Monday, December 24, 2012

Sexy Salad hits Port Arthur

Sexy Salad
I’d been chatting with chef Sandra Kiriacon a while before she brought up her Sexy Salad. She’d already had me at stir fry. She’s just in from Miami and cooking up all manner of goodness with ginger, lime leaves, turmeric and peppers. There’s rice flavored with green tea, son-in-law eggs and crispy tofu on a stick.
Where’s all this going on? Ichiban Japanese Hibachi Sushi Bar & Lounge has a new look, new management and what the sign calls a “new concept.” It looks beautiful in there and Fnu Larry, an owner, shared some of his ideas. They’re planning a name change because this Jefferson City restaurant is now also seasoning foods based on Korean, Indonesian, West Sumatra, Central Java and Indian cuisines. I had a taste and it puts me in mind of the restaurants I seek out in Houston. When you go to support this new business, get the staff talking because they are both experienced and friendly. They say they like it in Port Arthur and are ready to get very busy with diners. Once you have tasted Kiriacon’s cooking, you’ll want more. Now, about her Sexy Salad. I’ll just tease you as she teased me and reveal this much: avocado and crab.
If you want sushi, Mr. Asiadi is still on the job at 3437 Twin City Highway. Call (409) 200-2628 for more information.

All Access
With a Rolling Stones lips label on Forty Licks and Pink Floyd’s iconic prism on another bottle, Wines that Rock bills itself as the Official Wine of Rock N Roll. It’s the official super-fun issue of the season, with all-access V.I.P passes to cash in on the fanfare. I heard of this line while it was in development and it’s such a conversation starter. Make no mistake, Mendocino Wine Co. knows what it is doing. My friend who rarely ventures from her tried and true favorite white was sold on the cedar and vanilla notes of Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon. The Woodstock label lovers will be pleased to know about the sustainable farming, green power, eco-friendly packaging etc. Thank Mark Beaman for working to translate the vibe of the music into bottles of wine. Applause and encore. Surely you Grateful Dead fans could go for a glass of Steal Your Face.

Cranberries turn up in strangest places
I believe I heard a Thomas’ English Muffin reference on Saturday Night Live recently, but I’ll let you look that up yourself. The muffins are in the news because of a limited edition cranberry addition to the 150-calorie muffins. They also showed up in Thomas’ Cranberry Bagels (260 calories a serving). While I’ve been enjoying them toasted and with ham, I have a vision of making a leftover ham or turkey sandwich with these tart treats. I love the regular edition and I love, love the cranberries.

First of the harvest
I was among the first, relatively speaking, to taste the new vintage of 2012 with the Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau, the first wine of the harvest. You can, too. Makers tell us that
Each third Thursday of November, the Beaujolais Nouveau is released around the world. This $9.99 wine is a hostess gift that pairs with turkey and other holiday foods. While this is the 30th anniversary of Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau in America, they’ve kept up to date: A QR code on the back label lets your smart phone tell you more via an augmented reality label. What? I’m just concentrating on the berry notes. I found it light and refreshing and an option for those in the middle of the sweet or dry preference.

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