MASA MAY I?

Waraji

I swore off Waraji a few months ago for a really dumb reason.  See, they do this monthly drawing and I’ve never won it.  At first I thought that no one really wins – it’s just something they post to keep you interested in their emails.  Then one of my frequent dinner companions won! While I was so very happy that I was able to join her for this partially paid dinner date, I was also super bummed the next month, and each month following, that my name did not get drawn.  After a few months passed, I gave up on the idea that I would win and set aside the chip on my shoulder. Walking in I was immediately reminded why THIS is the place I always want when I want sushi.

http://www.warajijapaneserestaurant.com/food/dinner-menu/

Overall: 4.8 out of 5

Food/Beverage:  5 out of 5

Ambiance: 5 out of 5

Value: 5 out of 5

Service: 4.5 out of 5

Masa is the sushi chef at this amazing Japanese restaurant.  When I visit Waraji, I always sit at the bar, and always try to sit in front of Masa’s station.  He creates the most beautiful rolls.  And if you ask him, he will create something special for you.  On one such occasion, he asked me what I like.  I responded that I like just about everything, just not a fan of eel, to which he responded “Oh, I challenge you to let me change your mind!”  He created the Masa Egg Roll, which was filled with tempura eel, perfectly fried, and avocado then rolled in egg.  I can’t remember the exact specifics of the roll but I am telling you it was worth it.

On my last visit, I was fortunate enough to have the company of a very lovely lady.  She and I decided to sit at the bar and try something a little different.  We went with the Edamame

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and the Saba Shio-yaki (Boston Mackerel filet, salted and grilled).

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It smelled a little fishy, but was cooked very well.  The skin was crispy, and the flesh was juicy and smoky.  And the presentation was beautiful! I’ve had edamame about 1,000 times and always enjoy it.  They salt theirs very well.

We also ordered the Sashimi Deluxe dinner, which comes with 5 types of fish (10 pieces).

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This one had salmon, tuna, octopus, and others that I just can’t remember.  I believe mackerel and a white fish.  The presentation was phenomenal and the cuts were all beautiful.

For the sushi, we ordered a couple of rolls.  One was the Shamoo roll, a giant 5 piece specialty roll filled with soft shell crab, eel, scallops, salmon, shrimp, spicy mayo and tempura bits.  Aside from being huge, it was perfect!

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The other roll was rolled reverse with crab and topped with avocado.  The name escapes me right now, and I’m terribly sorry.  I believe it was the spiral ecstasy roll.  It was delicious.

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I’ve ordered that roll a few times.  I really enjoy it.

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The roll in front in this picture was a special roll that Masa made for us on another night.  It was salmon and tuna pieces rolled with avocado outside and toped with scallops and orange roe.  Unbelievable.

Ambiance wise, this place is perfect for a sushi joint.  Especially if you sit at the bar.  You must sit at the bar.  The service is great there, too.  Sometimes, you have to ask for a refill once or twice but usually they are attentive and able to guide you if you need it.  If I ask for help here, it’s always from the chef and not from the waitress.

Please go to Waraji.  Go with someone that you want to sit next to and share the intimate experience of dividing up a plate of sushi.  Talk to the people around you, watch what they pick to eat and enjoy the company of the great people at a sushi bar.  It’s an experience that American restaurants have failed to replicate and one that I’m so glad I’ve had.

Thank you, Masa.  Thank you for the care you take in your rolls.  They are absolutely amazing works of art.

 

 

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