Friday, July 13, 2018

Love Corn

Crunchy snack foods?  If you read my blog, you how I feel about these things.  Snacky-snacks!  Yes!
"Nice to meet you.  We are LOVE CORN the first Premium Roasted Corn brand. 
Our mission is to make our customers smile and make roasted corn your favorite snack, one kernel at a time. 
We tick all the boxes- good fiber, vegan, gluten & sugar free!"
Uh, ok.  That's quite the mission, making roasted corn my favorite snack?  Not really possible, given my love of popcorn.  But I'll play along.

I don't know much about LOVE CORN, besides their interesting marketing approach.  And they make basically corn nuts, in a variety of flavors.
Packaging.
"LOVE CORN's delicious, crunchy roasted corn kernels are packed with flavor, have the perfect crunch and fun, iconic packaging is loved by adults and kids."

The products all come in individual packages.  I can't really say it was "fun, iconic packaging" that I "loved" though.

Unfortunately, I didn't care for their style of corn nut.
Sea Salt.
"You look like you enjoy the simple things in life. Well, we’ve just decked ourselves out in the most delicious sea salt and we’re feeling classically cool and a bit James Dean. Let’s be honest, sometimes less is more."

I started basic: sea salt.

It was ... basic?  A bit salty, yes, crunchy, but small kernels, and not really the style of corn nuts I prefer, it always seems over roasted.
Habanero Chili.
"Where we come from, we like it hot – the sunshine and the food. We love roasting in the best habanero spices, it gets us all hot and bothered. Forgive us for our spicy ways."

Next up I went for the most interesting sounding: habanero chili.

It ... wasn't really that spicy, nor interesting.  The same base salted small kernel corn, a bit too roasted for me, with a spicing I didn't really care for.  Meh.
Smoked BBQ.
"Y’all ready for some BBQ goodness?  Smothered in smokin’ hickory, it’s all done nice and slow… you just don’t rush into something this good. Y’all better be kickin’ off those boots and stayin’ awhile."
And last, bbq.

These were my favorite, as they actually had some flavor to them, but the corn style was still not one I prefer.
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Thursday, July 12, 2018

my/mo mochi

I like desserts.  I like frozen desserts.  I like ice cream.  I like mochi.  I like mochi ice cream.  I was excited to try mochi ice cream from my/mo.
"Pinch it. Poke it. Squeeze it. Stack ‘em. Roll one to a friend. Sink your teeth in. Wipe the powder from your lips. Feel the sensation changing with every bite. It’s sweet and cool and gooey and great. It’s creamy meets chewy, silky meets soft, delightful meets delectable. It’s a riddle only a tongue can unravel. It’s luscious ice cream wrapped up inside deliciously squishy mochi dough. It’s My/Mo."
my/mo makes basically one product: mochi ice cream.  They offer a slew of flavors, including vegan options.  They are all gluten-free.

But ... I didn't like my/mo mochi ice cream.

To be fair, the ice cream was decent, but one essential element, the mochi, just, wasn't.
Boxes.
The mochi ice cream comes in boxes of 6.
Green Tea Mochi Tray.
Inside each box is a tray of mochi, not individually wrapped, so, once you open the box, you should eat them all or they'll dry out.
Green Tea Mochi.
"Green Tea My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream is an invitation to exotic. Velvety green tea ice cream inside wrapped in masterfully crafted mochi dough."

I started with the green tea mochi, as it is my top choice of flavor they make.

I took one bite and withdrew.  Uh, what?  The texture of the mochi wrapper was quite unlike any mochi I've had before, and, not in a good way.
Green Tea Mochi: Inside.
It was ... grainy.  Mealy.  Icy.  Awful.

The green tea ice cream inside was ok, good green tea flavor actually, but wow, that mochi was just horrible.

We all removed it, and just ate the ice cream center.  The green tea ice cream was enjoyable.
Ripe Strawberry.
"Made with real fruit, and bursting with sweet bits of strawberry love. Premium strawberry ice cream is wrapped in a pillowy layer of chewy mochi dough."

I don't like strawberry ice cream in general, but, thinking that perhaps the other box had just been ruined, I tried the strawberry when a friend offered.

