First up, beef tataki, served with slices of sweet cherry tomato, radish, green onion, shiso leaves, radish sprouts, and a light vinagrette. A refreshing start to a huge meal...
Then some dynamite roll (one for each side of the table), spicy gyoza, and chopped scallop sushi. What I love about (now) Ebisu is that their ingredients are always fresh, and there is care taken when preparing each variety of sushi. In addition, they have a number of chefs (hot and cold sides) so the food never tastes rushed; instead, you can taste the food as it was meant to be. :)
Large appetites call for large party platters! We dug in and finished it in no time.
A favourite of mine is the mango paradise roll. You know those sushi places that serve you crunchy fruit on sushi? Well Ebisu is NOT that place - the mango was perfectly ripe and complimented the underlying smoked salmon and California roll quite well! The tobiko added a nice, slightly bitter crunch.
We also ordered the lobster sushi boat, which comes with fresh lobster, tuna and salmon sashimis, and a variety of other sashimis.
A distinguishing dish is their grilled ika / octopus. Come to think of it though, because I almost always go to Ebisu with family, I have *rarely* done the ordering, so I don't exactly know what this dish is called. The octopus comes pre-blanched and with a touch of marinade. There is also a small "grill" to prepare the octopus to your liking. After grilling for a short amount of time per side, the octopus is dipped in the sesame-soy sauce. Yum!
Next we had some uni (they did not have fresh uni that day, so we settled for frozen) sushi and oyster motoyaki. I am a huge fan of uni, so I savoured that little morsel like nobodys business! The oyster motoyaki, however, was surprisingly good, even though I hadn't "ordered" one at the beginning of the meal (you pay a steep price for eating food that you hadn't ordered in my family. heehee!). The motoyaki wasn't too heavy, but still had huge chunks of oyster and complimenting vegetables baked into the half shell.
Dads favourite is the salmon belly and the salmon kama (salmon neck). The salmon is grilled, so the skin gets blistery and crisp, while still keeping the flesh meaty and moist. Typically, the salmon (either one) gets grabbed up once it hits the table. I wasn't even able to get a photo of the salmon belly, it disappeared that fast!
We also ordered a number of tempuras (assorted and yam). Ebisus' tempura always arrives fresh and piping hot. As usual, fried food is always good!
Grandpas' favourite is the unagi-don (grilled eel on rice). It comes with a wonderful sauce and the rice does a great job of soaking it all up. There have been times, dining at Ebisu, that members of the family find only a skimpy piece or two of eel left - all the seaweed and rice is gone. *That's* how good the sauce is. :)
Finally, remember that lobster sashimi boat? After you are done eating all the sashimi, the staff will take it back to the kitchen and prepare a miso soup with the claws and shell. For an extra charge, you may add in noodles - ramen, udon, or soba. We usually opt for ramen, but they had ran out that day. So, we ordered udon. It hit the spot as I'd been craving some udon anyways.
Change your name all you want Ebisu / Kamei / whatever! Just don't change the food!
601 West Broadway [map]