315 Congress - Austin, Tx
Meal: Veggie Sushi($3), Veggie Tempura($3.50), Edamame($2) - Happy Hour: 6:00-6:45, Mon-Sat
The Happy Club reconvened this week at Kyoto Japanese Restaurant, a sushi bar down on Congress. For whatever reason, I get a kick out of places with a staircase entrance and actually reside on the second level of a building. Maybe I subconsciously feel better about the calories I'm about to consume...as if I count calories.
For half of us, this was our first time to experience sushi. I always steered away from sushi as a vegetarian, which need not be the case. Obviously, there was a much smaller selection on the Happy Hour menu for the 2 Veg-Heads at the table, but it was quite sufficient (Other than what we ordered, miso soup, seaweed salad, and one other thing I can't remember were also offered). The atmosphere was pleasant for dinner conversation and the meal was enjoyable, although the traditional low tables were not as comfortable for the very, old 20-somethings at the table. I recall going to a Japanese restaurant when I was younger where they had built drops below the table for those who cannot handle sitting Indian-style (I think as an Indian, I am still allowed to say this... I'm not sure what they are teaching kindergartners to say these days). Our server happened to be a friend, and he was patient with our inexperience.
While most of my other friends ordered out the wazoo, I split 2 sushi plates and edamame with my fellow vegetarian friend, which naturally left us feeling in need for a later small dinner. I did not care for the edamame. I was told it served the purpose of cleansing the palate in between different sushi plates. The veggie tempura struck me as far better than the other 2 dishes - batter fried sushi with carrot and green bean - but I did also enjoy the veggie sushi made with avocado, cucumber, gobo root, shitake, and kanpyo (As for the traditional sushi, I've asked my friends to leave comments with their impressions on the meal).
A friend ordered Fried Purple Potato to go. Purple potato tastes almost exactly the same as russet with perhaps a softer squash-like texture. My friend appeared to enjoy these, but I did fancy the fried purple potato.
For dessert, I snuck a bite of the red bean ice cream. I am not sure why anyone would eat this. It's incredibly dull. Why eat red bean ice cream encased in dough when I can easily drive to Mandola's or Central Market for gelato. Needless to say no one but our friend who'd lived in Japan previously was compelled to order anything off the dessert menu. We found ourselves not much later at Mozart's for dessert. Choices galore, but I was not ready to spend $6 on dessert just for myself. Everyone else shelled out the cash because, of course, the desserts are delicious.