It was a dark and stormy night and sushi seemed like a perfect way to chase away the gloom. We headed over to Ocean Blue since it was close and I could hear the Super Crunchy calling to me.
Luckily Loren isn’t quite as enamored with it as I am, either that or he’s just afraid I’ll swat his hand away if he tries to eat too many pieces of it. I just love that roll. We also got a Mexican roll and a Rainbow roll. Both were delicious. Yeah, you didn’t think we stopped there, did you??
Loren had to have a spicy tuna and a Scott roll plus one more that I can’t remember. I think it was tuna or maybe salmon, either way, it was good. As always, everything was fresh and tasty. Loren also got a salad.
Oh, and remember that dark & stormy night? About the time we were finishing up, the sky opened up and a deluge of rain poured down. That could only mean that we had to order dessert, right?
Fried cheesecake is one of the strangest and tastiest desserts around. Soft and slightly frozen on the inside, crispy on the outside. Very tasty throughout. Finally the rain let up, our taste buds were happy, and our wallet was $62 lighter.
Ocean Blue Sushi Bar & Kaiko Japanese Restaurant
2475 McMullen Booth Road
We went over to Rumba Island in Oldsmar for dinner tonight. They were pretty busy tonight & we ended up with a table in the bar area. Surprisingly, the noise level wasn’t too bad. I think the fact that the bar area is open to the outside makes a big difference. We started off with some conch fritters and my favorite little corn muffins.
The conch fritters were really good. They were tender and just a little spicy, nothing that overwhelmed my taste buds. Overall, they just had a really nice flavor and texture. Loren got the tuna rumba salad for his entree.
He said the tuna was cooked a nice rare and had good seasoning. I went for the kbobs & shrimp which came with a salad.
The shrimp were cooked ok, but the batter had very little seasoning. They were just kind of plain. The kbobs weren’t tender enough for me and some of the chunks were bigger than bite size and really hard to cut with a butter knife. I also got the island rice and mashed sweet potatoes which were both tasty. Total bill with a drink was $43.
Rumba Island Bar & Grill
3687 Tampa Road
Believe it or not, I think we actually ordered the right amount of sushi from Mike’s Sushi this time. Either that or we were both really hungry. The “Ooops” came when I tried to pick up a piece of the Rainbow roll only to discover the roll hadn’t been sliced. We both started laughing and when the sushi chefs saw it, they started making jokes about how it’s a new way to eat sushi, just pick it up like a candy bar and bite off the end. I think the whole restaurant got a good chuckle out of it.
As for the sushi, everything was really fresh and tasty.
The shrimp in the Mexican Roll was fried perfectly and the fish in all of the other rolls was very good. Besides the Rainbow & Mexican rolls, we got a scallop roll, a Pink Dragon which is a California roll topped with salmon, a Crazy Roll which is spicy tuna with avocado, crunch & smelt roe, and a “make your own” with tuna, salmon, avocado and cucumber.
I know I say the same thing every time we come here, but it’s just worth noting that we really enjoy those sushi restaurants that don’t drench everything in sauces. It’s those pure, clean flavors that tickle the taste buds and at least with this visit, tickled the funny bone a bit too. Total bill with a drink & a salad was $57.
33855 Us-19 N
Palm Harbor, FL
From the moment we walked into the Thirsty Marlin, the overwhelming smell of bleach was in the air. It was not a pleasant, clean smell; it was a hit you in the face chemical smell that burned your nose and ended up giving me a headache. It was awful. We should have just turned around and left because the food didn’t make the experience much better.
We started off with some onion rings.
They had a good crunch, but were overly salty. Loren tried the tuna salad.
He liked it. The tuna was fresh and he enjoyed the wasabi dressing. I tried the lobster quesadilla and it was not good.
I didn’t like the tortilla, the texture was off. I ended up just opening it up & eating the pieces of lobster inside but the lobster tasted like imitation crab with some spices on it and the cheese just overpowered everything. Definitely not something I’d order again. If we go back and the chemical smell is still there, we won’t stay next time. Total bill with a drink was $35.
1023 Florida Ave
Palm Harbor, FL
I was off work today for MLK Day, so we headed into Dunedin and ate lunch at Tom Yum Thai & Sushi. This is one of those places that I really like. The service and food are both very good.
Our lunches started off with a little salad and soup.
I liked the dressing on the salad and the chicken & rice soup had a nice flavor. They even brought mine out without scallions since I had asked them not to put scallions on my pad thai. I really like places that make that connection.
