Uni Shooters @ Arigato

If decadence itself could be served in a shot glass, the place to get it would be Arigato Sushi. Yes, the wait might be long, but—and this I will never understand—it’s nearly always shorter if you opt for seats at the bar, a fact which makes no sense to me, as eating sushi anywhere but the bar feels in some way wrong — like drinking wine out of a plastic cup. So much of the sushi experience is in the artistry of the preparation, after all — and, you know, chatting up the chefs, getting the inside scoop on what’s particularly awesome on any given day, and watching them wielding their knives and torches so deftly it seems as though they were extensions of their own hands, all to deliver you some perfect, beautiful bite of yum.

Or shot of yum. “The Gold Shot” — Santa Barbara uni topped with a quail egg — is a mouthful of silken, oceanic indulgence whose flavor hits you like a wallop to the face. Uni may not be for the squeamish (I’ve heard a coworker describe its consistency as “snotty” in the past), but those who are willing to go for the gold will be rewarded with a rich glug of unctuous umami that will spoil you for shots of any other kind. Or maybe not. It does pair awfully well with sake.


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