We ate out 26 times in April and spent about $646 between the two of us.
Here are the highs and lows from April:
Best Overall Experience: Restaurant Hapa
Best Calamari: Bonefish Grill
Best Fish: Swordfish at Tuscano’s Grille
Best Bread: Dominic’s Grille
Best Value: Lenny’s Restaurant
Best Depth of Flavor: Laziz Indian Cuisine
Best Empanada: Pico Rojo
Best Sushi: Yuki Japanese Restaurant
Worst Overall Experience: Kuzina Mediterranean Grill
Worst Tacos: Jolli Mons
Worst French Toast: East Lake Cafe
Worst Value: Pickles Plus
We didn’t head out to eat until about 7pm, so we wanted to go somewhere close. We hadn’t been to the Tuscano Grille in quite a while so we headed over there for dinner.
We were able to get a table without a wait which is always nice on a Friday night. They had live music on the patio tonight as well.
I’m always happy when they bring warm bread to the table.
Loren didn’t think it had much flavor, but I really enjoyed it. It was warm, had a nice texture, and was tasty, especially dipped in the oil.
We ordered the Balsamic Glazed Calamari.
The balsamic aroma was really strong. I’m not sure what the white sauce on it was, sort of a mayo, I guess. The calamari had a nice flavor, but you really did need to dip it in the marinara sauce to cut the balsamic a bit. The presentation was a bit sloppy and this is where the service began to decline as well.
We rarely saw our waitress. The busboy stopped by our table more often than our waitress did. The dirty dishes from the bread and calamari sat on our table for a very long time. When our soup and salad came out, they were still on the table and the person who brought the food didn’t bother to clear any dishes away. Finally one of the busboys took the calamari dishes and I had to ask him to refill our drinks. It wasn’t until they finally came to take our soup and salad dishes that I was able to get rid of the dish of oil for the bread and I only managed that by putting it on the plate with the soup bowl. Call me crazy, but I just don’t think dirty dishes should be left on the table as you start to eat your next course.
Speaking of the salad and soup…
Loren chose the house salad with his meal and I got the mushroom soup. The soup wasn’t pretty to look at, but it had a nice deep, rich mushroom flavor.
Loren ordered the swordfish and it came with mashed potatoes.
It was a very sparse looking plate. He thoroughly enjoyed the swordfish though. It was thick and meaty, well grilled and had an awesome flavor.
I ordered the veal scallopini which came with mashed potatoes and I substituted broccoli for the spinach it came with.
I had a very similar meal at Restaurant Hapa earlier this month and theirs was definitely better than this one. The broccoli wasn’t cooked enough for me and the potatoes were a bit thick. The veal was tender, but the knife they gave me wasn’t sharp. I’m still on the fence about the marsala sauce. There was something about it that just didn’t appeal to me. The flavor was too strong and Loren thinks it was because of the mushrooms. It’s not that it was a bad flavor, just very overwhelming.
We were stuffed at this point, but when I see a chocolate dessert on the menu, I feel an obligation to take it home. We ordered a chocolate mousse cake to go.
The menu said it came with a vanilla bean sauce, but guess you don’t get it if you don’t eat it in the restaurant. Just stuff it in a box too small for it. It was really tasty, though it could have done without the chocolate sponge cake bottom. It sort of ruined the overall texture of the dessert.
Total bill was $53. We definitely got plenty of food, in fact most of mine came home as leftovers, but we just weren’t impressed by the service or the overall presentation of the dishes.
Even when we had finished our meal, one of the busboys came and cleared the dishes and boxed up my leftovers. We sat there talking for a while before our waitress ever came to see us again.
2544 McMullen Booth Road
We had our Friday lunch meeting in our Conference Room, known to some as the Gulf Coast beaches of Pinellas County. Cathy tells me I’m supposed to take photos of my food. Meh.
So, we got our lunch from the Kooky Coconut (which used to be the Tacky Turtle, for those of you who have been around here for a while). Nice little sandwich and ice cream kinda joint. They carry Working Cow ice cream, which is pretty awesome stuff, but we didn’t have any. They do Cuban sandwiches and other types of sandwiches. Fritz had a Cuban and didn’t like it because it wasn’t “authentic” enough for him. They tried to jazz it up with better mustard, better pickles and fancy cheese. Everybody knows a Cuban is all about plain ol’ mustard and crappy pickles! I think they also buttered the bread, making it kinda greasy. Idunno, I’m not a big fan of Cuban sandwiches, anyway.