Loren got the spicy tuna bowl for lunch.
It was a beautiful color and he liked the dish. He said it wasn’t killer spicy, which was good and there was plenty of tuna on the plate. I ordered the Pad Thai bento box.
Besides the Pad Thai, it had an egg roll, California roll, three pieces of sushi & three pieces of sashimi. The fish, tuna, salmon & escolar, was really fresh and tasty. Everything on the plate was good and it was definitely too much for me to eat in one sitting. For $23, definitely one of the tastier lunches we’ve had in a while.
Tom Yum Thai & Sushi
104 Patricia Ave
Went to Rumba Island Grille in Oldsmar for lunch today for a co-worker’s birthday. She got the Ocho Rios dish I ordered the last time I was here & I tried the ahi tuna sandwich.
There was no way this could be eaten as a sandwich. The ciabatta bread was way too thick. I ended up just eating the tuna off the bread with a fork. I also had to scrape off some of the sesame seeds. It was really covered in them. Otherwise, it was cooked a nice rare and the little bit of slaw on the side was tasty. Total bill was $23.
Rumba Island Bar & Grill
3687 Tampa Road
We eat out a lot and tonight we realized there are just some types of restaurants that aren’t for us. Besa Grill in Clearwater is one of them. There’s something about it that tries too hard. For the prices, you have a certain expectation and for us, those expectations just weren’t met tonight.
I normally drink water & Loren got an iced tea. He was disappointed in the tea; again, it just comes down to expectations. In a place like this, you’d expect it to be fresh brewed. The only reason I mention the drinks is because they serve water in these small glasses and put a frosted water bottle on each table.
Honestly, I’d rather have had a large glass of water with ice rather than the waiter constantly stopping by the table to refill my glass. On to the food. We ordered the duck nachos as an appetizer.
The chips in these nachos were the best thing we ate all night. They were phenomenal. Fresh & crispy and oh so good. I could have just eaten a plate of those. The nachos were a mixed bag though. Loren found a few bones in the duck pieces and the cheese was just a little off. I don’t know how to describe it, the flavor and texture just weren’t what we expected. Don’t get me wrong, though, we ate the entire thing.
For his entree, Loren got the Ahi Tuna Tower.
It was served cold, which he didn’t like all that much. The carrot strings on top were a hoot to watch him try to eat. Whoever thought putting ridiculously long, thin strands of carrot on top of this dish has a warped sense of humor. The menu said they were crispy fried, but they seemed raw to us.
For my entree, I ordered the corn husked mahi.
There was nothing in the description of this dish that led me to believe it would be spicy. After a few bites, I couldn’t feel the roof of my mouth. Granted, I’m very wimpy when it comes to spices and whatever spice was in this dish did not agree with me at all. Unfortunately, I also found the mahi to be a bit dry. Loren ended up eating part of my dish too.
I wanted to try dessert, so we got the whoopie pies.
There was a red velvet with vanilla ice cream, a chocolate with mango cream, and a carrot cake with a ginger cream. Loren liked the carrot cake best. Of the three, it did have the best cake. I liked the red velvet because the ice cream was a good contrast to the thick, dry cake.
Our waiter was pretty good, although plates stayed on the table a little too long and at one point a busboy cleared plates and took my silverware without replacing it. One of the biggest gripes we had though was the noise level in the restaurant. Not only were the acoustics horrible, but the background music they played was too loud and had a pounding, repetitive beat to it. For a $70 meal, I expected much better from the experience. This isn’t a restaurant we’ll be going back to.
2542 McMullen Booth Rd
We’ve driven by Mike’s Sushi in Palm Harbor quite a few times, but never went in because of the name. We just couldn’t picture a guy named Mike making awesome sushi. What we didn’t realize, until we looked up the website, is that Mike is a Japanese gentleman whose name is just difficult to pronounce so he goes by Mike instead. I’m so glad we decided to give it a try because the sushi and atmosphere were both great.
From the moment we walked in, we were greeted with friendly hellos and smiles from the entire staff. It’s not a very big restaurant, but they had quite a few people working there which meant drinks were kept filled and empty plates were removed quickly.
Loren started off with a salad and they also brought over some sprouts.
For sushi, we ordered a Rainbow roll, a Mexican roll, a Special Scallops roll, a Spicy Salmon roll, a Lobster roll, and a “make your own roll”, plus two pieces of salmon. Surprisingly, we ate every last bit of it.
