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July 31, 2007 / Tony

Dinner at Teaism

Our last dinner in D.C. was at Teaism.  My primary reason for choosing this restaurant was the fact that Rachel Ray had visited it on her show $40 a Day.  (Certain friends of mine are fans of her.)  It is a very small, very cute place.  It is decidedly Asian in feel and look.  Unfortunately, due to the heat of the day, we were not interested in consuming any tea and simply ordered food instead.  It is a counter service restaurant and the food comes out very fast.  I ordered the Seared Tuna Bento Box.  Here’s a picture:

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As you can see, the box included tuna, rice, broccoli, and a sweet potato salad.  The tuna was perfectly seared and had a wonderful meaty taste.  It was served at room temperature and was accompanied by something like a wasabi vinaigrette.  The vinaigrette was tasty but it was not easy to get enough of it to adhere to the tuna to make it practicable as a sauce.  The rice was well-cooked sushi style rice, by which I mean it was medium-grained, sticky, and had a rather nice bite to it.  It was topped by sesame seeds and some sort of fishy flavored flake.  I don’t know what it was but it worked rather well with the bland flavor of the rice.  The broccoli and the sweet potatoes seemed to share the same dressing of soy, sesame oil, and (I think) a little bit of peanut butter.  The dressing went great with the broccoli.  It was a perfect marriage of crisp, cold, fresh broccoli and the richness of the peanut sauce.  However, that same sauce was unable to complement the sweet potato salad in the same way.  The flavor of the sweet potato was actually overpowered the peanut sauce. 

I also ordered a very nice seaweed salad.  It was cold and had a sparkling, briny flavor.  As I think of most seaweed salads, it was like eating the essence of the sea. 

Overall, I enjoyed this meal.  However, there were things to nitpick.  Some of the brocolli (which included cut up pieces of the stem, which is not a problem) was so cold that it was virtually frozen.  The seaweed salad could have used a few garnishes to jazz it up a little bit.  Even a few sesame seeds would have helped both the presentation and the complexity of the dish.  The tuna could have been more aggressively seasoned.  And the wasabi was

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