Monday, March 5, 2007

Izakaya Sakura when the sun is high

Normally when i go to Sakura i tend to venture over there during their dinner hours for sushi. It wasn't until i read this post on Chowhound that i realized they served lunch!
The thing that perked my curiosity the most on this post was the fact that Sakura had lunch specials.

When i arrived at Sakura with my friend Sherwin we were handed two menus, the standard lunch menu and the "lunch special". The lunch special is hand written which i presume is based on it changing every so often (my lunch was not the same as what the people posted before). After looking at the long list of food included on the lunch special for $12 i couldn't pass it up. (although i was really curious about what the people around me were eating).
Laundry list
  • Oden w/ hot mustard
  • Spaghetti
  • Croquette
  • Miso Marinated Salmon
  • Spicy Lobster
  • Omelet (i want to say its a tomago omelet cause its so sweet)
  • Stuffed cabbage with bacon.
  • Side salad, Miso Soup, and another little vegetable dish.
The lunch special comes very quickly, you can actually see a stack of them piled up all prepared and ready, you get served with in within 5 minutes so you can eat and leave!
At first glance Sherwin said "that's it?" The list may have sounded impressive but it doesn't LOOK like much food. Of course he quickly took his words back when he couldn't finish his meal.

One thing to note, the rice was wonderful. It was just a little bit moist and sticky and a few grains were stuck together, but they had a great taste to them. I probably finished off almost all my rice before the other dishes were finished

Our first stop on the bento box journey is the Stuffed Cabbage
Its a stewed cabbage stuffed with ground chicken/pork (no idea) topped with slices of fatty bacon. This dish was amazing, its actually a very thick piece of meat stuffed into cabbage that is nearly falling apart. There is absolutely ZERO resistance (like the french =P) when you bite into it. There is also a little bit of the soup in the container so it keeps alot of the flavor. I thought this was immensely wonderful. As which is the case with almost all the dishes on here, i wish it was warmer =( , but that's what you get for having them stacked and ready.

our next stop along the railroad is the "main course" area of the box.
Let's go over the forgettable item first.
The spaghetti is utterly forgettable, what happens when you have (sitting out) + (noodles) + (lack of sauce) ? it equals very very very horrible spaghetti. Dry and flavorless.

But that's the only transgression that had occurred.

The first thing we see on the bottom left of the container is the spicy lobster. I'd actually like to call it sweet and sour lobster. It was by no means spicy, but it reminded me heavily of all the sweet and sour dishes i get at chinese restaurants. This is not a knock on it, i thought it was delicious and i wish they gave more than one piece.

The item on the right is the croquette with a bit of tonkatsu sauce. I had no idea what was inside of this contraption of gushy love until i asked the waitress. I was informed its a blend of mushrooms, macaroni, and cream sauce!

Sherwin and i gave each other inquisitive looks but considering the blend worked out pretty well we aren't ones to argue. It had a nice creamy texture to it i just didn't taste the mushroom, i saw the mushroom i just couldn't taste it.

In the middle is actually a pretty good sized piece of Miso Marinated Salmon. Before i took a piece of it i was thinking in my head how horrible this cold fish was going to be, but to my pleasant surprise it had a very flavorful miso kick to it! I love anything miso marinated.

Roppingi makes a delightful miso marinated black cod! Even though the salmon was cold, it still had a soft texture to it and like i said, a great miso flavor.

The omelet on the far corner had a light but sweet flavor that made was reminiscent of tamago mixed with peppers and mushrooms. It was good, but it would have been better warm.

And finally the Oden.
A mixture of Squid,two types of Fish cake, Egg, Tofu, and Daikon. If you know me you know i love daikon. Grated daikon, steamed daikon, giant cubes of daikon.. i really don't care i'll eat it all. Give me some Daikon with rice and some pork with nice layers of fat and i'm set! All the stuff provided here was great, since i got to it last it was a little bit cold, but i still ate it =(. I actually really liked the tofu slice, it was "medium firm" tofu and it mixed with the mustard really well.

If you look closely to the bottom left you'll see a smudge of the japanese mustard. An interesting blend of american mustard flavor with a wasabi kick. I abuse myself by swabbing it on everything, my sinuses thank me.

I definitely want to come back for lunch and give the other dishes a shot, i saw some rather interesting dishes being eaten in large bowls that i've never seen before. Most of the lunch dishes ranged from about $6-$8 and come with miso soup and salad.

Izakaya Sakura
3904 Convoy Street #121 San Diego, CA, 92111, United States


Trent said...

When I got a box lunch here last month, the spaghetti had mentaiko and was delicious. Sorry to hear yours wasn't, but it isn't always that way.

clayfu said...

it was dry is all, i went on friday and my buddy got mentaiko with his and he liked it alot