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Lunch at Sushi Tenn/Dinner at 310 Lounge (longish)

NAspy | May 9, 200504:38 PM

I had lunch at Sushi Tenn a couple of Fridays ago. It's on Sawtelle Boulevard, next door to Hanoi Cafe. Sawtelle Boulevard seemed to be quite busy, and other restaurants were fairly bustling, but for the hour or so I was at Sushi Tenn, with the exception of me at the bar, there was one party of 5 at a table. Curious.

I think I ended up more or less ordering two lunches, which I polished off with a little effort. The server did warn me it would be a lot of food. I was very taken by a hamachi sashimi special, so I ordered that along with the sushi special ($12) which came with two small appetizers. I wanted to compare the sushi lunch special to Kiriko's. At different points in the lunch they also brought me a small salad with a very tasty vinaigrette, and miso soup, which was not particularly to my liking. I can't figure out which lunch I ordered also came with the soup and salad, since the sushi special listed the "two small appetizers" , which were excellent and unusual. One was a quail egg salad with tofu skin atop, and the other were some little dumpling type items stuffed with vegetables in a mild vegetable broth. Very tasty.

The hamachi special came first and it was excellent. Decent sized pieces of yellowtail drizzled with a creamy house dressing atop a frisee salad. Then I got my two small appetizers, then the sushi special which was tuna, shrimp, salmon, whitefish, scallop and a spicy tuna roll. All debate aside, I just don't like spicy tuna roll, and that was the only down side of the two meals I had. I have to say I was quite perplexed by the relative emptiness of the place. Service was very friendly and prompt.

Dinner at the 310 Lounge -- first, an observation that this place may not be long in business judging from the sparseness of activity. Our hyped up server checked on us every 7 minutes out of sheer lack of anybody else to wait on. Prices were high, compared to Violet down the street, which may be another factor in 310's lack of patronage. I had the oysters to start, they came with a horseradish dipping sauce and were good, but not exceptional. My main course was a filet mignon, done medium rare, which the server suggested be prepared butterflied and it was wonderful. Extremely flavorful, served atop mashed potatoes, also excellent. It came with spinach that tasted somewhat bitter. Partner was not feeling all too well, so had the asparagus and mushroom salad, which was good, but overpriced at $12, and the crab cake appetizer which were three silver dollar sized crabcakes that had a very good crabmeat to batter balance, very crabby, good dipping sauces.
Apple tart tatin for dessert was also very good.

But as I mentioned, too pricey -- 1 glass of wine (a good but slightly overripe Coppola syrah to go with the steak), 2 appetizers, 1 main, 1 small salad, 1 dessert, with tax and tip came to $120. We had 1 cocktail each at the bar which came to $16.50. For that amount of money, I'd rather go to JiRaffe, which has a more imaginative menu and a livelier atmoshpere.

The lounge act was nice, but something either needs to be stepped up or priced down or 310 will be history soon.

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