Archive | May, 2011

District [Sushi] Geek – Episode 1

31 May PentagonSushi

I am a massive sushi lover.  As such, it’s my goal to go forth into the District in search of the tastiest sushi!  Today’s Episode is: Sushi Inside the Pentagon!

Disclaimer: Although I’m a food dork and love sushi, I grew up in a land where sushi was never fresh, and only in the past ten years have I begun to develop a palate. So please take my reviews with a few grains of salt!

I had the honour of dining at the Pentagon today, at what may be one of the hardest-to-access sushi stands in all of DC.  It was inside a simple buffet and market, and within the market two sushi chef stood at their meter-long counter, tirelessly making sushi.  Their menu contained many classics rolls such as the California and Vegetable, as well as typical Nigiri such as tuna, crab, and eel.  They also make party platters (for $60-100)!

I chose the seaweed salad, a staple on par with miso that I use to determine the baseline quality of their food.  I also decided on a “Five on Five Salmon” ($5.99) which was a roll with spicy salmon and cucumber with salmon on top.   A rather bland chili sauce topped the roll.  Then, of course I ordered the “Pentagon Roll” ($5.39).  It was a roll with Avocado, Cucumber, Shrimp and Crab.  Not even tempura anything… this roll just had those simple ingredients, sprinkled with sesame on top.  I thought to myself, maybe it’s a spy roll, hiding a secret taste (much like the building holds so many of the US’ secrets), though I recognized than the ingredients are very unoriginal for a signature roll (see: Shrimp Special, Deluxe California, Jordan’8, & Cal-Vada Maki for starters).

The seaweed salad was very typical, though perhaps with a bit less umami than I like.  Unfortunately, the salad was a vivid green, and one look at the sesame seeds confirmed that green dye was added to the salad to make it look so vibrant.  (Negative points for that.)  But the seaweed was crisp and refreshing, and other than the dye I had no complaint.  And at $2.99 for a serving, the price was completely worth it.

The sushi was presented pleasantly.  The ginger was a bit wilted and weak, and the wasabi was typical, with a nice, rough texture and medium heat (I could have some by itself and it was not hot, just spicy).  The rice was a bit rubbery, though not uncomfortably so, and it lacked a bit of the vinegar flavour that is typical of good sushi rice.  However, the rice was quite sticky and all of my rolls had their integrity intact throughout the entire meal.

The salmon 5 on 5 roll was very bland.  The fish itself had chewy bits and did not taste like the typical high-grade sushi fish that melts on one’s tongue (I had a second thought about maybe getting the tuna 5 on 5 instead!).  The spicy tuna inside was not hot at all, though there was a bit of flavour in the sauce.  And unfortunately the orange sauce on top was nothing but a decorative accent, with no definitive flavours that I could find.

Then came the Pentagon roll.  Avocado dominated.  With a bit of wasabi, I could imagine it being something better, but the shrimp was so thinly sliced I could not even taste it and the cucumber was very thinly sliced and not crispy (perhaps remnants, but not cucumber sticks!).   This unsuspecting roll did not live up to the grandeur of the building it was named after.  Yes, it was disappointing.  But somehow it was better than the 5 on 5.

All in all, I would give this un-named Pentagon Market Sushi Stand a 2 out of 5 stars.  It’s good for supermarket food, but even Whole Foods sushi is better than this was (review on Whole Foods sushi will be forthcoming! :).

There were also no sales of alcoholic beverages in the Pentagon, so I have no review of Japanese beer or sake for this episode :(

What’s your favourite sushi place?  Mine is California Rollin’, a hole-in the wall hideaway in Rochester, NY.  The thing is, it was where I had my full-on sushi baptism, so I’m not sure that it’s as good as I remember, now that I’m getting around the sushi scene.  Someday I shall return, and then it will be put to the real test! <3

Being Social: the Weekend of 05.27.11

26 May

Ah, Memorial Day.  The unofficial start to summer, and the transition from spring break tourists to summer vacation tourists.  I think the excited spring break ones are worse, but the summer ones are around for soooo long, clogging my metro and obscuring my backyard (the Iwo Jima Memorial).

As DC is the nation’s capital, there’s a ton of holiday celebrating going on including the Stars & Stripes & Spokes motorcycle fest going on the entire holiday weekend, and a ton of events that incorporate the Rolling Thunder motorcycle organization:

(via doctorbulldog)

May 27

9pmRolling Thunder (that’s a metric ton of bikers doing their biker respect thing) Candlelight Vigil at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial

May 28

10amRolling Thunder Wreathlaying Ceremony at the U.S. Navy Memorial
11am-3pmRolling Thunder Saluting Our Troops between the Reflecting Pool and the Korean War Memorial

May 29

NoonRolling Thunder will do their annual ride around the city, which is very loud and pretty powerful to watch.  See a Map of the Route!

also competing for the Noon slot is the Miss Stars & Stripes & Spokes bikini contest at RFK stadium.  There’s a second round at 2pm if you really want to see the rally, though!

6pmBoard Game night at Science Club!

8pm – PBS sponsors a FREE concert on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol.  Get there early for a seat near the stage and you might be on TV! (via about.com)

May 30th

11am – Wreathlaying at the Arlington Cemetery Tomb of the Unknowns

Also at 11 (although I’m assuming this based on Google, as the website doesn’t have the time ><) is Cafe Saint Ex’s Memorial Day Chili Cook Off

12pmPolicy’s Local Craft Beer and Crab Festival, which is the kick-off to Savor weekAllegedly there is an $18 entry fee, which includes all-you-can eat and cheap beer specials.

