SEI

sei short ribs

Restaurant Week stop #2 was lunch at SEI, which is OYA’s far hipper and tastier younger sibling. This lunch was a bit impromptu, so we had to take a relatively late reservation (1:45). I was curious to see how this restaurant would do RW, since they mostly do ‘tapas’ style small plates. They call them “chichai sara,” which means “small plates” in Japanese. (When I saw that the first time I ate at SEI, I had a mind freeze and wondered whether it was a Spanish word!)

Their lunch prix fixe for $20.09 turned out to be pretty large dinner sized portions, and I came away from my lunch break with a food coma!

But first, to drink:

sei sodas

My friend ordered the ever fabulous liquid wasabi (unfiltered sake | lime juice | habaƱero & ginger infused simple syrup), which I hold is one of the most drinkable and inspired cocktails I’ve ever had. It actually doesn’t taste like wasabi (and in fact, has no wasabi IN it), but what it does have is a fiery kick from the habaƱero syrup used to flavor it. Best of all, it’s just a simple sake cocktail, making it not-so-strong. I actually went non-alcoholic for my RW lunch, as there was an abundance of great in-house specialty sodas to choose from. I picked the watermelon wasabi, which tasted like a fruity, non-alcoholic cousin to the liquid wasabi. Very spicy and excellent. My other friend also went non-alcoholic with a cucumber and ginger (?) soda. I don’t know if I’m remembering the second ingredient correctly, but I do recall the strong cucumber flavor that was new and refreshing. (LOL, guys in the back were staring at weird food blogger taking pictures of her soda).

On to the food!

sei wasabi guac

The wasabi guacamole with wonton crisps. Now this is what I call a good example of Asian fusion. X) Definitely not for wasabi-haters, as it does have that horseradishy flavor mixed right into the avocado. I like that it comes with the wonton crisps, which are much lighter and tastier than tortilla chips.

sei watermelon soup

My friend had the watermelon wasabi gazpacho for her appetizer. This seems to be a winning combination. Like my watermelon wasabi soda, it was zesty and fresh.

sei short ribs 2

I had the short ribs with miso demi and wasabi mashed potatoes for my main course. Wasabi mashed potatoes are hardly new (Tenh Pen has been serving them for years), but tasty nonetheless. The short ribs were tender and moist, though a little under seasoned for me. Miso is a pretty strong flavor generally, so I’m not sure what went wrong there. I did enjoy this dish however, and finished most of it.

sei meatball sandwich

Both of my friends had the Kobe meatball sandwich for their second course. It’s described on the website as having kimchee, roasted tomato, and gouda cheese. We all agreed that it was lacking in the kimchee flavor. I expected it to be spicy and pungent, but it had none of that. For that reason, I wouldn’t really call this sandwich very Asian inspired. However, it wasn’t bad for what it was, and it was certainly one hunk of a sandwich! The bread was crispy on the outside and soft on the inside – very lovely. The highlight of this course for me was the side dish: the shichimi fries. (Shichimi is a Japanese seven spice condiment). I couldn’t stop eating these fries, even though I was about to burst at the seams from food overdose.

sei bread pudding

All three of us got the same thing for dessert: orange miso bread pudding with soy caramel ice cream. Actually, the “soy caramel” is just the sauce, and the ice cream itself is plain vanilla. Ah…delicious. So warm and comforting. I was just sorry I was too full to finish it!

It seems the dinner menu for RW is quite similar to the lunch. I think it’s definitely a better deal to go at lunch time and save yourself $15. SEI is extending their RW to September 30! I might very well come back here to take advantage of that. (^O^)v

Oh, man, those cocktails (and that dessert) look amazing. The short ribs look really good, too.

 

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