Sunday, August 21, 2016

The Sanctuary: Elements and the Jade Bar

I took five ladies from Wichita to Scottsdale to stay at the Sanctuary.  We ate at Elements the restaurant there.  I've been hanging out at the Jade Bar--also playing golf.  I've got to say, New Port Grill in Wichita is still the most creative cocktail joint I've been to, but the Jade Bar is a great hangout.  If you get here, you need to try the roasted edamame.  I've had it for lunch every day and it matches their cocktails.  The Vieux Carre is wonderful.  The Old Fashioned is wonderful.  These are classics and match the edamame like you can't imagine. Just try it.  I've read and written while drinking and eating for three days in a row.  We are talking about a great venue and great bar. 

Elements is a great restaurant for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  I'd recommend sharing--the food is great, but much more than the normal human can consume comfortably.  The breakfast is great too and well done, but mucho lotso.  I could subsist on the appetizers.  The food quality is good.  Portions are large to enormous.  Quality is very fine.  If anything, I'd like more diversity in their style and types.  There is no lamb and no although some eclectic selections they don't go far enough.  It is a great restaurant.  Try the Jade Bar and have the roasted edamame and an old fashioned cocktail.     

Monday, July 4, 2016

Sushi Tour KC

Here's the dirt on the 2016 sushi tour.  This time we went to KC.  We were supposed to fly, but the weather was poop and supposed to be poop for the entire weekend.  We drove out on Saturday to KC and the Ambassador Hotel.  I wanted a Ritz-Carlton, but there aren't any in KC anymore.  The Ambassador is supposed to be the best in KC, and I think it might be.  Everyone greeted us with a smile.  The staff were all friendly.  The rooms were similar to the high end hotels I've stayed in Europe and Asia.  The Reserve restaurant is excellent.  They will give you a ride from the hotel to anywhere important in KC.  They say five miles, but they took us to the Plaza and back as well as the Art Museum and the WWI Museum.  The Ambassador is middle priced but top end for amenities.  It really is a boutique hotel.

The first step on the sushi tour was Mr. Le's.  This comes up as the number two sushi spot in KC.  I'd say it is the number one for quality and price.  It's a hole in the wall on Parvin.  The service was good, the location isn't for any special occasion, but the sushi makes the trip worthwhile.  We had spicy tuna hand rolls, the combination of nigiri and shashimi, and their yellow tail carpaccio.  Hot sake of course.  The shashimi was in large chunks, and the nigiri was very nice with a classical but nice flavor to the rice.  Everything was tip top fresh.  Try it--it is likely the best sushi in KC.

We went to the WWI Museum in KC.  History buffs you gotta visit.  It is supposed to be the only WWI museum in the USA.  Really good bargain and museum.

Next on the Sushi tour was Nara NeoJapanese downtown.  The Ambassador gave us a ride to the restaurant.  The atmosphere is modern and the feel is metropolitan.  We had their vegetable rolls,  special roll, some Nigiri, and spicy tuna hand rolls.  The service was good but a little busy.  I made reservations with open table.  I recommend reservations.  They were busy and others had to wait--we didn't.  Nara didn't really have anything special that the Neo kind of promised. The sushi was excellent and fresh.  hey handled our requests.  The sushi rice wasn't standard.   wouldn't call it number one, but it i definitely a hopping place and a fun restaurant.  No negatives and the prices were good.  They have Saporo on tap.

We went to the Art Museum the next day.  Highly recommended.

For lunch, I had open table reservations for Kona Grill.  This is a chain, but we found it an excellent restaurant during our Dallas tour.  It didn't disappoint.  They have perfect sake bombs with the big Kirins, light or regular.  We ate the yellow tail carpaccio and the tuna tower.  The yellow tail is one of their signature small plates--you gotta try it.  It is wonderful.  The tuna tower is excellent and slightly neutral.  Kona Grill is a perfect lunch venue.  The service was excellent.  No disappointment and very flavorful.  The sushi quality was excellent.

Dinner was at Drunken Fish. This is also a chain.  We walked from the Ambassador.  Drunken Fish is in the Power and Light District of KC.  I had Open Table reservations and we came late, but got right in.  I had the Teriyaki Beef with fried rice.  The fried rice was my request. At first they balked, but the server made the restaurant a "yes" experience by figuring out how to make it happen.  We also had a spicy tuna hand roll and a Drunken Fish roll.  They threw in another spicy tuna roll--impressive.  They also have Sake bombs, but more like Irish bombs.  We had the Saporo, also on tap, and the Nama cold sake.  The place was metro and upscale but not fancy.  Food quality was good and the sushi was great.  I'd go again.  The server made the experience very good.

All in all, we had a great sushi tour.  All the places we visited had great to excellent sushi. No complaints.

By the way, shopping at the Plaza was fun--lots of guy and gal places to check out.  Oh, I should mention, we had drinks with some friends at Reserve--they make a mean martini.