Wednesday evening my family and I were invited to Takara Sushi in Tampa Palms. It's really close to our house, only about a 20 minute drive. I was excited to be able to bring the children to an event like this for a few reasons:
1) it allows them to practice their social skills and
2) it gives them the opportunity to try new and exciting foods
We were the first of our group to arrive and I immediately realized that Takara was located in the spot that used to be occupied by the former Pappas take-out Greek restaurant. We were warmly greeted by the owner of the restaurant, Eugenia. Eugenia later told me she had two children and loved that I was able to bring mine to the event.
We got settled, waited for the rest of our blogger friends to arrive, and then the food started coming out. Our menu consisted of:
White fish marinated in lime juice, tossed with celery, red pepper, red onion & cilantro
Avocado & Tofu Salad
Chopped tofu, avocado, cherry tomatoes tossed in a honey miso dressing
Lump crab over wilted spinach, topped with alfalfa sprouts, served with mustard aioli
Baked mussels with mayo, scallions, smelt roe & wasabi
Spicy Tuna Bowl
Spicy Tuna, avocado, mango, smelt roe & scallions tossed in a spicy sesame sauce, served over mixed greens
Shrimp, sauté with fennel, shallots & red pepper, tossed in a Sambuca red curry coconut milk with cayenne seasoning
Grilled with sweet sesame soy, served with asparagus and white rice
Korean barbecue short ribs with onions, carrots & green onions, served with white rice
Crab salad, avocado, cucumber & cream cheese, wrapped in soy paper & rice,
served panko style with eel sauce & yum yum sauce
Tuna or salmon, crab delight, asparagus, wrapped in cucumber, served with ponzu or vinaigrette sauce
Salmon Delight Roll
Spicy salmon, cucumber, avocado & scallion, rolled in rice & seaweed, topped with salmon, lemon slices & smelt roe
Yummy Sumo Roll
Tempura shrimp, crab mix, avocado, asparagus & cucumber, wrapped in seaweed & rice,
topped with tuna & salmon, served with eel sauce & spicy mayo
White Dragon Roll
Eel, crab, cream cheese & cucumber, rolled in seaweed & rice,
topped with escolar & avocado, served with spicy mayo, eel sauce & yum yum sauce
Tiger Eye Roll
Salmon, cream cheese, crab, asparagus, cucumber, smelt roe, scallion, shrimp, wrapped in seaweed & whitefish,
topped with spicy mayo, baked, served with eels sauce & spicy mayo
Torched Salmon Roll
Tempura shrimp, crab delight, avocado & cucumber, rolled in seaweed & rice,
topped with torched salmon, tempura jalapeno, served with eel sauce & spicy mayo.
Surf & Turf
Shrimp & crab salad, red onion & cucumber, rolled in seaweed & rice, topped with torched thinly sliced beef,
cilantro, smelt roe, scallion & tempura onion, served with house special sauce & cilantro aioli
Tempura grouper, avocado, red onion, cucumber, crab salad, rolled in seaweed & rice, topped with tuna,
served with tempura scallops & crab salad with eel sauce, yum yum sauce & sweet chili sauce.
Tempura Fried Ice-cream
Vanilla ice-cream wrapped in pound cake & a tempura batter served with chocolate, blackberry & raspberry sauces
Courtesy of Caroline Calcote
The starters came out one at a time, and were smaller, "taster" size servings. I had to heavily modify what I ate because of my 7 Food Rules, but I did sample everything (except the short ribs.) Takara provided me photos of the full-size items, and I'll share those with you here because they are beautiful and when you go, you'll be ordering the full-size items
First up was the Ceviche. I absolutely LOVE Ceviche. One of my favorite things to eat. And this was so tasty!! Then came the Avocado and Tofu Salad. I ate only the Avocado and it was super! Then came the crab cake. I only ate the sprouts off the top, and the spinach off the bottom, but James and the kids LOVED it!!
Our next 4 tasters were the Dynamite Mussels, Spicy Tuna Bowl, the Short Ribs and the Sambuca Shrimp.
I ate everything here except for the short ribs. It was all SO GOOD! Seriously. From this batch, the spicy tuna bowl was my favorite. It had just enough kick.
During the time that the adults were being served all this wonderful food, my kids got to pick from the kids menu. All three of my guys picked Shrimp Tempura. Haley chose rice as her side, and Ella and Ronin both chose fries.
All 3 ate every bite of their dinner, and then our wonderful server started bringing them out desserts to keep them happy and occupied
The first dessert they had was bananas tempura with vanilla ice cream and a raspberry dipping sauce. James and the kids ate it all. I didn't have one bite! Strong mama! Ronin really liked this dessert. It was all I could do to keep him from licking the plate. Seriously.
Then the kids started to get a little antsy, so James and I started taking turns with taking them out for walks along the shopping center. It was pouring rain too, so that made them even a little stir crazy. While James was out with the kids, our first main course arrived: Miso Seabass. It was DIVINE!!
And then came the Korean Short Ribs. I didn't eat mine, but James loved them!! So while he was eating his portion and mine, I took the kids for a walk!
And then the server brought the kids more dessert! This time they had Tempura Fried Ice Cream and Mochi Ice Cream! The kids again LOVED the tempura, but were sort of indifferent about the mochi.
And then, the SUSHI ARRIVED!! I couldn't get out of my seat to take a photo (I was trapped between two kids on a bench seat) so I'm borrowing this one from Caroline. We had 3 platters of sushi arrive just like this! It was amazing.
It was so good. I did my best to follow my 7 food rules, but I had to sample a little taste of everything. I did not have any soy sauce, and I did try to scrape off any sauces that were added to the top. The kids and James loved it all, too!!
This was more than dinner out. It was a dining EVENT!! The atmosphere, the company, the food, it was all top-notch.
And please, if you have kids, BRING THEM to Takara. They had a great, very affordable kids menu with 3 different Lo Mein type choices, and 3 different tempura choices. Each item under $7.00!!
I want you to experience Takara Sushi! They were generous enough to provide me with (2) $20 gift cards to give to 2 lucky readers of my blog, as well as provide our families meal on Wednesday night and give us the opportunity to come back again for another meal. They were very generous!
Please leave a comment indicating what item from this Spring Menu you'd most like to try, and that's it!! They do have a Facebook page where they post specials, etc, so it would probably be in your best interest to like them so that you can get the most bang for your gift card buck!
幸運と幸せな食事 Good luck and happy eating!
Disclosure: I used Google translate, so if my Japanese is not saying what it should say, I apologize.