Walter Mencken 11 a.m., May 24
Chiba II: Japanese Cuisine in Tierrasanta
It was beer-thirty, and I was hungry. It was another one of those days when I preferred to dine out than wait in traffic and then cook at home. Besides, my husband and teenager were out of town, so it was just us girls. This time, we found another new-to-us Japanese restaurant in Tierrasanta.
Inside, one large table of ten college-age kids made the small restaurant seem louder and more crowded than it actually was. We got a little table in the back, against the wall by the kitchen. At one point during our meal, the people at the large table erupted with laughter, and my daughter said, “I think all the grown-ups are happy!”
As per usual, I ordered the ngiri combo ($10.95) and a small Kirin ($2.95) for myself.
The little one had a kids’ teriyaki chicken bowl ($3.50) and a small lemonade ($0.95).
With the exception of the salmon, which was buttery and delicious, my sushi lacked the flavor I’d hoped for. And the California roll was the kind where the crabmeat comes whole. Not my favorite. I ate it all, but no eye-rolling happiness here.
My daughter’s dish came with zucchini, which I had to pick out, and mushrooms, which she mistook for chicken, ate, gagged, swallowed, and then boasted proudly that she’d tried something new. I bribed her with lemonade to get her to eat the one piece of cauliflower in the dish. She ate it, liked it, and began to chant, “Try new stuff! Try new stuff!”
She’s still talking about that piece of cauliflower.