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Sushi Dake – Burbank

I had a business trip to southern california and stayed in the Burbank area. This area isn’t necessarily a mecca for awesome food (unless you’re talking about In-N-Out Burger!). Before meeting up with a friend to hike in Griffith Park, I stopped at a random sushi spot for a quick bite. Except when I got there, it wasn’t opened yet. What am I, a thousand years old, getting there for the early bird special? I putzed around CVS for awhile, until they opened, then became the lone diner there. It’s a little spot in an extremely nondescript stripmall. I started with the cucumber sunomono because I love me some cucumbers, and wanted something zingy. I devoured this instantly.
I even got sushi this time! I ended up getting the udon sushi, which is udon along with 4 pieces of mystery sushi. You can’t pick what you get, so it’s pretty much sushi chef’s choice. I loved every piece. Aside from the obvious salmon and tuna, I had no idea what the other two pieces were. But one came with a dollop of sriracha and the other had a sesame/soy based sauce on top. They were all fresh and delicious. 
I pretty much always get udon when I can, and I also got it here. But this time, it was really a necessity as it was pretty damn cold in LA! I expected warmth and sun, but instead, I got cold and clouds. So the soup did a good job of filling my belly and warming me up. Since I was literally the only diner there, service was quite attentive. I enjoyed my meal and then had a lovely hike.
Sushi Dake on Urbanspoon

Taki – Niagara Falls

It was pretty cold in Niagara Falls, and when it gets cold, I want noodle soup. Yeah, I’m a little obsessed with udon. So I did a little research and found Taki. I didn’t have a car, so I walked. I wasn’t quite prepared for how long a walk it would be. And how unsavory some of the parts of town I’d have to walk through. In fact, walking through it was a bit depressing. But I digress… Eventually, I made it there. By golly, I made it there! And it was a good thing too because I was frickin starving. The place is dark and modern and seems to cater towards Japanese tourists. It actually is japanese-run and all the servers seem to speak japanese. This excited me. I had to wait a bit as they told me they had many groups already, and although there were many empty tables, they were a bit swamped. Apparently, due to the tour groups, you should really have a reservation. And for whatever reason, they weren’t letting anyone eat at the bar. Which was empty.  Eventually, I did get a table. 
The sunomono was the first thing to come out. And man, was I glad it did. I waited an awful long time for this. Everyone around me was getting food, and I mean everyone. But I just sat. And waited and waited. Finally, food! This was very good. But why did it take so long to come out? 
Then I waited some more. And waited and waited. And eventually again, my sushi came out. This was basically white salmon that was torched on one side. I’m sure there’s an official name for this, but I forgot to jot it down. So delicious! I mean, it would probably have been great without the torching, but man, there’s just something about that extra char bit that just makes it unbelievably delicious. I could eat all my sushi like this. Even though it was cold outside, with the extremely long walk and the coat I was wearing, I’d worked up quite a sweat. And the restaurant was also quite warm. So now, I wanted nothing to do with hot soup! 
So instead, I got zaru soba. You take the cold soba noodles and you dip them into the also cold sauce. Sounds strange, I know, but this is delicious. I have fond memories from my childhood in Korea where I would eat plates and plates of this. I would have loved it if they also provided some grated daikon with this, for the sauce, but hey, you can’t win em all. The food was excellent here. It was worth the walk. But I had to wait an unpleasantly long time for my food. They even noticed and apologized, luckily. When you’re in a tourist-driven town like this, it tends to be overrun with chain restaurants. So you have to look a little and you’ll find an awesome japanese place like this.
Taki Japanese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Fuji Mountain

Every time we passed Fuji Mountain M kept saying we needed to go there. It took us long enough, but we finally went for some sushi and japanese eats. Requisite garden salad with ginger dressing and miso soup.
Here is the tuna tataki, probably the dish that M wanted to get here. He’s nearly batsh!t crazy about seared tuna. Slices of seared tuna with ponzu sauce. I had to agree with him on this one, it was great!
Ceviche at a japanese restaurant? I wasn’t convinced, but M really wanted to try the mixed ceviche, Fuji Mountain’s japanese take on a raw seafood favorite. Also good!
Quite a respectful sushi regular from Fuji Mountain.
Would it surprise anyone that I got the tempura udon? Nope, this girl knows what she likes, and she sticks with her tried and true favorites. Also quite respectful here! There are a bazillion sushi and japanese joints in philly. It’s almost like you can’t walk a block without running into one. But I like the unexpected dishes here. And the expected ones are also good too! Service here is good. There’s also a private karaoke room upstairs!
Fuji Mountain on Urbanspoon

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