I liked being able to create my own roll. I chose salmon, tuna, avocado, cucumber and mayo. It was tasty.
The fish on all of the rolls was very fresh. One of the things I really liked about this place is that they didn’t drown everything in goopy sauces, so you could actually taste the freshness of the fish. Another nice touch is that they had a bottle of eel sauce on the table, which I like way more than soy sauce. Loren said the spicy salmon was spicy enough to be enjoyable but not overpowering. Both the lobster & shrimp were cooked perfectly.
We’ve been to a few places where they slice the rolls very thick, making them difficult to eat in one bite. Here, you got 10 thinner pieces which were much easier to just pop in your mouth. There really wasn’t anything about this experience that I didn’t like. It’s definitely on our list of sushi places to try again. Total bill with a drink was $58.
33855 Us-19 N
Palm Harbor, FL
We ate dinner at Molly Goodheads in Ozona tonight. It was a bit too steamy to be out on the porch, so we sat inside. Unfortunately, a lot of other people had the same idea, so it was pretty loud in there. The bar area was overflowing and the waitresses were having to constantly ask people to move out of the way.
We started off with some He Crab soup.
It was very creamy and had a nice flavor, but the crab seemed a bit overcooked in it. It’s still one of the tastier soups in town though. We both got salads with our meals.
Loren ordered the blackened mahi with garlic mashed.
He really enjoyed it. The fish was cooked perfectly and the mashed taters were yummy. I decided on the yellowfin tuna and mashed potatoes.
Unfortunately, the tuna was tough. Loren thought it had an odd flavor, not necessarily an unfresh flavor, but more that it had absorbed some other flavor while it was cooking. I ate half of one piece and since Loren didn’t like it either, we didn’t want it for leftovers. The waitress asked if there was a problem with it and when we said it was tough, she had a manager take it off the bill. I do appreciate it when the waitstaff notices you’ve left a large amount of food on your plate and does what they can to rectify the situation. Total bill after the tuna was removed was $25.
400 Orange Street
We decided to try the Island Outpost in Dunedin for lunch today. It was pretty busy for 1pm on a Monday and the waitstaff was completely overwhelmed.
When the hostess seated us, she mentioned they were out of the pulled pork and one other item. After we’d been seated, we waited for a very long time before our waitress came to take our drink order and then she mentioned that they were also out of several other items on the menu including most of the appetizers. They did however have the ahi tuna.
It was pretty good. A little spicy around the edges, but otherwise a nice piece a rare tuna. Unfortunately, the plate remained on our table through the entire meal.
Loren ordered the baby back ribs with a side salad and I got the haddock special that came with a salad and onion rings.
When the waitress brought our entrees, I noticed neither one of us had salad dressing and she said she’d bring some. Sadly, that never happened. In fact, she didn’t stop by our table again until it was time to bring us the check.
The haddock and onion rings were pretty good. The batter was crispy and it was a nice piece of fish. Loren’s ribs, however, were not good at all. We had false hope as we walked into the restaurant because we could smell the BBQ, but his ribs had no flavor. It was very disappointing, especially since neither of us could eat our salads either.
Total bill was $30 and I don’t expect that we’ll be back again.
466 Causeway Blvd
We ate lunch at Burger 21 in Westchase today. This is definitely not your average burger joint and we neither of us ordered an average burger either.
Loren went for the Ahi Tuna burger and fries.
It was lightly fried, but still rare enough in the middle. It had avocado, pickled cucumbers, lettuce and tomato on it. I might have to get one for myself next time, it was pretty tasty. The fries were crispy and yummy too.
I opted for the special this month which was the gyro burger and I’m never one to pass up sweet potato fries.
The lamb burger was very juicy and flavorful. It had a tzatziki sauce, plus lettuce and tomato on it. The sweet potato fries were cut very thin and were wonderful dipped in the apple cider sauce. They had a bunch of different sauces on their sauce bar; the Thai ketchup and honeycomb mustard were good too.
And on the way out, I couldn’t help but get a chocolate cherry bomb milkshake to go.
It was a little thin for a milkshake, but the chocolate cherry flavors were tasty. The only downside of the restaurant was the price, $29 for the two of us. The food was good, no doubt about it, but we could absolutely do better than burgers and fries for $30.
