Friday, March 20, 2009

Roat Osha, the Identical Twin of Tum Rup

Roat Osha
2650 Hennepin Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55408

So I thought I'd go ahead and write about Roat Osha since I just completed my Tum Rup Thai review. You can tell they are owned by the same people because their menus are almost identical. I'm glad to see another Thai place in town, but at the same time these places are becoming rather generic and all blending together. I guess if you want to eat pad thai everyday from a difference place then Uptown will do that for you. I'm not saying the food is bad, but I am looking forward to the day when I find a more down home authentic Thai restaurant in the Twin Cities. Hey - I'm new here, give me time.

I have to say that Roat Osha definitely wins in the dining space department. Compared to it's sister Tum Rup, it seems that Roat Osha stole all of the food growing up in this Thai family...It's bigger.

The ambiance is nice and open. I enjoy the large windows in front where you can see out onto the street. There is also ample free parking in back and a larger 'lobby' area in the front entrance. The one negative thing I will point out about Roat Osha is the horrible music they play. I'm not sure if they are trying to be funny or trendy or what, but it's god awful. And if you're reading this Roat, CUT IT OUT! I think I heard 'Safety Dance' and something by U2, I tried to ignore the rest. Some people at my table started singing the fillet o' fish commercial music just so we'd have something better to listen to.

Okay, I'm back from my rant. The food here isn't bad, but like I said it's exactly the same as Tum Rup. I don't know if I'll even go into the full review here for fear of being redundant. I had spring rolls and pad original, I know. But in my defense I had a bad day and really just went for the beer. Food was just preventing me from getting totally plastered on a Wednesday evening. Oh, Roat also has a better selection of beer than Tum Rup. Sapporo on tap? COUNT ME IN!

The rest of the party did a lot of the same. Some lemon grass chicken here, some curry there. Every thing was good, nothing to officially complain about in the food department. Not a lot to write home about either...but I guess quite a bit to write blog about.

I would have to say the service here was also better. Our server was a little on the loud side, but definitely friendly and helpful. If you are looking for some decent Thai food for an affordable place I would suggest Roat Osha over Tum Rup Thai. I may also say if you want to spend a bit more money go to The King and I or Sawatdee or say 'fine, if you're not going to take my suggestion, YOU PICK!" and then run away crying. Kidding.

And a note to whoever does the reporting for - the attire at Roat Osha is not 'dressy'. Also, you're an idiot. This place is definitely a casual dining place, with a little extra flare. I'm pretty sure they won't kick you out if you're wearing jeans...however, they might if you're wearing a tuxedo. I know I would.

Roat Osha on Urbanspoon

Tuna Town in Cali Town

Tuna Town
221 Main Street
Huntington Beach, CA 92648

So I was lucky enough to visit my good friend Chris this past week. He recently moved to Huntington Beach, CA near the Orange County area. I was looking forward to some catching up with my best friend, a little sun and some awesome food. One thing I can say about California is there is definitely lots of food options and you can almost always sit outside.

After the jetlag wore off Mr. B and I were ready for some adventures. We may have started out with some Carl Jr.'s, but we were just hungry okay! And being on a different time zone than the rest of California made our first morning rather painful. So...I won't be writting about Carl Jr.'s just yet.

A little background about my good friend Chris. He attended the C.I.A. during his college years and graduated not too long ago. He's lived/worked in New York, California and Minnesota. He was a long time assistant manager at Tryg's near Calhoun Village in Minneapolis. If you haven't been there you should try it out (although it's not the same now that he's gone). They have live jazz music on Sundays, which I enjoy. Anyways, the point is he knows his stuff. Soon he will be the manager of a resort restaurant on Laguna Beach. CONGRATS!

So our first official food stop in HB was Tuna Town on the downtown strip. We didn't have a destination at the time, so we just picked a spot where it looked like we could eat outside. Tuna Town is a sushi bar and teppan yaki grill restaurant, although we did not partake in either. We just did their lunch/breakfast menu along with some dollar mimosas. Dollar mimosas in California?? YES! It's true.

Our lunch was light, but excellent. I have to say hands down, best ham sandwich ever! Mr. B will agree. Plus all the vegetables are fresh and the mimosas large...At that point I almost thought about moving.

Ham cheese sandwich $8 (Mine and Mr. B)
Served on a French roll with lettuce, tomato, avacado, bacon, cheddar cheese, grilled ham and this super awesome spicy mayo. Served with skinny fries and a side of pickles. The bread was super soft and fresh and all the veggies were crispy and refreshing. There's never anything wrong with ham, cheese or bacon, so I think it was the mayo that made this sandwich. I'm not exactly sure what was in it, but it had a kick and a really awesome flavor. Believe me, I will be trying to recreate this. To top it off this sandwich was affordable (large portion) and well worth the 8 bucks.

