The Eel and the Edamame

We’re headed to Vegas this weekend for a few days and will be celebrating my birthday at Joel Robuchon’s L’Atelier so tonight we headed out with our friends Dave and Jackie for a pre-celebration dinner at JJ’s, a local Japanese thai place in the area. Not too long ago, the restaurant started a “Taste and Enjoy” menu, which allows you to ordered unlimited items off a menu of selected items – which consists of probably 50% of their regular menu. Normally we don’t indulge in all-you-can-eat food ventures but we did it for Jackie’s birthday in July and I enjoyed the different sushi that I was able to try, that I wanted to go back for more.

Their “Taste and Enjoy” menu is here. We had:

Spring rolls
Fried oysters
Fried calamari
Thai mussels

Followed by soup (I had my favorite, curry pumpkin) followed by:

Tai Yao sashimi
Salmon pizza
Dragon rolls
Dynamite rolls
Spicy tuna rolls

I told our server (who served us last time and remembered us) to surprise us and bring us her favorite dish from the sushi menu; she then brought out beef tataki.

Then we had beef teriyaki, tamarind shrimp, spicy basil beef, beef in spicy peanut sauce and mango salad.

Then the guys asked what else were we having (seriously) so we flipped back to the menu and began all over again.

Jackie ordered more Thai mussels. I ordered edamame and more calamari. Somehow, another order for spicy tuna roll was placed. And then I told our server to bring out something that she really liked on the menu and that we wouldn’t likely ever order ourselves. “But,” I cautioned her, “don’t tell us what it is till after we eat it.”

That’s how we ended up eating eel. Except for Taylor who took one look at it and said “I’m not eating that.” And he didn’t.

But the best part? When they brought out the edamame they brought an empty bowl for the shells (because you don’t eat them) and it was Dave who pointed out the discard bowl. But he kept putting the shells on his plate. Halfway through the edamame he started to laugh. He explained that he was so confused as to why the edamame pods he kept picking up were empty. After the third empty one, he realized he was taking from the discard bowl. We laughed, and then laughed harder when the server came to collect our empty plates and I asked Dave if he was sure he didn’t want the bowl of empty edamame shells to take home. It was almost as funny as mistakenly eating the edamame shell and then trying to pretend you hadn’t. Oh those tricky edamame!

(and then our server brought out two slices of cheesecake because it was my “birthday”. I was mostly glad that I dislike cheese cake. Seriously.)

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