9664 W. Linebaugh Ave
We were in the mood for sushi tonight, so we headed over to Ban Thai on McMullen Booth. Even on a Sunday night, the restaurant was pretty busy, but we were able to get a booth without a wait.
Since it was pretty darn cold out, we both got some soup; Loren got the chicken and rice, I got the wonton.
Both of them were tasty. Mine had a lot of sprouts in it that I ate around, but the wontons were very flavorful.
Did we order too much sushi? Of course we did.
This behemoth is the lobster roll. In the rolls, there’s tempura lobster, avocado, lettuce, and cucumber. There’s also half a lobster tail on top. I love this roll. It’s enough for a meal in itself. It also has some mayo and eel sauce on it, so Loren doesn’t like it all that much, but that just means more for me.
We also got a Mexican roll, a California roll, and a Rainbow roll, plus some salmon. The spicy mayo on the Mexican roll was just a bit too spicy for me this time. The California roll was very fresh and flavorful. Loren even commented on how we get that roll at most sushi places and that it’s so refreshing when it really stands out. The Rainbow roll was also very good. The salmon and tuna were very fresh.
Total bill was $56. I do think the sushi is a bit more expensive here, but it’s usually well worth it.
Ban Thai Restaurant
2519 McMullen Booth Road
We buy quite a few coupons on Restaurant.com, but occasionally we make a mistake on which dollar amount to purchase. Loren mistakenly bought a $25 coupon for Mecafresh where you have to purchase $50 in food. It would be impossible for the two of us to spend $50 there, but today his sister and mom came for a visit, so we had enough people to use the coupon.
We had a variety of dishes around the table and everyone really enjoyed the food.
His mom ordered the Long Noodle dish.
She liked the broth and all the fresh veggies and kept saying how good it was. His sister ordered the Pink Tacos.
Alex got the turkey club.
Loren ordered the Ahi Tuna salad. Love the fresh tuna on this one.
And I ordered one of their specials today, the Valentino, which was a meatball panini with mozzerella and tomato sauce.
It was tasty. I don’t think I’ve had meatballs here before, but it’s definitely a sandwich I would order again. Most of the time I get a half sandwich and some lobster bisque, so I totally forgot how big their whole paninis are.
After the $25 coupon and with 4 drinks, the total came out to $27. It was a lot of fresh, delicious food for a very good price.
3235 Tampa Road
Palm Harbor, FL
Surprisingly, we haven’t had sushi in almost 3 weeks, so we were definitely due for some tasty fish wrapped in rice. Tonight, we decided to try Yama Taiyo Sushi in Palm Harbor.
We know we always order too much sushi, so we told ourselves that we’re just going to order 5 rolls… and some salmon nigiri.
Loren started off with a salad. Unfortunately, our waitress slipped away before he could ask for a fork. His chopstick skills are improving though.
When our waitress brought the sushi, she very quietly said what was on the plates and then left. I thought I heard her say “spicy” something and I knew we hadn’t ordered anything spicy.
Sure enough, instead of the Mexican roll I had ordered, they gave us a spicy salmon roll. We were able to flag down another of the wait staff and they gave us the spicy salmon at no charge and also brought out the Mexican roll. Loren liked the spicy salmon roll. He said it wasn’t overly spicy, but had good flavor. The Snow Crab roll was quite tasty. You can definitely taste the crab and it had a good texture. Same with the Special Scallop roll. The Rainbow roll was amazing. The salmon, tuna, and white fish on top were really fresh.
The Mexican roll was good. The shrimp was cooked well and the avacado in it was very fresh and flavorful. And then there was the Yama Big Roll.
They weren’t kidding when they called it a BIG roll. It was 12 huge pieces fried with tuna, salmon, and avacado. It was awesome. The sauces on it were not overwhelming at all and the tempura batter had an incredible crunch and texture. This absolutely counts as two rolls instead of one. It’s also the first thing I’ll order the next time I’m here.
Total bill ended up being $55 and we had leftovers. We hadn’t expected the spicy salmon roll and the Yama Big Roll was much more food than we anticipated. I think it was the first sushi roll that took me four bites to eat one piece.
After dinner, we headed down to Crystal Beach to watch the sunset. Perfect ending to a wonderful night.
Yama Taiyo Sushi Bar and Steak House
660 Alderman Road
Palm Harbor, FL
We headed over to Lee Roy Selmon’s for a farewell lunch for one of my co-workers who transferred out of my department.
