Ah, good intel. That was the first comment from you I’ve seen bordering on angry. I understand. When you are passionate about something and see it treated with dumb disregard it’s frustrating.
Yes, K&L is the place, for sure. They have a good selection, will order select bottles and their staff is well-trained. Unfortunately, we don’t live close enough to pop by on a regular basis. We’re always on the look out for a decent neighborhood fix. BevMo doesn’t come close to qualifying.
This is what I can tell you about John & Pete’s current Sake situation. They are listed as a retail source on World Sake’s website. Kerry-san and I also had an email convo about it. He personally selected the Sakes in J&P’s case and insisted on certain guidelines. The store has new owners - I don’t know timeline or if it means anything with regard to the Sake. But they were excited about the case, it was selling well and said Kerry-san, who is schooling them, insisted they try every Sake. This translated into excitement, not necessarily expertise. The one who seems to have studied the situation most was the tall, thin, older man named Chris, who I think has been there for years. Anyway, he wasn’t there Thursday and we went before your response (uni won’t wait ) - in other words I was lost and decided to wing it.
There is very little Uni/Sake pairing suggestions online. One Serious Eats food talker wrote this about Sake w/Caviar, Uni, and Salmon Roe - “Rich sakes can be an excellent foil for the saltiness of fish roe, but I actually prefer a dry style of sake with roe to emphasize the salinity. My favorite pick is Harushika’s “Cho-karakuchi” Junmai”… okay. I will seek out your recs of Taka Tokubetsu Junmai, Tedorigawa Ikki Na Onna Daiginjo and definitely the Dassai 23 - a little more pricey is fine every now and then. Curious? Were those the only bottles you saw worthwhile in the case or the only ones for my particular Uni needs?
To add to the mix, the San Clemente Uni seemed to me more delicate in flavor, less sweet, slightly briney, but more mineral.
Anyhoo, we selected these…
I wasn’t sure if Kinka would be good with Uni
and we kept it for another time. The softness of the Cherry Bouquet was nice, but sweeter than my plan for the meal. I preferred the Chrysanthemum Meadow - slight herby flavor and an almost dessert-like creaminess without too much sweet. But I don’t know if they paired well with anything.
My attempt at Uni Nigiri was half a disaster, so at this point I was drinking the Sake mostly for relaxation, flavor profile second.
I hear ya’. That vacay plan of indulging in food excursions and reading Sake books by a pool or beach wasn’t quite to be. My time at the beach was spent planning a beloved uncle’s funeral repast. Long story short, our Uni/Seafood/Sake evening was kinda’ rushed and somewhat hastily put together, no time for research and sourcing proper ingredients, accompaniments, blah-dy, blah. You probably didn’t see the report on my first stab at Oysters on the half shell. Let’s just say my shucking speed needs improvement.
Here they are…
I thought, “Well, how hard can it be to make a few halfway decent pieces of sushi at home? After all, Charlie Sheen & Daryl Hannah did it in Wall Street
, and I won’t even need their dumb Shari machine”. Okay, reality check, it will take quite some practice just to prepare the Shari correctly, and that’s even before cooking. Let’s not talk about the awful Nori… and also, Uni melts! Thankfully, I only committed a few pieces to this endeavor. We mostly ate it right from the tin.
I’ll probably just use it as a Ceviche topping next time.
Pan Roasted Weiser Farm’s Delicata Squash
These weren’t a planned accompaniment, but I had them, so why not? Not quite as nutty, buttery as Butternut, but very good and easy to peel. I think they went nicely with Sake.