Turning Japanese at Woomi Garden

Normally we go to Moby Dick on Triangle Lane for Japanese, and to Woomi Garden (2423 Hickerson) for Korean.  But while MD’s menu has a couple of Korean options (MD is actually owned/run by a Korean family), WG’s menu has as many Japanese items as MD’s, beyond the pages of Korean delicacies.  And this time, with Senior Me in tow, we found ourselves at Woomi but with a Japanese cuisine craving.

Woomi’s Japanese food is good, though I think not as good as their excellent Korean food, and not as good as the best of Moby Dick.  My tonkatsu (pork cutlets) were voluminous — portions at Woomi are generally large — but overcooked.  Senior Me liked his shrimp/veggie tempura assortment, and having tasted a few pieces, I agree it was good, though not as good as the Moby Dick version, which I think has a less greasy, more delicate tempura batter; the WG version was more impressive for its presentation, with the shrimp arranged standing on tails around a tower of fried bean, carrot, onion, squash, and sweet potato, like the shrimp were saying grace before diving in to their meatless feast.  Perhaps to their surprise (?), they were the first to go…

Mrs. Me got some sushi and seemed to like it well enough, but was nonplussed and eventually quite irritated by the nearly 30 minute delay between the arrival of the (main course) tempura and the arrival of her sushi, a wait interpolated about halfway through by my tonkatsu.  We think the kitchen staff were trying to teach her a lesson, in retaliation for her attempt to order the 8-piece sushi assortment on the condition that she be allowed to pick which types of sushi were included.  Sushi chefs like to be dictators, not dictatees.  I understand their perspective, although it’s not like Mrs. Me was trying to order tuna belly or other high-end pieces; she just wanted salmon and regular tuna and yellowtail but no shrimp or scallop or urchin, that kind of thing.  Anyway, it pays to be docile when ordering? Especially since the sushi chef has sharp knives and you probably don’t.  This is why, if you’re the adventurous type, ordering omakase is always a good idea at a sushi joint: it makes the sushi chef feel in control, like the universe is as it should be, and when the sushi chef is happy, you’ll likely be happy too.  The opposite is also true.

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