There were about 14 of us there late in the afternoon and they took care of us pretty well. For appetizers we had some ahi tuna, sweet potato fries, fried green tomatoes, jalepeno rockets and wings. They were all tasty typical bar appetizers.
For my entree, I ordered the Twisted Southern Chicken.
Chicken on smashed potatoes smothered in maple bacon creamed corn, melted cheddar cheese, sour cream and tomatoes. The maple flavor in the cream corn really didn’t go with the rest of the dish. I can’t help it, when I taste maple, I expect it to be on pancakes. Overall, everyone seemed to enjoy their meals. For a chain restaurant, the food and service are both pretty good. I gotta say, the sweet potato fries were probably my favorite thing on the menu
Lee Roy Selmons
4302 W Boy Scout Blvd
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
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
We decided to try Restaurant Hapa in Oldsmar for dinner tonight. It’s a small fine dining restaurant with only 11 tables. The windows are all covered with thick curtains and the decor is done in rich, dark colors giving it that intimate feel. When we walked in we also found that we were the only customers which made it even that much more intimate, though two other parties showed up while we were there.
While we were waiting for our entrees, the owner brought us some Irish soda bread.
Loren liked it more than I did. It had raisins and caraway seeds in it and was a bit too crunchy for my taste. Plus I got a few bites that were heavy with caraway seeds in it and I just didn’t like the flavor.
The entrees, however, totally made up for the bread. Loren order the Ahi tuna.
It was a nice, big piece of rare tuna served over a Wasabi Beurre Blanc sauce with sticky rice and some veggies. The tuna was cooked perfectly and the rice had a nice flavor.
I ordered one of the specials, the veal scallopini.
The photo doesn’t do it justice. It had 4 good size pieces of tender veal, over a mound of golden mashed potatoes. The Madeira wine and mushroom sauce was spectacular.
I asked about dessert and the first words out of the owner’s mouth were “Godiva Chocolate…”. Done. Bring it to me.
So, not only was it Godiva chocolate, it also had a raspberry whipped cream and raspberry sauce to go with it. It wasn’t really a cake, but more of a slightly frozen ganache, like you find in a truffle. I came really close to licking the plate when I was done. It was smooth and the cream and raspberry sauce were so yummy.
Overall, it was a very enjoyable dining experience. There were a few downsides, though. The air conditioning was up way too high. I was cold from the moment we walked in until we left. We sat at a table which was on the side next to the Italian restaurant next door and they were playing some really loud music. Luckily the Sade CD playing in Restaurant Hapa drowned it out for the most part, but you could still hear it. And finally, this was not an inexpensive dinner. We had a $25 Restaurant.com coupon and with tip, the dinner still ran us $60.
Was it worth it? Absolutely. The food was fantastic. The entrees were well executed and you could tell the chef took pride in what he was making.
3970 Tampa Road
Tonight seemed like a good night to head over to Ban Thai on McMullen Booth. I couldn’t believe we hadn’t been there yet this year. Seems like we were just there a few weeks ago, but the last time we were there was probably sometime in December.
We like Ban Thai. It’s a cozy little restaurant with a nice ambiance and decor. Even the wait staff is dressed in shimmering gold gowns.
Loren ordered his usual, ginger chicken
He said it was tasty. Fresh veggies and lots of ginger, but a mild flavor. He was happy. For me, it’s all about the sushi.
Ban Thai is the first place I ever tried sushi. I was completely against it, the thought of raw fish just didn’t seem right to me at the time. But the first roll I had was a Tampa roll, so it had fried fish in it. Now, here we are quite a few years later and whenever there’s sushi on the menu, I have to try it.
Tonight, I got another Tampa roll for old times sake, though they changed it from grouper to snapper. It had a nice crunch to it. Mexican rolls are still my favorite, so I had to get one of those. Fried shrimp and avacado just have such a wonderful flavor/texture combination together. I also tried an Arizona roll which was yellow tail and cucumber. It was ok, but the cucumber overwhelmed the tuna. And just for fun a couple of pieces of salmon. Loren got a spicy tuna garlic roll. He said it had waves of flavor to it. The tuna, the garlic, then a bit of heat at the end.
We didn’t see too much of our waiter, but since the entire waitstaff looks out for the tables, it wasn’t much of an issue. There was always someone checking to see if our drinks were full. Total for dinner was $45. Not too bad really for 4 maki rolls, 2 pieces of sushi, and an entree.
Ban Thai Restaurant
2519 McMullen Booth Road