Tag Archives: sushi

Post-classes: Vacation Day Seven Part Two (Tampa: Columbia Restaurant, St. Petersburg Beach & Samurai Blue)

After the zoo, we headed to Ybor City for lunch at Columbia Restaurant. It was delicious! We decided to go with the tapas platter (3 to split) and order 2 desserts (key lime pie and bread pudding.)

here it is!

sign

front

Here’s the menu, it has so many pages! Sorry if they’re a bit hard to read. =/

menu

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First, we were greeted with warm Cuban bread and delicious butter.

warm bread

balcony

Above us was the balcony.

crab

peppers

shrimp

Our three tapas choices (above) were the Devil Crab Croquettes, Stuffed Poquillo Peppers and Shrimp Supreme (I believe? we were between the two shrimp choices.) All were good, but my favorite were the peppers. they were very cheesy and had chorizo inside. We just had water but the sangria pitchers looked great. We followed this with the key lime pie (super refreshing and great) and the bread pudding (which was very large, sweet, and flavorful without tasting too much like rum for my taste.)

pie

bread pudding

Then we went to St. Petersburg Beach. It was quite a drive, but not too far for a nice beach on a warm day. We passed the Don CeSar Beach Hotel and parked a ways away, then walked down to it and back. Such a pretty, big building! It looked like a lovely place to stay.

big!!!

beach

There were lots of shells and some were inhabited.

shells 12

aha

And of course, bread-hungry birds.

birdy

so many

Then we went back into Ybor City for dinner at Samurai Blue, which I would say might’ve been my favorite meal of the whole trip. If this place was around where I lived I would go here often. Everything here was delicious. The prices were also great especially considering the amount and quality of the food.

sign

menu

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It has an industrial, old-warehouse kind of feel with brick walls inside, but the interior is also quite modern and nicely done. They have a sushi bar, separate sushi menu, and full bar inside.

walls

tables

We got the calamari and blue crab rangoon hot starters and they were both great but the sauce on the crab was amazing.

starters

sushi bar

We also split the cucumber, seafood salad. I LOVED this salad and I am not a salad kind of girl.

cucumber salad

miso

For main dishes my parents split two sushi rolls and I had the amazing Tokyo Beef Short Ribs. The hibachi rice underneath was possibly the best fried rice I’ve ever had, and I love fried rice.

roll

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RIBS!

so so good

We walked around the square afterward.

theater

We discovered the Tampa Bay Brewing Company and I thought I’d just mention them and their beers.

brewing

I'd tap it

I hope you enjoyed! If you’re in the area and like Japanese food at all, DEFINITELY stop in Samurai Blue (either location is probably great.) I was very impressed and they were very friendly.

Post & photos by: Melissa


Lunch in West Seattle and the quest for macarons

My mom and I headed off to West Seattle so I could get my hair cut. I was very happy because I only do that about twice a year when my hair gets a bit thick and unmanageable. After that we decided to walk around a bit and stop in some shops, and we also had lunch. I really wanted to go to my favorite West Seattle bakery, Bakery Nouveau, but they were closed. It was the day after Christmas and they had given their employees the day off but I was heartbroken, until Trader Joe’s saved the day More on that after lunch.

We went to a place called Azuma Sushi and both ordered off the lunch menu.

AZUMA SUSHI

culture

It was very cute inside and although we didn’t order sushi per se, the sushi that the other people around us had looked great. Both our meals came with miso soup, though I saw no reason to photograph that. It was what you’d expect from sushi restaurant miso soup. Pretty good.

I got the chicken teriyaki lunch, though ordered it without the salad.

chicken teriyaki and rice

My mom ordered the chicken katsu bento & tempura bento box.

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Both our meals were good and not too filing, which is what I expect from a sushi shop lunch.

Anyway, all the bakeries we called were closed and I was disappointed to learn that no macaron-carrying bakeries around us seemed to be open, so we desperately decided to visit Trader Joe’s to pick up some almond flour in a desperate attempt to make our own. Not finding any almond flour, it was a happy coincidence that we stumbled upon some frozen French mazarons of the Trader Joe’s brand. My only complaint is that they were peppermint flavored, but I could never stay mad at that store. If you do a quick search you’ll find plenty of bloggers talking about them, but they were new to me. You put them out for half an hour to defrost and they are supposed to be ready to eat. For frozen macarons, of a flavor that’s not my favorite, I still really enjoyed them and would recommend them if you’ve got a TJ nearby and can’t get or make fresh ones. They’re very cute and I think they’d be great for a party. Keep in mind that they’re pretty tiny, but priced well as far as macarons go.

little macarons

so pepperminty and perfect

Post by: Melissa
Photos by: Melissa