It was exactly the same.  Super strange grainy wrapper.  Horrible.  The ice cream inside was nicely creamy, and fairly generic strawberry flavored, so not my thing.
Vanilla Bean.
"Vanilla Bean My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream is made using real vanilla beans, creating a new kind of yum in a snack. Classic, premium vanilla ice cream surrounded by melt-in-your-mouth mochi dough. My/Mo vanilla bean – it’s not for the vanilla at heart."

The first two varieties we tried came from a single trip to Whole Foods.  Still thinking that perhaps something had just gone wrong at Whole Foods in their freezers, or maybe in my own when we stored them at home, I tried another flavor, just simple vanilla, when a friend had it at their house.

And it was different this time.  The mochi was not all icy and grainy.  But instead it was just strangely soft and gummy.  Differently bad.  But still bad.

The vanilla bean ice cream inside was fine, with specs of vanilla bean, but just fairly generic vanilla ice cream.
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Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Upper Class on Virgin Atlantic, SFO-LHR

Flight Details: VS 42, SFO-LHR, 9:10pm departure.

This was my first time flying with Virgin Atlantic.

My journey started in the Clubhouse, where I had a lovely meal, and then we proceeded to the gate.  As I noted, the Clubhouse is landslide, so we had to leave the lounge with ample time to deal with security, which turned out to be frustratingly slow, even though we had Priority.  We wound up with no extra time on the other side, and boarded immediately.
Upper Class Cabin.
This was also my first time, finally, on a Dreamliner!  I was impressed with how spacious the cabin was, the ceiling so high, even though I've been on many huge aircraft before.

Amenities

Amenity Kit.
Boarding was relatively quick and easy.  Waiting at my seat was an amenity kit, with standard crappy earplugs and eye mask, pen, toothbrush and paste, socks, and some lotions.  As I settled in, pre-takeoff drinks were offered (orange juice, sparkling, water).  The seat had a little tray that pulled out for drinks, very convenient.

Soon after, I was offered a “sleeping suit”, pants and long sleeve shirt.  The long sleeve shirt was a pretty standard t-shirt, cotton, slight v-neck.  The pants were … interesting.  Drawstring waist, pocked on one side only, and, uh, drawstrings at the ankles.  Mine ended up being way too short, but I imagine that actually being kinda nice, so your pant legs don’t ride up?
Bathroom.
The bathroom was fairly standard, nothing was particularly interesting about it.  It wasn’t strangely large, it had the basics and nothing more.  Paper towels were paper, not cloth.
Bar.
One flagship feature of the Virgin Atlantic Upper Class brand is the bar.  Yes, they devote a fair amount of floor space to a bar, where you can wander up and order a drink or grab a snack, or just socialize with other guests.  It has bar stools.

I was amused when I looked up and saw that a few people choose to actually have their dinners there.  I mean, why not?  It was likely more comfortable than our seats, and then you had no risk of making a mess at your seat.  Hmm.  Next time.

At some point, very late in the night as they weren’t there the first few times I checked, a snack basket and fruit basket appeared.  Fruit was apples, pears, bananas, grapes, and a few other things.

Snacks included assorted chocolate bars, crisps, caramel corn, shortbread biscuits, granola bars, olives, and assorted lollies.  No nuts.

The Seat

Seat 7A.
The cabin layout is ridiculously spacious, single seats along the windows, with a single row down the center.  All seats thus have aisle access and feel extremely private.  I was in seat 7A, on the even more private side of the cabin, since the middle row faced away from me, so the wall that was the back of their seats is all that I could see.

The seat was a little narrow, not a problem for me while sitting, but I could imagine it feeling claustrophobic if I were bigger.  

USB and regular power ports were available, the seat had a little cubby for water/glasses/whatever, a slot of magazines, and general nice touches around.  The lighting however was awful.  Maybe I just didn’t find another lighting control, but the single light above really failed to illuminate.

At the foot of the seat is an ottoman, and we were allowed to stow bags under it, a fact I appreciated.  Overhead storage bins were huge and spacious.  Seriously, we could have brought all our bags on board if allowed!

The ottoman doubled as a seat for a dining companion, if you wanted to do that.