They recently expanded to include some Mexican fare on the menu, which is what Ash and I went with. I got chicken tacos, Ash got a beef burrito. Both came with chips and salsa. I went with crispy corn tacos because that’s the way a taco should be. ”Soft tacos” are burritos! The chicken tacos were very good. I got them loaded, which included beans, cheese, black olives, salsa and who knows what else. Nothing spectacular, but the chicken was freshly grilled and well-seasoned, and it put a smile on my face. Ash wasn’t quite as wowed with his burrito, but seemed quite satisfied with it. Looked good to me. It was fat and stuffed with beef, rice, beans and stuff. The chips were not fresh made, nor was the salsa, but they were adequate.
All in all, we all ate for something like $6.95 each plus a drink. There’s no way you can complain about what we got for the price! Oh, and the Kooky Coconut now offers their patrons beach seating in their 6 “key lime green” chairs ON the beach, just inches from the water. Perfect!
760 Gulf Blvd
Indian Rocks Beach, FL
My friend Cathy suggested Thai food for lunch and that’s something I never say no to. Amarit Thai is fairly close to work, so off we went.
Same starter as usual, chicken rice soup and a spring roll.
My spring roll was a little mushy this time. I think they may have spilled some soup onto the plate. But, otherwise pretty tasty.
Cathy got a chicken curry dish and I ordered the Pad Thai.
Since I don’t like sprouts, green onions, or peanuts, I asked to get the Pad Thai with shrimp, egg, and noodles only. The waiter interpreted that as “no vegetables”, so I ended up with peanuts on it. The crunch of peanuts just doesn’t work in a noodle dish for me. And maybe I’m being picky, but I just think 4 shrimp seems kind of skimpy.
The restaurant was busy today and the waiter kept forgetting to get us a to-go box. Overall, it wasn’t the best experience I’ve had here. Total lunch for me was about $11.
328 East Lake Road
Palm Harbor, FL
Didn’t have anything good to bring for lunch today, so I called up Loren and we headed over to YoYo Sushi in Oldsmar. There wasn’t anyone else in the restaurant when we got there at noon and only one other customer showed up while we there. Guess not too many people go out for sushi for lunch on a Tuesday.
My favorite roll here is the Washington roll. Inside it has crab, cucumber and avacado and outside it’s rolled in salmon.
The first time we ate here, the salmon really stole the show. One bite and I was hooked. It has such a great texture and flavor. I have yet to be disappointed.
We also got two of their lunch specials. They have about 10 rolls you can choose from and you get 2 for $8.95. We ordered a California Tempura roll, a Shrimp Crunch roll, a Spicy Tuna roll, and a Yellowtail roll.
I liked the Shrimp Crunch roll best out of these. The California tempura roll just didn’t work for me. The tempura didn’t have any flavor and the avacado and cucumber didn’t fair well during the tempura process. The light, fresh crunch you get from a California roll just got lost.
Loren ate the spicy tuna roll and thought it was good. I won’t touch spicy tuna. He said this one doesn’t have an overbearing heat, which was good. He liked the Yellowtail roll, but I thought the roe on it was too salty.
A little expensive for lunch, $32, but sometimes you just gotta have some sushi.
300 State St E, #110
Since we only had breakfast today, we were both hungry for dinner. Loren wanted Mexican food, so we tried Senor Loco’s over on Gulf to Bay. The last time Loren was there, the service was terrible, but we figured they wouldn’t still be open if it hadn’t gotten any better.
They brought chips and salsa to the table and we ordered some bean and cheese dip.
Both the salsa and the bean dip had a little kick to them. Not over the top spicy, but you definitely knew jalepenos had been used.
Loren ordered some steak fajitas.
There was enough that he was able to make 4 fajitas. He said they were pretty good. I ordered a chicken chimichanga.
