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Sunday, August 19, 2012

NAMI CUISINE


Update 11/4/2014 - drove by and noted CLOSED on their marquee.  Apparently out of business.

Last month I noticed the old "Uchi Cuisine" had a new sign indicating a new name "Nami Cuisine".  I noted it on my old review and determined to drop in when I had the opportunity to see if it was as good as I experienced the first couple of times we visited.

The teen was on the island to get a pre-college start hair cut with Sharla at Venus Nails and Spa...and I was needing to stop in and see Joni and Griff at Paragraphs on Padre Blvd to pick up a new book I'd ordered.  Since all of this was going on near lunch time, the teen asked if we could go to Nami Cuisine.  I looked askance, knowing he was not a fan of sushi or most anything involving rice.  He LOVES noodle bowls but I didn't particularly recall any of those on the menu (but I really hadn't looked so I couldn't say for sure).  I told him I would love to go there but I didn't want him to order up a bunch of food he would then eat one bite of and declare he didn't like it.  That happened in the past a lot...much less as he has matured...but still, not wanting to drag home a bunch of leftovers.  He promised he'd eat what he ordered...so, after all of our errands were complete, we stopped in.  This time, the sign said "same owner" so it was with less trepidation that I entered.  It was Saturday at noon and we were only one of two tables occupied so I was a bit leery.  However, our waitress greeted the teen by name and that lightened my mood.  Somehow, I always think if we are "known" we are likely to get better quality service...and hopefully good food!

I ordered iced tea and the teen ordered his usual hot tea.  After confirming that green tea was okay, he received a nice sized pot of lightly aromatic green tea.  My iced tea tasted fresh and delicious.  I was hot from running errands and can't imagine ordering hot tea...but he really loves it and drinks it like I drink coffee.  He's usually an Earl Grey fan (loose leaf preferably) so I wasn't sure he would like the green tea.  He did drink about 4 cups of it though, so I guess it was all good.

He was happy for me to point out a Japanese Udon Noodle bowl which our waitress (Kim, I think) described as filled with various vegetables and Udon noodles, with a couple of fried shrimp on the side.  That was okay with Ian so he ordered that.

I ordered from the lunch menu.  I requested the General Tsao's chicken with fried rice and the choice of crab soup (either miso or crab soup were the menu choices).  The waitress informed me they didn't have crab today, but had miso or chicken soup.  I asked for the chicken soup.  Unfortunately, it never came.  When our meal was served, my order was so huge (and I had been hot) so I never mentioned the oversight.
The rice was more than any person could eat, but the
General Tsao's Chicken was still a nice portion size...
and a small crispy egg roll was a nice addition to the
plate.  I would have liked to have seen the soup even though
it would have just been more food I couldn't eat...and I'm
used to some sort of sauce being served with an egg roll.
Small complaints...but I always contend excellence is
in the detail!

We both enjoyed our meals.  The teen is not much of a veggie person but polished off half of the huge bowl of broth and the vegetables that he liked as well as a big portion of the thick Udon noodles.  I couldn't eat half of the huge pile of food on my plate so we both ended up with to-go containers.  The General Tsao's was, as usual, fairly spicy.  Normally I love a spicy dish...but only two days ago I was sick and I think my esophagus was still a bit raw.  I ended up with spasms trying to eat at the restaurant and when I ate the leftovers for dinner last night.  Even the normal nightly Ranitidine didn't do the trick.  Whew!  The problem was me, not the food though.  It was very tasty and quite generous...either dish would have been sufficient for two people!
This bowl of Japanese Udon Noodle Soup could have easily
fed 2 to 3 people!  The bowl was huge and full of goodness.  The teen
really enjoyed the 3 big pieces of tempura shrimp on the side.

The lunch menu items were in the $9 range.  The teen's soup was $13 (from the dinner menu) and $2.50 for my iced tea... $2.95 for the hot tea.  A total of $29.71 with tax, before tip.  More than I like to pay for lunch, but with a second meal for both of us, I believe it's reasonable.

Since this is really one of two choices within 20 miles for oriental food, I still say it's an excellent choice.  I haven't eaten at Kohnami (the other choice) because my sister had a bad experience, quality-wise, there...and others have reported both good and bad.  I'll need to try to go there eventually so I can KNOW first-hand.

Our service was excellent and the food was good.  I'll be back...but probably not until the weather gets cold and I can deal with the heat!

Bon Appetit, Y'all!!!

SPI FLIP FLOP FOODIE RATING:
(With a scale of 0 to 5)

3 – Pretty Yummy - I feel my flip flops wanting to head back from time to time!
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