Thursday, January 5, 2017

Takashi - Salt Lake City

I flew into Salt Lake City in November to visit my mother and made arrangements to meet my brother, Matt, and his wife, Carol, at Takashi, the no. 3 rated restaurant in Salt Lake on Trip Advisor. One of my friends had been there earlier in the year as guests of the owners - he was a friend of the parents of a player on Real Salt Lake who was engaged to the owners' daughter and visited with them. Matt had also been a number of times and said it was his favorite restaurant in Salt Lake. 
Takashi does not take reservations, at least for smaller parties, so we had to wait awhile and we had plenty of company. It is very popular. It was an eclectic group of visitors from the very young to the old and it was dark and very noisy. When we were finally seated it was difficult to hear each other as we talked at our table. 

I had some dishes I'd read about, Matt had some favorites and we picked a few other dishes that looked good. 

Carol wanted the green papaya salad that has a "piquant chili-lime dressing" and ground peanuts. It was similar to green papaya salads I've had at Thai restaurants and I would rate it as average. 
Green papaya salad
We had a vegetable tempura with dashi dipping sauce and green tea salt. The tempura included green beans, onion rings and sweet potato. It is very similar to vegetable tempura I've had in Japanese restaurants and I would rate it as average. 
Vegetable tempura
I'd read on-line that the sable fish was very good, so we ordered the sablefish marinated in a saikyo-miso and then baked. Sable fish is found in the North Pacific at very deep depths. It is mild with a flaky texture and a high fat content similar to that of wild salmon. Saikyo miso is a white miso with lots of rice malt and a little bit of a sweet taste. The piece of fish was small, but very flavorful. This was a fish I'd never eaten before and it had great flavor. This was above average.
Sable fish and Asian slaw
Closer view of the sable fish. 
I read a review about the ridiculously tender flank steak. Ours was not ridiculously tender, it had a little bit of chew to it, but the flavor was wonderful. But what really made the dish was the chimichurri sauce that came with it, very spicy, and the reason this is an above average dish and worth ordering.
Flank steak with green chimichurri sauce.
The shitake lamb shank came next - I figured we could not go wrong with lamb. It was the most moist and tender lamb I've ever eaten. It literally fell off the bone. It was not the most flavorful lamb I've had, I would have liked more of the strong lamby taste, but the tenderness alone made it worth ordering. 
Lamb shank
We had a series of sushi rolls and I may be mixing up the rolls, but here is where I think Takashi is average. I did not like any of them as well as the those I get in the typical sushi restaurant in California. The Takashi website has been down and I can't find the ingredients in the various rolls. 
The Takashi spider roll. I believe this may have a whole blue crab in it. A little unusual, but not a real taste winner.
The T&T, I believe. Rather unremarkable. 
Forrest Gump. The sauce in the middle was very, very hot, as hot as anything I've had with sushi, but that is about all that stood out. The flavor was not all that great and the sushi itself was bland. Finally, we shared a dessert with a brownie and ice cream which was pretty good. 
I enjoyed Takashi a lot. Some of the items on the menu were very creative and I love the concept of small shared plates. It is known as a sushi restaurant, but I felt that the better items were the non-sushi items. If I have a chance to go there again, and I would like to, I will probably explore the non-sushi part of the menu. And I may try the flank steak again because that spicy chimichurri sauce is really killer. 


  1. The presentation is beautiful. How were the prices compared to sushi restaurants we typically frequent?