Maybe I’m just picky, but I expect a chimichanga to be crispy on the outside. This was more like a burrito, just barely dipped in the fryer. It did have a lot of chicken inside though. The beans and rice were typical, nothing overwhelming about them. I do have to say, the tomatoes were really fresh. It’s not often anymore that you get a tomato that actually has flavor.
Overall, there was nothing spectacular about the restaurant. The service was ok, the food was ok, and the total bill was $31.
2680 Gulf to Bay Blvd
We needed a quick breakfast before heading to the movies, so we went over to the East Lake Cafe in Palm Harbor.
They were busy, but we were able to get a table outside without a wait. Loren ordered the pancakes with a side of bacon.
The pancakes were pretty big and fluffy, Loren only ate about half of them. I ordered the Texas French toast.
Unfortunately, the execution on the French toast was not very good. They used a thick bread, which would have been great if they had actually soaked it longer in the batter. Instead, the middle of the bread was completely dry and tasteless. Good thing the syrup had a nice flavor to it. I wouldn’t order this again.
Our waitress told us they were understaffed when we sat down, so it was no surprise that she never came back to check on us. Total bill was $16 and we did make it out in plenty of time to see our movie.
3430 Eastlake Rd
Palm Harbor, FL
We got a $10 coupon for Bonefish Grill in the mail today, so we headed out there for dinner. Talk about immediate results from a mailing campaign.
Luckily, we went out for dinner a little later tonight because when we got to the restaurant there were a bunch of teenagers just finishing up and leaving for prom. We timed it just right and were able to get a table without a wait. I gotta say, those kids were really decked out in their suits and gowns.
We were both pretty hungry after a long day for Loren at the autocross track and me at the Great American Pie Festival in Celebration. We started out with the Singapore Calamari.
I gotta say, this was some of the best calamari I’ve had in a while. It was really fresh and had a nice crunchy coating on it. It was mixed with peppers and served with a sweet and spicy Asian dipping sauce. The dipping sauce was too spicy for me, but Loren liked it.
I have to add a note in here about the service and attention to detail. Two plates were placed on our table stacked on top of each other for the appetizer. When the appetizer was brought to the table, the waiter went to pass out the plates and noticed one had something on it and immediately went back to get us another one. I know this seems like common sense, but too often something like that isn’t even noticed by the staff at other restaurants and we would have had to have said something about it.
I got a cup of their corn chowder with lump crab.
There were some big chunks of crab in the soup which was really nice. I’m a big fan of corn chowder and this is a wonderful version of it.
Loren got a salad with his entree and they brought out some bread and olive oil to dip it in.
The bread was nice and crusty on the outside, but soft and warm on the inside, just the way it should be.
For our entrees, we both ordered off of the specials menu. Loren got the Deluxe Mixed Grill, which was a sirloin steak, scallops and shrimp.
He said the shrimp were overcooked, but everything else was done just right. They gave him some scalloped potatoes even though he had chosen a salad as his side dish and they served a chick pea garnish on both of our plates.
I got Lily’s Atlantic Salmon with jasmine rice.
The salmon was served with spinach, artichokes and goat cheese. It was really good. By this point, I was pretty full, so most of it came home as leftovers, except for the chick peas, those just didn’t do it for me.
With our $10 off coupon, the total bill came to$36. Not bad for the amount of really good food that we got. We don’t eat at Bonefish very often, but I’m not sure why. Every time we’ve been, we’ve gotten great service and really tasty, interesting food.
2519 McMullen Booth Rd
“Who eats well, lives well”. This was on the wall by our table at Dominic’s Italian Grille tonight. We’ve eaten at Dominic’s a few times. There are things I really like about it and other things that I don’t, such as the first aromas I smelled tonight were of bleach or cleaning solutions. Though I appreciate that the place is clean, that’s not the overwhelming first smell I want when I sit down at a restaurant.
But, now on to a few things I do like…. the bread basket.
These light, airy, buttery delicious rolls are awesome. There were 8 of them in the basket and not a one left by the time our entrees arrived. Dip them in the olive oil and herbs and it boosts the flavor, or you can order up some pasta fagioli and dip them in that too.
