UBU Lounge

on

The beautiful Lauren and I :)
 Velvet at The Grand on 608 1st Street SW is now the super swanky, UBU Lounge which serves up Japanese fare in a style they are calling "Asian Avant-Garde" also known as experimental, innovative and modern. UBU is a great place for drinks and dancing at night located in the historic Theater which also houses Sociale Bar & Grille and Parker House Grill on 6th Avenue. A great girlfriend and I headed here for lunch after hearing a lot about their food. I was surprised to see the dining room COMPLETELY empty for lunch which might be due to the fact that there is no signage outside indicating the restaurant is even open and there is brown paper covering the windows that says "UBU LOUNGE"... It ultimately looks closed and I hope for their sake that they put a sandwich board out front and let people know what great food they serve so they do not suffer the same fate as Velvet. Here is what we noshed on in the cave-like darkness yesterday.. I almost needed a flashlight to see my food- good thing for flashes ;):
Green tea wasn't cheap running you around $3.95-4.50 a "pot" compared to most Japanese restaurants where green tea is around $0.50 per cup. They were out of all of the specialty green teas we asked for so we chose one of the two that was in stock at the time: the cherry green tea which had great floral tones. Very good but a tad on the pretentious side- they didn't have just a basic, run of the mill jasmine or green tea.
My initial hesitations from the tea episode were set aside when the thoughtful and beautiful food was placed in front of me. Lauren and I both chose the $18 lunch special which included an organic green salad with a miso vinaigrette as seen above. We really enjoyed this salad. The raspberries were so refreshing and I liked the crunch the nuts gave. Very impressive for a lunch combination!
Miso soup with assorted mushrooms and tofu. The chunks of tofu were HUGE in fact I had to cut them in half with my spoon... that is a great problem to have in my opinion- I hate when there is no tofu in my miso soup and I am digging around looking for a spec of white. Delicious!
OMG YUMMM! The lunch special includes four rolls of either spicy tuna, salmon or California and either a wasabi steak or Teriyaki chicken with vegetables and rice. I chose the spicy tuna rolls which definitely had a kick with the jalapeno sliced on top and the wasabi steak. The sushi was incredible with really fresh tasting ingredients and the rolls were nice and chilled how I like- nothing turns me off sushi like room temperature! Lauren LOVED the steak as did I- the sauce it was paired with was great. I would definitely order this again!!!
My only complaint is that we were still hungry after our lunch special- I could have had two more rolls perhaps to fill me up. We decided to split a dessert and it was super unique- the green tea parfait. This homemade dish featured raspberry ice cream on the bottom and green tea on the top with a red bean paste in a spring roll. Red bean paste is common in Asian cooking which sort of tastes like and has the texture of sweet refried beans- really delicious. Our favorite part was the fluffy sugar confection on the top- way too much fun to eat!
Thanks for the delicious lunch UBU- get the word out your open and take down that brown paper on your windows!!!

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