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Hot Geisha Maki Roll at Miyako

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Having become a bit too happy at one bar's happy hour, I ended up missing another. My original destination HH was at Miyako, but in the process of celebrating National Margarita Day I completely lost track of time.

Which is in part how I came to eat and spend twice as much as I intended on a weekday night at Miyako. At 7:48pm, the restaurant was strangely quiet and all the discount menus had been swept away by the waitstaff, many of whom looked rather shell-shocked. Hats off to our tired server, who still managed to smile cheerfully and tell us all about the (full-priced) specialty rolls.

Although my timing snafu was annoying, it's hard to be too regretful as I'm still dreaming about my Hot Geisha Maki, which is probably not "authentic" but definitely very delicious.

Hot Geisha Maki is one of those things that sounds and looks somewhat suspect when you're completely sober, but becomes infinitely appealing when you're tipsy and craving all things creamy and fried. A basic smoked salmon roll is deep-fried, then covered in mussels, then baked with a caviar cream sauce. Obviously not the kind of sushi responsible for Japanese's low rates of heart disease.

I still adore Hot Geisha Maki, however, and should confess I order it frequently even when I'm not a bit blatto. Although the salmon is always a bit salty, the cream mussel topping cuts the sodium nicely and makes for an incredibly rich yet briny seafood concoction. I can never really parse out the specific taste of caviar, but I don't much care because I am usually too busy mixing the crunchy bits of fried seaweed into the sauce. Served warm, Hot Geisha Maki is also a pleasant contrast to chillier sashimi and, actually, Miyako's perpetual air-conditioning.

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