The soup had good flavors. Lots of beans, celery, onions, and pasta. I don’t think it left the kitchen quite as messy as the photo makes it out to be. Our waiter all but spilled it on the floor when he was trying to put it on the table. Speaking of our waiter, I wasn’t all that impressed. He never filled our drinks and didn’t check up on us at all once we got our entrees.
Loren ordered the chicken piccata.
He really enjoyed it. Two chicken breasts with the piccata sauce, plus broccoli and their angel hair pasta souffle. I stole half of the souffle. It’s one of my favorite things here. He said the sauce had a really good lemon flavor, but wasn’t overpowering.
I normally don’t order spaghetti and meatballs in a restaurant because I never feel as though you get your monies worth.
Face it, $11 just seems much for 3 meatballs and some spaghetti. The meatballs were pretty good, not a lot of fillers in them. The sauce was really bland and acidic. It tasted like it hadn’t been cooked for very long. I’m Italian so I expect a lot more depth of flavor in my sauce. I think it should be simmering on the stove all day. This isn’t a dish I’d order again.
Their dessert special of the day was an ultimate chocolate cake. How could I pass that up?
This was really good. It had layers upon layers of different types of chocolate. The crust was a chocolate cookie layer. Then it had two layers of a chocolate mouse, one dark and one milk chocolate. The middle was a dense chocolate cake, then a layer of ganache and frosting. Plus the end was covered in frosting and chocolate chips. A chocolate lovers dream. And to boot, it was only $3.95.
I do have to mention one other thing that did not impress me tonight. There was a flat screen TV on the wall across from us that was playing a slideshow of food photos from the restaurant. A couple was then seated at the table directly below it. About halfway through their appetizers, one of the waiters tuned the TV to a basketball game. The customers asked if the waiter wouldn’t mind just turning off the TV while they ate and the waiter complied. Then about halfway through their meal, the owner came over and turned the TV back on. I heard the customers ask again if he could just leave it off, but the owner continued to mess with it, until he got the slideshow of food photos back on. I just thought it was rude for them not to just leave the TV off until the customers left. There were only two other tables with customers besides us, so it wasn’t like anyone was missing anything by the TV being off.
Our total bill was $38. Again, our waiter didn’t impress me when he brought the bill and there was only one credit card receipt in the folder. Though I wasn’t impressed with the overall customer service, for the most part, our food was good.
Dominic’s Italian Grille
3163 Curlew Road
I had been to Lenoce’s in Oldsmar once before, but didn’t remember much about it. Loren and I headed over there for lunch today.
It’s a small, diner type restaurant with a bunch of skateboards on the wall. I don’t know if they’re associated with Jeff Lenoce the skateboarder or just share the same name.
We both ordered cheeseburgers.
Loren ordered his with bacon and fries. I got mine with onion rings.
Both burgers were pretty good. They were thick burgers, cooked medium, and had a nice flavor to them. Even the fries and onion rings were tasty. They had a nice crunch.
Lunch was $18 since we substituted fries and onion rings for the chips or potato salad that came with the burgers.
Lenoce’s Neighborhood Restaurant
139491 Hillsborough Ave
We went out in the rain in search of lunch and ended up at Pickles Plus on McMullen Booth Rd. Loren had been to the one in Clearwater before. It was pretty crowded for a rainy Sunday at lunchtime.
Loren started off with some chicken soup.
It had a nice flavor to it and was very welcome on such a dreary day. He ordered one of the specials for lunch, Jay’s Fried Chicken Salad.
It was a big salad. Lots of lettuce, fried chicken, tomatoes, boiled egg, bacon, cheese, cucumber, and of course, a pickle. He ran out of dressing before he ran out of salad.
I got a chicken salad sandwich with fries.
And of course, a pickle. The chicken salad was pretty bland. The fries weren’t crispy enough either. They were too soft, like they’d been taken out of the fryer and left to sit for a while.
For $26, it seemed overpriced for what we got. I’ve had better sandwiches elsewhere for less money.
2530 N McMullen Booth Rd
This was our first visit to Jolli Mon’s Grill in Dunedin. Luckily, we weren’t there for the live music as the band finally showed up as we were leaving. The patio was full nonetheless, so we grabbed a table inside. The bar area filled up quickly with people watching the Rays/Red Sox game.
