly out of fullness. They bit into it and discovered that one of our wontons was in fact shrimp and pork filled. While I appreciate a flavor forward dessert as much as the next faux foodie, I politely divulged this assumed mixup to our waitress. Both she and the presumed manager/owner apologized and took it off the bill. No biggie, a free sample of the shrork (shrimp pork) wontons and a good story to tell.


All in all they should call this place “sriracha” since that’s were most of the dish’s charm seemed to be derived from. Everything I had was flavorful and worth the price, though that may be debatable if you take into account the loss of free downtown parking in a lot of areas recently. The service was friendly if a little hands-off, which may have been due to my ordering technique that night. I don’t mind hands-off waitressing. As long as my drink is full I don’t need to see you every five minutes. The orders all came out with a little bit more of a wait than expected, but the food was delicious and well worth it. Also, the place did seem to be fairly full especially for a Tuesday night. I would definitely go back and recommend this place to others as good food with an asian lean. I will probably dream of this place tonight. If only for the firecracker shrimp and crab dip which it’s worth noting are on a half-price specials list from 5pm-7pm. I mean this food was so good it made me forget I had ordered booze! And that kind of outrageous amnesia lives in Mythical Land with unicorns, hence this joint’s rating of one unicorn.
Yosake Downtown Sushi Lounge on Urbanspoon

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