Went to see Bodhisattva again last weekend. This time with two couples in tow, one pair of which had eaten there before. I took away essentially the same extremely positive impression as last time
of a meal that was shaped like a mountain moving upward in excellence as the dishes progress and peaking in the clouds somewhere around the sashimi, before declining as you work your way through the cooked food and emerge gorged back on planet earth. I also took away the strong sense that Mr. Sugiyama has a somewhat curtailed repertoire. You go there knowing that you will get dish x followed by y followed by z and that x will be only slightly different from what you had there 2 weeks ago. And I came away wanting to very much go back, but not for about 6-8 weeks in the knowledge that the items will have taken on a more radical turn than last visit and that I will be startled once more.
The procession was as follows:
Opener was the usual monkfish liver in salty broth that seems to be some combo of ponzu and soy sauce. Good but not remarkable on second try. Other bowl in the opening round was lotus roots in some clear liquid that is still a textual revelation for my Western palate. Start with strangely slimy texture, followed by crunch and then some kind of exploding green freshness sensation that's pretty hard to describe except for the word "wow."
Second comes the zensai. All around good, but not startling. Shrimp was actual not interesting at all this time and tasted slightly frozen/old.
Third and fourth in order I forgot, but they were again the peak of the meal-smoky soup transportation to Asian cities at midnight and a broth I could wake up to and imbibe daily followed by sashimi that one person I was with described as like amazingly fresh fruit, kind of "um, so this is what Sashimi should taste like" sensation. I don't think he imports the fish from Japan, its rather sacrilegiously from Nirvana.
Fifth sauté-it-yourself Kobe beef with mushrooms as before, though this time instead of a stone we got a bowl/skillet like object that mildly resembled a Zhou period ritual vessel and you get to use butter. Unlike last time, this time the kobe beef was remarkable. Tender and fatty and well just what beef should be read and soft and beefy.
Now start descending to earth since more cooked stuff is on the way.
Deep fried soft shell crabs were good but nothing special.
And last, you are seriously stuffed now, miso soup, rice in leaf and the usual assortment of strange sour Japanese pickles.
So I must say that there are only so many times a year you can go rock climbing, and I have had my fill for a few weeks. Come September when the seasons have rounded a bit more and the thermometer has wilted, I am heading back to visit the Boddhisatva to see what's new and fresh, but for a few weeks I need to let my eyes heal from the blinding.