The restaurant had all the typical island decor. Palm trees, tropical fish, mermaids, and pirates decorated the walls.
Loren started out with a salad and I got a cup of crab chowder.
The mango poppyseed dressing on the salad was kind of sweet, whereas the chowder had a peppery flavor that wasn’t exactly pepper. We couldn’t figure out exactly what spice it was. It was a really thick chowder, lots of crab in it.
Loren ordered the mahi fish tacos.
It was three tacos, but he wasn’t really impressed. The mahi had been pre-cooked and was cold and the tortillas didn’t taste fresh either.
I got a Scallywag burger with gouda and a side of mac and cheese.
The burger was pretty good. It had a lot of onions and mushrooms, though the onions were really strong. I ordered it medium and it came out more of a medium rare, but still had good flavor. The mac and cheese wasn’t very creamy, but it tasted good.
Overall, dinner was just ok. The food and service didn’t wow us enough to make us say we need to go back again. Total bill was $27.
Jolli Mon’s Grill
941 Huntley Ave
I wanted to go walk around Moccasin Lake Nature Park in Clearwater today, so I searched for a restaurant close by. We’d never been to Lenny’s before, but it sounded like a good ol’ fashioned diner and those are the places I love to eat. Plus, you gotta love a place that has an “Employee of the Month sh*t list” posted by the front counter.
The parking lot was full which is always a good sign. Luckily, it’s a pretty big restaurant, so we didn’t have to wait for a table. The menu is huge. I decided on breakfast, Loren went for lunch.
We started off with the danish basket that came with my breakfast entree.
This little basket had quite the treats buried inside. Five different kinds of sweet goodies including a brownie, cream cheese danish, fruit danish, a cinnamon danish and another custard like danish.
Then came the relish tray that came with Loren’s lunch. You get two choices and we picked pickles and macaroni salad. Both were very tasty.
At this point, we already knew we were going to have a hard time finishing our entrees.
Loren got the Deli Triple Threat with potato salad.
It’s three half sandwiches, turkey, pastrami and corned beef. He said the corned beef was pretty mild, but the turkey and pastrami were really good. And the meat was piled on the sandwiches. The potato salad was kind of sweet. I liked it, but it was too sweet for him.
I ordered a country style breakfast with scrambled eggs with cheese and bacon.
Loren used the bacon on his sandwich, and the eggs were very good. I love it when you order eggs with cheese and they get it right. The cheese was mixed in and all melted into the eggs. Good stuff.
My breakfast also came with 4 silver dollar pancakes.
When I read silver dollar pancakes, I figured they’d be small. These were four regular sized pancakes and they were delicious. Light and fluffy and I was barely able to eat half of it. And because I thought the pancakes were going to be small, I also ordered a side of home fries.
This was absolutely not what I imagined when I ordered home fries. This dish was awesome. The potatoes were cooked on the grill and then topped with sauteed onions. I could have just eaten this and been happy. Way too much food though, I barely made a dent in it.
Now we know why the place was so crowded. Good food, large portions, and very friendly service. Total bill was $23 and well worth it.
21220 US Hwy 19 N
Looking for somewhere different to eat for dinner tonight, Loren suggested Indian food. Neither of us had been to an Indian restaurant before, but the reviews for Laziz Indian Cuisine were good, so we gave it a try. I was skeptical, thinking the food was going to be very spicy, but surprisingly, the two dishes we got were rather mild.
They brought a basket to the table to start off.
I don’t know what it was, sort of a crispy tortilla with a tomato/onion salsa. Seems so wrong to describe this like a Mexican dish, but I don’t know how else to describe it. Loren liked it. I thought the tortilla had a dark flavor to it that I just didn’t like. We thought the tomato mixture had peppers in it, but was actually just tomatoes, onions, and spices.
We ordered some garlic naan bread with a side of cucumber raita, which was like a Greek tzatziki sauce.
The naan bread had a wonderful texture and there was a lot of it. It was soft with a nice touch of garlic. The cucumber sauce was a very thin sauce, not thick like you find in a Greek restaurant, but very good with the bread.
For our entrees, I ordered the shrimp Makhani and Loren ordered the chicken Jalfrezi, both came with basmati rice.