2pmMemorial Day Parade downtown on Constitution Avenue

Day of Many Sci-Fi Holidays

25 May

Happy…

  1. Geek Pride Day!
  2. Star Wars anniversary day
  3. Towel Day
  4. Wear the Lilac Day (Terry Pratchett)… omg I read Disc World in High School and I feel so old

Pick one and start partying! <3

Metro Opens…Shop?

23 May

...really? We'd wear this?

Oh, this has to be a joke.  The DC WMATA has renewed and re-opened their online gift shop which includes doozies such as this shirt boasting a laughable motto.
  • Safe? Not always.
  • Reliable?  Definitely not.
  • Effective?  When time to destination and cost aren’t an issue, sure they can have that one.
  • Mobile?  Really, WMATA?  You think that you need to state that a fleet of trains and busses are mobile?  They must be desperate.
I mean, I am a Metro commuter myself and I’m thankful I have rides to anywhere in the DC area.  I can’t handle the stress of driving the beltway, so the little stresses of the Metro system are quite acceptable to me.  But still.  That catchphrase is a pie- in-the-sky dream.  The gift shop really should have stuck to the basics, like travel coffee mugs (even though eating and drinking on WMATA is prohibited) or “writing instruments“, not putting a unfulfilled dream on a shirt or using the Metro logo to defile a Swiss watch.
Would you buy anything from here? Or is this just a good idea gone horribly wrong?

Being Social: the Weekend of 05.20.11

20 May

May 21

10am-7pm

The National Asian Heritage Festival – Fiesta Asia is a street fair celebrating all things Asia with food, vendors, music and demonstrations.  I’m sure there will be cosplay there, too, as there was a ton of cosplay at the Sakura Festival last month!

1130am-830pm

DC101 Chili Cook-Off 2011 at RFK Stadium.  If you can pony up the $35.00+ to get in, there will be tons of chili and bands (including Weezer and Papa Roach).

530pm-730pm

The Preakness is on Saturday!  I’m sure there are a few parties to choose from, but I only found one. If you know of any, please let me know!
DC Lottery’s Race 2 Riches Preakness Watch Party pick will be at the Redline in Penn Quarter (707 G St. NW). And for bonus party action, fancy hats mean cheap beer for you!  (I still need to get me a fancy hat @@)
And because some believe that the end of the world is Saturday at 6pm, there is a Rapture, why not party at Church and State from 9pm-2am and starting at 10pm there’s a $1 we-missed-the-Rapture party at 2213 14th St. NW (on the corner of 14th and Florida Ave.)
.
May 21-22
The 10th Annual Washington DC Dragon Boat Festival will be a massive dragon-fest at the Thompson Boat Center in Georgetown. Dragons are canceled due to high water :(
.
May 22
Noon-5pm
In my backyard, the Taste of Arlington will be going on outside the Ballston Mall.  It’s free to get in, but you have to pay for food and drink tickets to partake.
Tickets=8 for $25
Cost=where (1Ticket EQ Food AND 2Tickets EQ Drink) ; ok, very rusty at IDL programming

Kawaii Cubes

17 May

I found an epic video from Kotaku on a wicked Minecraft setup made by team Oz Workshop.  This thing is massive, and includes not just buildings but entire towns from Miyazaki’s Studio Ghibli films!  If you have not seen all the Studio Ghibli films, you really should.  Each one has its own oddities (read: some have crack as a key ingredient), but they also have charm and confer poignant lessons that can leave your soul satisfied.

I especially adore Laputa: Castle in the Sky, whose interior appears to be as creepy and massive as the movie was (might there be old freaky robots on that thing?).   Also, the interior of Howl’s Moving Castle is so perfect! I half want to see the fire talk to me! <3

Such a cute fire demon! (via and everything nice)

Plus, there’s a catbus and Totoro too! Squee!  Minecraft’s infinite potential shines through in this one.  Way to go, Oz Workshop!

Inheritance

13 May

I was with my family in Buffalo for Mother’s day weekend, and while there I was able to snag the Nintendo 64 that my sisters and I played during the last few years I was at home with them.

(via Wikipedia)

I decided it was safer to transport it home by carrying it onto the plane, so I checked my clothes and took the N64 with me through airport security.  I have had my share of bad dealings with the TSA, but the lines in Buffalo International Airport were short, and I had nothing negative to say about it.  On the positive side, when my precious cargo was sent through the x-ray machine, the guy that ran the machine stopped the N64 bin once it was through and leaned over to inspect it.  A massive grin broke out on his face.  “Nintendo 64!” he laughed.  “Old school!”

I proudly smiled and said, “Yep, my Inheritance!”

TSA X-ray guy nodded and sent the N64 bin through to me.  “Rock on,” he said.  I thanked him and wished him a nice day.

That likely was the best TSA experience for me in a long while, and there were no complications getting the console home.  Now I have my 8-bit NES and the N-64 at my house – yay!

Then, when I got home, I saw this on spaceghetto.st (VERY NSFW and Mature/R rated).  Gamer Picture Guy, you got me.  I don’t own all these systems yet. But I’ve played on most of them!  Partial credit?

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