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So, after a particular grumpy evening of MMO failures, scanner_darkly suggested we go for a walk, possibly a bite to eat. I'd made Vietnamese spring rolls for tea, so we weren't terribly hungry. But we'd spotted a signboard on The Little Spot Cafe that afternoon claiming it served sushi between 5 - 9PM, which we thought was worth a shot. We sometimes stopped by the place for coffee in the morning, and they did serve takeout rice balls for breakfast that were tasty. Off we went, both vaguely grumpy, through a lovely spring night with just the right amount of quiet on the streets.

Little Spot has always had some of the most ad hoc furnishings I'd seen in cafes in the area. It feels snug. There are large and whacky soft toy monsters lurking on the shelves. On sushi night, blue curtains are hung over the door, and a little wooden sushi bar-style counter is set up over where I think the pastries are during the day. The couple who run the cafe have always been really nice. Our server (the lady of the shop) informed us the tuna was good that night, so we had some of that to start, along with unagi and ikura nigiri (my favourite). We were served green tea in cute yet simple porcelain mugs, as the shop's owner made our sushi behind the counter. I'd originally wanted a latte with my sushi, since it was still a cafe, but the green tea turned out to be a better choice. Less chance of me going squirrelly, and it stood a better chance of letting me sleep tonight. The owner/chef bantered with one of the customers in Japanese, a smartly-dressed gentleman in a stylish casual black suit and a well-oiled pompadour as he worked, which just made the whole atmosphere all the more homely. Our food also arrived in cute, simple little dishes -- the kind you'd expect in a well-stocked family home for daily use that was also nice enough to show the guests, all of which gave me plate envy -- and were just so carefully made. There wasn't a giant thing of rice under the fish. It was the diameter of a finger and very carefully seasoned. The nori was crisp enough, the fish fresh enough. Each bite of sushi was just so soothing and comforting, it even tasted carefully made. The pickled ginger, which I don't usually like to eat, seemed homemade. Even it if wasn't, it was definitely not the vinegary, food-coloured madness one usually gets. It was actually slightly sweet, like real ginger, with real gingery bite (like a good ginger ale). I kept picking at it, and once again, I don't usually like pickled ginger. The sushi was so tasty, I gave up wanting wasabi or even much soy sauce after a tiny bit on the first piece. The unagi was definitely the most memorable yum, even though the tuna was good. Just the right piquantness in the sauce. Or maybe it was exactly what I needed right then. Any place that manages to serve sushi that tastes exactly like what I need must be slightly magical. Again, it's not Michelin-rated food, but it's homely and lovely and good.

We realised after the first round of nigiri that we wanted more, so we ordered the scallop and salmon nigiri. Scallop was nice, salmon was rich and fatty but not utterly overpowering. By the time we paid, we both knew we were coming back again. It shall be our escape hatch, a truly neighbourhood phenomenon.

Actually makes me want to go back there for coffee and onigiri tomorrow, to think of it. There's no fancy Rodgers-style coffee thick enough to mainline caffeine for two with a single large, it's rich creamy coffee and that's it, but, y'know. It's nice. And they have baklava. Maybe I'll bring Feminism & Islam to finish. Rant at the husband over his bagel about the state of things. Make a lazy morning of it.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 17th, 2010 06:43 am (UTC)
I'm pretty sure the guy that made the sushi is the co-owner's brother, but I don't have anything backing it.

The owners are the woman and this big, super-cheerful white dude who I think are married. They took over for the arab couple that ran it when I worked at Bigstep with iamfourninjas years ago, and all they served then was little sandwiches... but I went there for the quiet.
Mar. 17th, 2010 07:21 am (UTC)
I think you may be right, though I don't have anything backing that theory either beyond a hunch. I'm sure I've seen the big, super-cheerful white dude you're talking about too. Knowing that the previous owners were Arab also explains the baklava. It seemed kind of random they'd have that, alongside the onigiri. Even Progressive Grounds doesn't have baklava.
Mar. 17th, 2010 05:49 pm (UTC)
I was going to say that the addiction of baklava makes the whole thing sound very, very random. lol!

It sounds like it was a lovely meal. Mmmm, sushi...
Mar. 17th, 2010 07:34 pm (UTC)
Being baklava, it looks awesome but tastes incredibly sweet. Like, mouth-puckering sweet. I do still get cravings for the shredded filo pastry type baklava though. I've heard there are Mediterranean delis in the area that are likely to import the stuff in, or make it locally, but I haven't wandered in that direction yet. Lovely meal, all in all!
Mar. 17th, 2010 03:37 pm (UTC)
Sounds lovely!!
Mar. 17th, 2010 07:32 pm (UTC)
Sushi was indeed lovely, but I then slept in this morning, so no rice balls. But I may still get coffee!
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )