Finders Keepers - in this case two categories rather than one happy person and one weeping person we have double happiness this week because we found a new place we really liked and we returned to a "keeper" we have loved for several years! First the find- a six week old new sushi place we immediately liked called Kasa Sushi. We had a really great meal there and some of the items we tried were exemplary.
The sashimi of escolar and salmon and toro were all exactly right and those were our "mains." The rolls we ordered were excellent! We usually try a few standard dishes as benchmarks against whatever our current "go-to" place is serving and Kasa sushi won hands down. We try California Rolls which area good measure- pretty much any California roll will be edible but an extremely small number will actually be good and even fewer excellent. Kasa sushi had an excellent one that actually had flavor and texture that were completely correct!
One small quibble - the miso soup could have been served at a hotter temp; it was only medium and even though this is Florida the day had been rainy and hot soup would have been a plus. But this is really stretching to find even that small criticism. Another item we try as a benchmark are pot-stickers and Phil declared theirs the "best he ever had!" We hope the place doesn't get mobbed and end up with their high standards slipping because this is one of the best sushi places we have tried in any city... and I am sure you are looking for photos about now- so- here you go...
below the rolls- from top left then clockwise - the "fire in the house" a spicy rolls with extras in the center that included conch and white fish- followed by California - Spider - and black dragon. I couldn't pick a favorite - all were terrific!
so a FIND - that immediately turned into a KEEPER - like the one where we had dinner last night. One of the places we miss when we are north - Blue Marlin AMI... It has been a keeper from the first visit and gets better and better as they try new things but keep the great standard dishes. I have posted about this place before but what I want to say about the most recent three visits - they are really on their game. The only issue we have with Blue Marlin is that it is located on Bridge street in Bradenton Beach and therefore draws a heavily tourist crowd - who are not always the most well behaved clientele. But the staff is expert at dealing with this and despite boorish behavior on the part of the patrons they smile and accommodate and keep their equanimity. Some of the best service in the Sarasota Bradenton area is to be found here!
as we have mentioned in prior posts- the fish is fresh- so the choices are one or two each night- and it is local so grouper and snapper are the ones most frequently seen...
although they have a real wine list - they are kind enough to let us BYO - there is a corkage fee - so we (who are trying to reduce our cellar numbers and seem to be fighting a losing battle) love it that we have a place with great fresh local food that we can drink our older vintages with...
the rolls were tasty- filled with crab meat and were completely yummy
these guys were well behaved - their replacements at this table - not so much....
our standard starters - favorites we only occasionally vary from- shrimp spring rolls and cracker shrimp-
Phil had a mixed seafood scampi dish on rice instead of pasta and I had the grouper prepared "Fulford" - named for a local fishing family out of Cortez Village - it is a bread crumb and egg dipped pan sauteed that really shows off the freshness of the fish!
this place is so dedicated to FRESH that they have no freezer- which is good news on the fish front but bad news for ice cream addicts like myself... but the dessert of chocolate espresso porter cake with chocolate mousse topping made up for it and Phil had his fave- bourbon pecan pie...
The menu usually has one or two meat choices for those who refuse to eat the terrific fish here- and there are a few seafood dishes as well - the ubiquitous shrimp and grits for instance. But go for today's catch and you will be happy you did!
here are a few older posts about Blue Marlin (we always bring our visitors to dine here)
And if you actually took the time to read these posts you would see a number of the dishes we have had over the last several years- I think we have been eating there since we moved to Palma Sola area. When we lived at River Cottage we didn't get to Bridge street - we were doing more Anna Maria places back then (now seven winters ago) Waterfront and Sign of the Mermaid. But once we discovered Blue Marlin it was a "go-to" for us.
So we got "finders" and "keepers" this week as the new year starts. Two fabulous places to avoid cooking at home, both worth seeking out!
Coming up- a wine dinner at friends - eight collectors meet up and bring things from their cellars- and then the Symphony (Brahms and Beethoven!) and then a concert at Fogartyville on Saturday. And next week classes start, friend Neil is in town and we meet up with him and our friend Barbara has her 99th birthday party on the actual day that she completes her 99th year and begins her 100th year on the planet! (how cool is that? if you knew her you would know it is more than cool because she is!)
so stay tuned- there's always more!