Friday, August 29, 2008

Ayame: Oh My! Omakase

Yes, I've been a blogger slacker. All I can say is: work got in the way.
But I have been enjoying some amazing raw fishies, and I'll catch you up on my excursions in several posts.

First off: I finally made it to Ayame, a tiny gem of a place in a newer Irvine retail center,
opened by the men behind Zipangu in Costa Mesa, one of my favorite places.
As different in decor and vibe as, well, A to Z. But the food is stellar at both.

You can read the full, formal review I wrote for work (including a bit of detail about Executive Chef Atsushi Yokoyama).

And read here about some small changes coming up on the regular menu.

But I thought I'd share photos of my first amazing visit, when I went purely for personal exploration and fell in love with Master Yokoyama's $75 omakase. Just look at what I got during this leisurely meal ...

It started with a lovely mixed greens salad with slices of snapper sashimi, tossed with a light vinaigrette:

After the salad came the lovely sashimi plate, shown at the top of the post, with toro, snapper and kanpachi, each slice pure buttery goodness.

Next, comfort food with a gourmet touch - chawanmushi, a soothing egg custard, cooked here with bites of eggplant, fois gras and abalone - decadent bliss:

The decadence continued with a lobster and cooked snapper plate:

Then, some perfectly roasted lamb chops served with wasabi sauce reduction, roasted turnips, and a sprinkling of special strong pepper that Master Yokoyama said was from Kyoto:

After that perfect bit of red meat, a lovely miso soup palate-cleanser, complete with amaebi shrimp head:

Just when I thought my meal was done, out came a perfect sushi sampler plate:

And there was DESSERT, too, a slice of cheesecake with fruit and a scoop of silky ice cream:

Ayame, 3923 Portola Parkway (Orchard Hills Village Center), Irvine, CA, 92602. (714) 544-2800

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1 comment:

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