For dining, a large tray table pulled out, and it slid forward and back far enough that you could push it back to get in and out of your seat while it was still down. One point for that.

The seat wasn’t particularly comfortable to eat at.  Sitting upright at a a table was bit awkward.  I wondered if it would actually be better to sit on the ottoman.

It also wasn’t particularly comfortable for lounging, as it didn’t really recline nicely.

For sleep … also not great.  It did convert to a fully flat bed, like those on Air New Zealand (which I've reviewed many different times).  As a bed, it was sturdy, but, it was really, really hard.  And still very narrow.  On the plus side, the little tray for drinks doubled as a perfect bedside table for my glasses, and the other cubbies were all within reach.  Water bottles were provided.

For bedding, we had a very thin mattress pad, a blanket, and a single pillow.  As always I asked for extra, and was able to get a very small thin extra pillow.

Overall, having pajamas, a full blanket, a big pillow, and a real bed in business class is obviously great, but this wasn’t the most comfortable.
Entertainment Center.
The entertainment center featured movies, music, tv, games, and more.  It was easy to use and I had no problems navigating it or interacting with it, which, I can’t say is normal.

Next to that you can see my drink table, very handy throughout the flight.

There was wifi on the plane, at least, there was supposed to be.  And, i could connect to the access point.  I was never able to login however, as I got an error page every single time I tried.  I’m not sure if it was the fault of some corporate setting on my laptop blocking everything.
Fancy Windows.
Another feature of the Dreamliner is the fancy windows.  Rather than shades you lower and raise, they dim.

The Drinks

Drink?

The menu is two sided.  From one side, it opens up to show the drink menu, cutely labelled “Drink?”.

For wine options, there is a single sparkling, 3 red, and 3 white.  As in the Clubhouse, I was drawn to the cocktail menu, although all the cocktails were quite fruity.  They even had a non-alcoholic mango/lime/lemonade/cranberry selection.  There were also standard bar selections, soft drinks, juices, tea, and coffee.

Our drink order was quickly taken once underway (oh, pre-takeoff we were offered water, orange juice, and sparkling, as standard.
Creole Sour Smash, Sparkling Water.
“Made with Gentleman Jack, a taste of Tennessee meets the tropics in this sour blend.”

I was pretty surprised by how sweet and fruity this was.  I guess it did say “meets the tropics”, but, this was really just fruit juice, mango I think, mixed with some alcohol that was way too strong.  I just really didn’t like it at all.  I kept accidentally trying to drink out of the pretty purple swizzle stick.

The sparkling water was fine.  We were also provided water bottle in a little cubby in the seat.
2013 Cotes de Beaune Villages, Domaine Joseph Drouin, Burgundy, France.
“Light in color but certainly not in flavor, this Pinot Noir is crafted by family owned house of Joseph Drouin from sixteen different vineyard sites around the city of Beaune.  Delicate violet-like red fruits combine with a wonderful harmony of flavors on the palate.  An all time food favorite.”

Since I hated the cocktail, I moved on to wine, and asked for a small pour.  It was fine, inoffensive red wine, not too tannic, very drinkable.

The Food

Dinner

Hello you.
Flipping the menu over to the “Hello you” side I found the food menu.

Since I ate a full meal in the lounge, I didn’t want a second full dinner, but, I knew I’d get puckish before breakfast.  I opted for just a starter and dessert, since I skipped dessert in the lounge.

Options for starters were a soup, a salad, and a timbale.  “What’s a timbale?”, my companion asked.  I laughed, as the only place I ever see these is on flights.  A selection of 3 warm breads was offered next.

Had I wanted a main, choice were beef fillet, chicken, vegetarian ravioli, or a salmon salad.

I had my eyes on dessert, er, pudding, of course, and both options sounded good, a complete contrast to the lounge.  I had him order me the second one.

Finally, a selection of cheeses, that all did sound pretty good, but, I skipped.
Seasoned Chips.
After drink orders were taken, we were offered hot, scented towels.