I ordered mine mild and Loren ordered his medium spicy. Neither were very spicy at all, but both had very deep, rich complex flavors. When Loren mentioned his wasn’t very spicy, they brought him a container of spicy sauce. He really enjoyed the flavor combinations.
The tomato cream sauce on mine was thick and rich and perfectly matched with the shrimp and rice. Normally Loren doesn’t like a sauce like that, but he kept dipping the naan bread in it. The only thing I didn’t like about it was that it had cilantro sprinkled on it and the cilantro flavor was overwhelming at times.
Overall, it was a very enjoyable meal. The service was very good and they explained a lot of the flavor profiles to us. We’d definitely go back and try some other dishes. They recommended we come for the lunch buffet in order to try several different things at one time.
Total bill was $37 and we both left with happy taste buds and full bellies.
Laziz Indian Cuisine
2475 N McMullen Booth Rd
Ended up having to run out for a quick sandwich around 1:30pm today because I had meetings that ran through lunch. Headed over to Firehouse for a chicken salad sub.
I like the bread they use at Firehouse. It’s a nice soft roll. The chicken salad was actually pretty tasty. $8 for the combo with chips and a drink.
3434 East Lake Road
Palm Harbor, FL
Today seemed like a good day to go out for sandwiches for lunch. Central Park Deli & Grill in Oldsmar has a wide selection and it’s close, so that’s where we headed.
Loren ordered the Brooklyn Bridge with chips.
It was a huge Italian sub. Lots of meats, cappicola, pepperoni, salami, and ham plus cheese and veggies. He only ate half of it and took the other half home for dinner.
I got the New York Ranger with potato salad.
This was also a pretty big sandwich. It was two fried chicken breasts, one big and one smaller, on a Kaiser roll. The chicken was ok, but didn’t really have a lot of flavor. The potato salad was extremely garlicy. I don’t think I’d order the sandwich or the potato salad again. I’ve had other sandwiches here that were good, so we’ll probably go back.
Total lunch was $16 for two sandwiches and a drink.
Central Park Deli & Grill
4058 Tampa Road, Ste 4
Cuban Breezes is only a few miles from our house, so we eat there quite a bit. This is my fourth time since January. It’s like comfort food to me. We’ve never had a bad meal, the service is good, and the prices are great. What’s not to like?
I was hungry so we ordered the appetizer sampler platter.
It had Pan con Queso, croquetas, yucca fritters, and an empanada. The only one I didn’t like much were the yucca fritters. They were a little spicy. The chicken empanada was really good. Especially dipped in the Havana sauce. The Pan con Queso is basically a grilled cheese on their Cuban bread with a light garlic spread and the croquetas are filled with ham and lightly fried.
Loren ordered the Masitas de Puerco. It came with two sides, so he got a salad and beans and rice.
He really liked the Masitas. It’s slow cooked pork chunks, boiled until tender, marinated, then lightly fried.
I was going to order the Grouper Cuban, but the waitress said they use Mahi Mahi now instead. Ok, sounded good to me.
And it was. The Mahi was really tender and really good. A little cheese, lettuce and Havana sauce, then lightly pressed and it made for a very enjoyable dinner.
With our $10 off coupon, the total dinner came out to $16, plus we have some leftovers for tomorrow.
13980 W Hillsborough Ave
Kuzina Mediterranean Grill in Oldsmar has now been added to the list of restaurants we won’t be going back to. This was one of the worst dining experiences we’ve had in a while. We ate here in January and though that visit wasn’t perfect, we chalked it up to it being a new restaurant. Now three months later, there’s no excuse for the service and food we were served.
It started out ok. They bring you hummus and bread.
Loren liked the hummus. It’s very garlicy. The bread is really good. This time they served it warm, which was nice.
They changed their menu quite a bit in 3 months. The dishes we had last time weren’t even on the menu any longer. Not that we’d have ordered them again anyway.
We decided to try a different appetizer this time instead of ordering calamari.
We ordered the rosemary tuna kebabs. This wasn’t great. The tuna was overcooked and not very fresh. If I had to guess, I’d say it had been frozen at some point. The rosemary was a bit strong and the caper dipping sauce was very salty.
