Thursday, February 22, 2018

Fresh Off The Boat at Sapporo Sushi and Grill

Does it matter where it comes from?

It's a hard question to ask when you basically connects with a specific cuisine with certain ethnicity. You figured if it's not made by the origin, it doesn't count. What I'm trying to get at is that for some people they would like to associate certain dish to a specific country in mind. Let's play a game, shall we?

Pizza: Italian. Tacos: Mexican. Greasy cheesy steaks in a sub: American. Ok, so far so good.

Sushi: Japanese.... not so fast compadre. Apparently, not many people think so and will debate this forever. They probably will go on Wikipedia to change the contents and the story to this. The back story is obviously in that sushi are fast food with assorted fishes that get cut into small slices and topped it on a steamed rice are the stuff of legend. Probably popularized as we know it as a Japanese cuisine that can be sold as a ridiculous high priced fancy meal in some uber posh high priced sushi gallery.

The Premium Boat

However, do you know it's actually originated in southeast Asia near the Mekong River? More importantly as a snack item that is prepared right after the fish are caught on a boat?

This of course brings up my question as many don't associated as a non-Japanese cuisine, which are now popular for many upstarts. Everyone in far east Asia like the Chinese, Koreans, Filipinos, and even Vietnamese loves the fish on the rice.

Beef Tataki

With that in mind, I figured trying out a place I always wanted to visit here in Buena Park, north Orange County that is bordered on LA as well. This city is very popular among the Koreans as the suburbia of the central region that have seen surge in dining cuisine outside of the traditional Korean fare.

Pleasantly, the ambiance would be not far off from what you find in most contemporary sushi joints where there are front bar counter seats to watch a few sushi chef slaved over cutting up the fine fishes into thin slice. Craftmanship on these preparation are better than watching slices of beef cooked on grill anyway at your local Mongolian Barbecue.

Interiors consist of a few dining area separating the booth tables with some modern style Asian decor that suggesting a sleeker furnishing, rather than the old bamboo hut style that tends to the butt of joke elsewhere. It's a step up from the other well known Korean owned sushi joints such as Kabuki (an popular chain in LA).

The big attraction here are two dishes that I wanted to get that are popular among users on Yelp. The sushi boat and the beef tataki. The menu options are pretty straight forward with sushi options as the big main courses, some sides that are gear towards the tempura and teriyaki sections, and a few closely related bento styles items (think a protein, a few veggies, and a soup).

The sushi boat was a combination of half order nigiri (fishes on vinegar steamed rice) and sashimi (slices of fish only). The variety of these fishes went from your standard fare of different tuna, yellow tail, sweet shrimp, amberjack, mackarel, and sweet omelet egg. Afterwards, the sweet shrimp's head can be deep fried for you, but I guess I wanted to be put on miso soup.

Teriyaki Chicken

Afterwards, I was informed there is also a choice of either of teriyaki chicken or fried chicken cutlet can complete the meal. Imagine my shock to discover the good news...after I was full from the boatload of fishes.

The greater question: Does it matter who prepared this? In the very end, craftmanship of these fishes being prepared mattered so little on who serves it. I hope the notion get dismissed quickly as we all know the best chefs in Chinese cuisine are pretty much Latinos in LA. Yeah, I dare to say that.

Leaves little doubt as this is a fine sushi establishment when you are eating with disconcerting taste buds.

Sapporo Sushi and Grill 
5491 Beach Blvd
Buena Park, CA 90621

Sapporo Sushi and Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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