Crave, for when you want Americanized sushi
The Mini Me wanted hair gel and since I have neutropenia and was able to skip chemo I decided we should head to MOA for him to speak to some one at a salon and get the right type of hair gel. He had tried Crew and Axe and neither worked the way he wanted them to, so I thought it best to spend money on something that was going to do what he wanted: namely hold his hair in place like a half container of Aqua Net.
We went to Burberry after getting the Aveda gel for Mini Me to look at iPad Mini covers. Three hoods were in the back of the store having a Bob Marley convention and besides the marijuana stink making it hard for me to breath, Burberry didn’t have any plaid covers, only solid leather ones. Boring! When we passed Gold Elements I pointed out Adam, who sold me some face cream, telling me he was giving me an MOT discount, and lying to me by saying their product was made in Germany when it was actually manufactured in Israel. Next door to them was a new store, Sabon. They had salt-based scrubs, bath gels and oils. Hairless my scalp has some itchy areas and I always feel dry, so I convinced the boys that we should stop in Sabon. The products were made in Israel, so Mini Me and I said that they were probably affiliated with Gold Elements, which got a requisite groan from Jack.
After Sabon I asked the boys what restaurant seemed appealing. Jack said, “Crave, Tucci Benucch, Twin City Grill…” I responded with my rant about how Pea is the only one that likes Twin City Grill, and the Mini Me kept saying Crave. We meandered up to the third floor and checked in, spotting three seats together at the bar. The hostess asked if we had reservations, “No,” was the answer. “It will be five minutes,” we were told and Jack pointed to the bar. Mini Me said, “Let’s just wait for the table, it won’t be long.”
We were seated about eight minutes later, in the back, adjacent the kitchen. John came over and said, “Hi, I’m John, I’ll be your server.” He left and a few minutes later a woman came over and said, “Do you want to start out with…” What happened to John?! The boy ordered the Crave burger and a Coke, “Is Pepsi OK?” He paused and finally said, “Yes.” Lisa asked us if we would like to start our evening out with a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon? I always find it odd that wait staff assume you drink if you look over 21. I rarely drink and haven’t had a glass of red in over a decade because it gives me a migraine. Also, Crave is a Pepsi Co-based restaurant? Everyone knows Pepsi is disgusting and less expensive. I was going to have a soda, but life is just too short to drink swill like Pepsi, so I had water. After dropping off my son’s second-rate soda, Lisa asked us if we wanted to start out our meal with Calamari. No, but I let the boy order.
We proceeded to continue to discuss my neutropenia, the fact that Minnesota Oncology sucked up three-plus hours of our time and I didn’t even get chemo, and a sleep-over New Year’s Eve party Mini Me was at the night before. Lisa came back and we said we weren’t ready. By her third time coming back we ordered, mostly to get her out of our face so we could continue to talk. The burger came, and shortly after the Scallop Poppers, which, according to the menu, were baked scallops, salmon, and dynamite sauce. There were three of them. The sake was delicious, but we didn’t taste any scallops and there was no dynamite sauce.
Our main food order was Sake and Unagi Nigiri along with the Number 9 Roll and the Caterpillar Roll. Prior to ordering Lisa was trying to sell us on the Mexican Roll. I nodded and smiled, but was not interested. After her Escolar sales pitch she started to ramble about some other roll and she must have seen my rolled back eyes because she asked if we were interested and I said we knew what kind of sushi we liked and Escolar wasn’t included, she interrupted and I told her I had been ordering sushi for 30 years and we’d get back to her.
Jack, of course, could not remember Escolar, and I said it was a fatty fish and he didn’t really like it. Jack accepts whatever I say unequivocally because I am right 99% of the time, so I was spared from telling him how bad our diarrhea was after having Escolar at Fuji-Ya years ago, it is best he’s forgotten that.
Twice Lisa came over to tell us our sushi was running behind. Then the manager came over and told us our sushi was running behind. OK, got it, thanks for the redundancy. Our sushi platter arrived. Because we eat sushi several times per month, and we’ve been ordering it together for 18 years, I think when we look at menus, we don’t read as well as we should, for example, the Number 9 Roll is normally shrimp tempura, crab, and cucumber roll wrapped with salmon and avocado; whereas the Crave Number 9 Roll is shrimp tempura, salmon, avocado, sesame seeds, and sweet sauce. The Caterpillar Roll is usually unagi and cucumber sushi with an avocado wrapper; whereas the Crave Caterpillar Roll is spicy tuna, smelt roe, cucumber, mango, avocado, and sweet sauce.
Lisa never came back. My water was empty. We ate, even though the rolls were awful. They completely forget the sweet sauce on BOTH ROLLS and on our order of Unagi Nigiri. I started drinking my son’s water since I had nothing. The mango and cucumber on the outside of the Caterpillar rolls was hard and tasted bland. I have no idea how they got mango to taste like wallpaper, but they did, and no one came to ask how our sushi was and if we were pleased. Which we were not.
We were finished, except for several pieces of the roll sitting on the large plate and the manager came over, holding a menu out to our son and said, “I’m bringing you the desert menu, are you interested in desert?” Mini Me looked at me, then Jack, and replied to the manager, “No thank you.” The manager walked away. A few minutes later Lisa came back and took our plates and said, “Bob told me that he dropped off the desert menu but you weren’t interested, is that correct?” “Yes,” we all said hesitantly.
“Mr. Picky” said his burger was comme-ci, comme-ca, and he ordered it medium but it arrived well-done. He’s not that picky, in all honesty, he likes dive bar hamburgers, so for Crave to bullocks up his hamburger at their prices is ridiculous. Our bill for sub-par food was $66.66 (no kidding!) I have had it with Crave. The sheeple in the Twin Cities can continue to go there, but I am permanently vetoing them. I am sick and tired of always being disappointed.
Conceptually I understand wanting to make sushi more accessible to Americans, but if you put it on the menu that the sushi has sweet sauce then make damn sure it leaves the kitchen with sweet sauce!