Right after our appetizer came out, our waiter brought our salads.
You get two sides with your entree and a salad was one of the choices. However, I probably wouldn’t have ordered the salad as one of my sides if our waiter had actually known what sides were available. When I asked, he said a couple of things, but then later in the evening I overhead another waiter give the list of sides and it had quite a few more choices.
The salad was ok, but came with a balsamic vinaigrette dressing which I’m not a big fan. It also came with slices of a really strong parmesean cheese.
At this point, Loren’s drink is mostly gone and we hadn’t seen our waiter in quite a while. Someone else cleared away the empty plates and bread basket that our waiter left on the table.
Finally our entrees arrived. When the plates were put on the table, both Loren & I looked at each, crinkled our noses, and asked, “What’s that smell?”, and not in a good way.
I had ordered the salmon. At first I thought maybe it was the relish on the side of the plate, but it actually had a sweet and savory smell to it. And then I thought perhaps it was the wild rice. But, no, it was the salmon. The last thing you want is for your fish to have a very distinct and unappetizing aroma. I tried a couple of bites, and that was it. It wasn’t fresh, it was overcooked, and was just overall bad. The rice wasn’t all that great either. Now that I look at the photo, the kitchen staff obviously wasn’t all that concerned with overall appearance either. Just look at the oil smears on the side of the plate.
Loren ordered a steak with rice (again, because we didn’t know about the other side dishes).
He said the steak itself was ok, except for the very cold herbed butter on top. Our waiter stopped by our table one time and when I asked him to refill our drinks he looked at me as though I had sprouted a second head. I didn’t think it was an odd request seeing as our glasses had been rather empty for a while.
Now, when you leave an entire plate of food, you expect your waiter to do certain things. One, ask if you’d like a to-go box and if you decline to perhaps ask if everything was ok. When I said we were done, he just scooped up the plates and brought the check. So, I didn’t even bother to mention how bad the food was since I figured I would have gotten that same blank stare. Instead we got our check, (luckily we had a $25 off coupon), and got out of there for $22. We won’t be going back.
And then to top it off, on the way to the car, we had to walk by one of the kitchen staff smoking out in front of the restaurant. Obviously, they just don’t get it. It was a bad experience all the way around.
Kuzina Mediterranean Grill & Bar
3980 Tampa Road
Sushi sounded good for dinner tonight, so we decided to try out Yuki Japanese Steakhouse in Clearwater. We had another Restaurant.com $25 off coupon, so had to spend $50 on dinner.
Loren started out with a side salad with ginger dressing and we also got a shrimp tempura appetizer.
I was a little surprised that it was only 2 pieces of shrimp and the rest was vegetables. Loren liked the tempura asparagus.
Their sushi prices are very reasonable. We ordered a few too many rolls, mostly because simple math sometimes eludes me.
The roll at the top is a Yami Yami roll. This was Loren’s favorite. I don’t even remember what kind of fish was in it, maybe tuna, but it’s rolled, then fried, then rolled again, so it has a crispy and soft texture. Then it was topped with crab and a spicy sauce. It was very interesting and very tasty.
We also got a Tampa roll, which is fried grouper and a Mexican roll, which is fried shrimp.
But wait, there’s more. We got a California roll, a spicy salmon roll, a rainbow roll, a Yuki roll, and two pieces of salmon and yellow tail. The salmon was absolutely incredible. It had an almost buttery flavor and texture. The Yuki roll is a California roll wrapped in salmon and was delicious. My favorite was the rainbow roll, 7 different types of fish plus avacado.
Total bill after the coupon and tip was $55, plus we have a bunch of sushi for later. All of the sushi was good. This is definitely a place we’d go back to.
Yuki Japanese Steakhouse
13505 Icot Blvd
There’s one constant whenever I eat at MecaFresh, I always get the lobster bisque. Sure, they offer the other soup of the day, but nothing compares to the bisque.
For lunch, I got the half eggplant panini and soup combo for $8.
The panini was nice and crunchy with a thin slice of eggplant and tomato sauce. It’s one of my favorite combos there.
3235 Tampa Road
Palm Harbor, FL