BLT $6.50 (Chris')
Basic BLT, but it looked amazing. Chris added the optional avacado for a fee of fifty cents (the coin amount, not the rapper). Fresh with lots of veggies on whole grain bread and served with fries. For 6 bucks this was defintely a steal.

That plus 6 mimosas for 6 bucks brought our total to about $21.

# of People: 3

Reservations: Just look for the open seating outside.

Day/Time of Visit: Sunday, March 8th, 1:00ish.

Will I be back: Next time I'm in downtown HB.

YAYs!: Great food, good deals, right in the center of downtown and our waitress looked like a more distinguished version of Shannon Elizabeth.

Nays: Nothing I can think of. The other diners were a little interesting, but nothing bad.

Notes: Get the ham and cheese!


First Day of Spring!

Happy first day of spring everyone! I'm ready for some patios, happy hours and cold beer!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Sushi Tango Anyone?

Sushi Tango
3001 Hennepin Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55408

Sushi Tango is located on the second floor of Calhoun Square, with a second location in Woodbury. You've probably seen the Sushi Tango face before as you drive down Hennepin even if you've never been. It is relatively new to the Uptown scene, but has managed to hold it's ground. In close proximity is an array of other sushi restaurants such as Fuji Ya, Chino Latino and the newly opened Tiger Sushi. I guess it's safe to say that Sushi Tango has a far amount to offer, otherwise it wouldn't have survived so long.

To date I've never had an awful experience at Sushi Tango, but it seems Uptown (particularly Calhoun Square) is visibly suffering during this economic downturn and isn't what it used to be. There is some fresh construction going on though, so hopefully things will improve. On that note, the once great CS parking ramp is also under construction. You can still park there, but it is all valet and the cost is $7.

It's funny that it's taken me so long to write about Sushi Tango because I actually go there more than a little. It was also the first sushi place Mr. B had ever been to, so it hold a special place in the heart.

Edamame $4.75 ($3.00 during HH)
Yes, I like my steamed, salted soy beans...sue me. Nothin' wrong with these guys, plus they're only 3 dollars during HH!

Gyoza $5.00 ($3.50 during HH...don't hold me to that, but they were cheap)
Pronounced something like this 'GEE-YO-ZAH'. These little dumplings are filled with Chinese pork and pan fried. Served with a salty, sweet and sour dipping sauce. These things are awesome. We had them at Fuji Ya also, but they were steamed and not fried. Still good.

Tango Tataki $10.00 tuna or beef ($7.00 during HH)
We had the tuna. Seared lightly and topped with garlic, ginger, shiso leaf, kaiware, lemon juice, ponzu and togarashi. You may not know what half of those things are, and if I have time I'll explain. Just know it's good stuff. Mr. B would live on it if he could...then again he did manage to get off his caterpillar roll kick after eating too many.

Tekka Maki $4.75
Good ol' tuna. You are my only friend. Yummy. You get 6 pieces. The only thing that makes me sad is it's not on the HH menu. Still, $4.75 ain't bad.

Futo Maki $6.50
I've decided to try this everywhere now. So far I've had Samurai Futo and Fuji Ya Futo. It's basically the same no matter where you go, just lots of deliciousness stuffed into nori. Although I got 5 pieces instead of 4, I'd have to say this was not my favorite so far...but it's defintely in the top 3...becuase it has to be...because I've only tried 3.

Dynamite Roll $6.00 ($3.00 during HH)
This roll has assorted fish mixed with sesame oil, Thai pepper, lettuce, kaiware, cucumber and spicy bean sauce. If you're a big wimp stay away from the guy. I even get a little watery eyed when I'm eating this one, but it's good. This is probably my favorite roll at Sushi Tango, plus it's on the HH menu. Awesome.

Toro Sashimi $15.95 (Market price)
If I'm the Futo girl then Mr. B is the Toro dude. He started out by saying this was his favorite Toro ever, but then 3 seconds later changed his mind and said it was his 3rd favorite. Miyabi 9 of Des Moines still ranks #1 in his book...I would have to agree. The toro here was more thinly sliced then others we've tried. That may be a plus, but Mr. B prefers thicker slices. Plus $15.95 for 2 pieces of sashimi is a hefty price. At Fuji Ya (although it is big eye toro) it is only $7.95 for sashimi. However, this fish goes by market price so the cost will fluctuate. Maybe it's $15.95 at Fuji Ya right now too. I should probably go and investigate after work.

# of People: 2
Reservations: No
Day/Time of Visit: Wednesday, March 4th - 5:45 pm
Will I be back: Yes, I like the atmosphere and the HH prices are reasonable.
YAYs!: Friendly staff, nice atmosphere, ample seating, good HH drink deals, attached to parking ramp.
Nays: No simple sushi on HH menu, only rolls. Maybe a little understaffed? Staff is friendly, but it seems pretty busy during HH and like there aren't enough servers.
Notes: Try the dynamite!

Seacrest out.


Sushi Tango on Urbanspoon