Monday, May 10, 2010

Inaho | Mother's Day

I arrived on Cape Cod to a cold and drizzly afternoon so my Mom and I headed to see a movie at the Cape Playhouse Cinema in Dennis.
We saw a documentary called Babies. I had never heard of it so I went in with no expectations, and an open mind.
It was incredibly captivating. I highly recommend. The Cape Cinema is also a treat, the painted ceilings in the theater are stunning. 
We exited to find the rain had passed and the sun was out. We headed to Corporation Beach in Dennis.

It was high tide on the other side of that jetty where we wanted to hike, so we drove over to Chapin Beach. Chapin was WINDY. To let you know just how much, I took this video.
My hair is gonna look great at dinner tonight!
I also documented the tide coming in and our huge shadows in the dunes. We headed home to freshen up for dinner at our all time favorite restaurant Inaho. Located in Yarmouthport center, my parents have been coming here for as long as I can remember. They introduced sushi to my sister and I when we were kids. Ok so we ate only California rolls, white rice, bento boxes, and miso soup for awhile, before branching out to sample tastes of raw tuna or octopus, but Japanese food as a whole was our favorite. Inaho served as our restaurant of choice for birthdays, graduations, anything that was deemed celebration worthy. Our family recognized Inaho as the best sushi on the Cape, easily. As we pulled up a stool at the sleek lacquered wood bar, we reminisced how they used to have a tiny 3 seat bar in the corner where waitresses poured their own sake and cocktails were essentially non existent.
Impressed at how Inaho has kept up with the demand and changing times (eating sushi at the bar is hip, yes) we sipped on some fabulous drinks. I had a Murai Nigori Unfiltered Cold Sake ($9)
I had been craving cold unfiltered sake ever since my friend DeMane served it to me at her place last month. I love it!
Mom had a cocktail crafted special for her with this new Asian sake liqueur called Ty-Ku.
The rim lined thick with the finest sugar crystals and the double lemon/lime garnish were exquisite touches on this Ty Ku martini. Shortly thereafter we were offered seats at the sushi bar. This couldn't have worked out any better - as the sushi bar is my Mom's favorite seat in the house.
We immediately ordered two carafes of hot sake. Hot sake must always accompanies our sushi. Like Mother, like daughter!
I also had to get a miso soup. It came steaming hot with the thickest chunks of tofu and long wide strips of seaweed. This is the perfect bowl, the one I compare to all others. As I sipped it I realized, others may come close, but no one will match Inaho's.
Being adventurous eaters, we ordered a salad we'd never tried before. Hijiki Salad - cooked hijiki seaweed, carrots and tofo. This strange looking salad was lightly bathed in a warm seaweed broth and topped with sesame seeds. The dressing as a simple broth served to highlight the mild flavors in the dish. What a visually stimulating presentation. I love how the bowl cradles the salad and the single piece of lettuce sits at the top adding a pop of color to the dark intimidating seaweed. 
Next out was the Vegetable Jalapeno Roll ($12). I consumed each larger-than-a-proper mouthful roll all in one bite. I chewed for a long time, rice and roe overflowing out of my stuffed mouth. The crispy tempura battered jalapeno and flaky fish drizzled in a sweet sauce was savored and worth every awkward mouthful.Maki roll #2 was the Orange Dragon ($16). Have you ever witnessed a more beautiful maki roll? Shake your head no. No, you haven't. You haven't tasted heaven until one of these immaculate bites graces your taste buds.
Please look at that glistening salmon.
Sushi doesn't get any better than that. Well proportioned chunks of fresh fish to avocado, in a roll so tightly adhered you can't tell where once rice kernel ends and the other begins.
The colorful pyramids of roe and tempura flakes piled atop the bright orange salmon not only look phenomenal but add complementary elements of taste and texture to the maki.
I will not apologize for taking 800 pictures of this roll. My picture taking (and my Mom's) sparked the couple who sat next to us interests from the get-go. We chatted with them on and off the entire evening. We learned Don and Joyce own a B&B on the beach in Falmouth called the Beach Breeze Inn. (Gosh, it looks adorable.) They were super friendly and expressed how they couldn't wait to see my sushi pics when they checked out the blog! I hope they are happy their picture made it up. Don was laughing so hard at himself (Why am I looking in the opposite direction?!) Somehow, we were laughing with them non-stop! Mom and I were on our second carafe of sake. Don was on his second pot of magic tea.
"What do they put in this green tea anyways?" ~ Don
Now the sushi chefs were chuckling at our antics; and those chefs never crack! They are serious and focused the whole night through. To make sushi as good as pictured, I don't doubt you have to be. It is truly an art.
I seem to have been distracted when our last plate was delivered.
How I've longed for a tender on the inside, sweet glazed crispy skin on the outside piece of eel.
Unagi is life changing. If there is anyone else who shares my love of unagi, please comment and let me know when we're going out for sushi. (Or justify my love of eating this creepy sea creature.)There was also Tuna and lots of fresh wasabi. Inaho's modern atmosphere isn't overdone. Tasteful Japanese lanterns hang in the wooden booths with woven mat seats. A deep red wall with a bamboo window separates the sushi bar area from the main dining room.The exterior is a charming white house with black shutters, surrounded by a zen garden with large stones placed throughout and marble benches lining the brick walkway.
And a red door.
It has been way too long since I've visited what still remains as one of my all time favorite sushi restaurants. It takes me back to the days of Dad's spicy tuna handrolls, Leah's "tails in the air" tempura shrimp, days of Bento Box chicken, fears of wasabi, and learning how to use chopsticks. Present day, I've really come to appreciate a perfect slice of raw fish or maki roll. Inaho does it best. All of it.
Happy Mothers Day, Mom!!


  1. ive had unagi with you before! granted, it was in a caterpillar roll. i'm not sure i'd be down for it as you have it pictured here though.

    btw, the maki rolls look AMAZING, i really want to go here now!

  2. I LOVE sushi! Looks like y'all had a great Mother's Day. I haven't heard of the Babies documentary, but now I am curious about it!

  3. i am so jealous!

    I gave you an award on my blog! Come claim it!

  4. I love unagi and any other eel roll on this planet. I've tried making my own sauce, but it was an epic fail. I've been to Inaho quite a few times and they NEVER disappoint.

    I'm drooling over your pics!

  5. Wow 1: I adore Japanese food - it all looks so delicious.
    Wow 2: The photos of the sky - incredible!
    Wow 3: Congratulations on your award!

  6. Lets go get SUSHI together! I am very daring and will pretty much eat everything. My friends also wont eat big slabs of raw fish or unagi and its depressing. Great pics and hilarious recap as always : )

  7. Thanks for stopping by my blog :)
    Your mother's day celebration looks absolutely amazing!

  8. Sounds like a fabulous day! Those sandwiches look delicious, and I love the Cape!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. You should definitely check out Cheese Tuesday at L'Espalier!

  9. looks mouth is watering! except for the unagi of course :)

  10. ew unagi. love don! his tea sure had magic in it! happy moms day to karen! :) another post with GREAT pics

  11. Looks like an awesome Mother's Day! Glad you had such a good time. Beautiful pics. =)

  12. I am finally catching up on the latest bloggins, I have not been to Inaho in wayy to long and am craving it. Tray and I went to Fins a few nights ago, it was good, but everything is always compared to Inaho. In your description of the outside of Inaho you forgot the red door!!