I wandered into Asanebo today because I was in the neighborhood, had 30 minutes to kill, didn't feel like trying Lala's (should I try it?), and had read good things here.
I mentioned to Koji San (name on sleeve...) that I had to be out the door in short order, but invited him to prepare whatever 3 or 4 dishes he'd recommend in what little time I had. Sort of a mini-omakase.
Koji obliged, delivering the following:
- house special salad with marinated mushrooms and frizzled potato shreds
- seafood cigar springroll with sweet onion salsa
- kampachi sashimi with jalapeno
- maitakke mushroom soup/tea served in a tiny tea pot, with gingko nut, shrimp, chicken, and a generous scoop of maitakkes, and a tiny wedge of "japanese citrus" to squeeze into the pot.
- halibut sashimi with meaty slices of fresh black truffle
I was out the door with about 30 seconds to spare, and have been on a cloud ever since. There must be something in that mushroom tea. It's somewhere between food and elixir - very heady stuff. When followed with the truffled sashimi, it was sublime.
In conclusion - Asanebo is really good. Less expectedly, if you hit the right place on the right day and put in for a mini-omakase, you can have a great micro dining experience. I know I did. Anyone ever try this mini-omakase trick before? It was almost like being on Iron Chef.