I post this as a great gift: sea urchins at Grand Central Oyster Bar for 1.95 each.
I had 2 today and they were somewhat funkier (but not bad funky) than Santa Barbara uni which had been my only experience outside uni sushi & uni sashimi until about year ago. Also the SB uni to which I had been accustomed were much bigger with larger, cleaner lobes. Was there discussion of this before? The GCOB uni, which I believe was from Maine (didn't actually ask but I have had similar so-identified over the past year) was smaller and the shell contained a watery-inky fluid that I could imagine using in a risotto for example but wasn't much for slurping. Also there were gut-like oddments that I thought should have been cleaned, but willing to be corrected on this point. Are the size, flavor, and--um--preparation?-- differences characteristic of the different coasts, or are they more idiosyncratic than that? I love the Russian uni at Yasuda; has anyone had found it in the shell, here in NYC or elsewhere?
Whatever, I think GCOB's is a great bargain and hope it continues through the season.
Btw I reconfirmed my understanding that one should ONLY eat raw at GCOB (and fried oysters) by ordering a special appetizer of roast oysters with chiles which turned out to be half a dozen tiny dried out oysters with a squirt bottle squiggle of hot sauce. Last time I got something I figured the kitchen couldn't screw up, all but the top of my bowl of mussels was raw.
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