Alongside our drinks, some “crisps” were offered.  They were seasoned, I think sour cream and onion.  I really enjoyed them, flavorful, and nice and crispy.
Table Setting.
After a short lull, a FA came through to prepare our tables, setting them with a tablecloth.  Soon after, a trolly came down the aisle offering additional beverages and hot rolls.  At this time, my table was set with silverware and little airplane salt and pepper shakers.  Our side was served last.
Starter: Crab Timbale.
“Timbale of crab with soba seaweed noodles and caviar - a light and indulgent treat”.

Starters were delivered one by one as they were ready.

Presentation-wise, this was lovely.  A tower of crab, topped with a little seaweed salad, and the tiniest little mound of soba noodles.  On the side was a couple pieces of frisee, a tiny bit more seaweed, and a tiny bit more soba, along with two little piles of bright green “caviar”.  The base of the timbale was a yellow pickled daikon.

The seaweed salad was good.  The soba was fine.  I liked the crunchy daikon.  But … the crab was fishy and I didn’t like it at all.  Good thing I wasn’t really hungry.
Main: Four Cheese Ravioli.
“Fresh pasta pockets packed with a four cheese filling and sautéed spinach, topped with a roasted tomato sauce and shavings of Italian cheese.”

My companion ordered the ravioli, and I of course got the first bite.  He offered!

It was … fine.  The pasta was a bit al dente in the “baked too long in the oven” sort of way, and it was kinda slimy.  Not awful, but, clearly not freshly cooked pasta.  The spinach was a mound on top, actually pretty good, nice flavorful, tender spinach.  It was all coated in the light red roasted tomato sauce, a kinda salty tomato sauce, with a slightly roasted flavor I guess.  The cheese on top was good.

Overall, fine, but, I didn’t feel like I missed out.
Pudding: Cherry Cheesecake.
“Luxurious, decadent cheesecake with a lovely cherry tang.  New York style cheesecake at it’s best”.

I ordered my dessert back when I ordered the starter an drinks.  As others around me finished their entrees, I assumed my dessert would come.  I watched tables get cleared, and person after person get dessert or cheese.  No dessert was coming my way.  My companion had also ordered dessert when main orders were taken, and after his tray was cleared, he was asked if he wanted dessert.  He repeated his order of the cheesecake.  Moments later, it was delivered.  I interrupted, asking for the sticky toffy pudding.  Around me, everyone else got dessert.  Still none for me.

Luckily, he ordered the cheesecake for me anyway, since I wanted both desserts.  He took one bite, and handed it over.
Cherry Cheesecake: Side View.
It was not quite what I expected, I think I thought the cherry component would be 1) red and 2) perhaps on top.  Instead, the cherry bits were actually located throughout the cheesecake and were mostly yellow cherries, although the cheesecake had a pink hue, which may have also been cherry?  There was subtle cherry flavor throughout.  The cherries were kinda mushy.

It had a somewhat strange consistency, not bad exactly, but not thick and luxurious.  The base wasn’t a graham cracker crust, instead it was a thin layer of sponge, I think lemon flavored?  Mushy, and not what I’d expect as a crust.  Not, uh, “New York style”.

On the side was a tiny bit of whipped cream, from a can.

This, like the ravioli, was fine.  Not good, not bad, but, fine.
Pudding: Sticky Toffee Pudding.
“A wonderful simple pudding, gloriously sweet and sticky perfectly paired with a spoonful of cream. Go on. No one’s watching.”

I waited a very long time for that sticky toffee pudding.  At some point, I decided that it must be served warm, so that is why it was taking so much longer.  Around me, everyone was having their seats converted into beds.  I was still waiting.  Finally, finally, it came.

It was indeed served warm, well, warmish.  Not exactly hot.

I took one bite.  WOAH.  Sweet.

Let’s rewind.  I’ve only had sticky toffee pudding a handful of times in my life.  Never in the UK.  And I’ve never liked it.  I wasn’t really prepared for this level of sweetness.  It took a few tentative bites before I really got into it.  At first, it was just too much.

The cake was not particularly interesting, molasses based I think.  The very, very center wasn’t covered in the sticky sauce, and it was kinda dry.  But the rest?  Absolutely soaked in sweet, sweet, sweet, sauce.  Thus, crazy moist.  Did I mention, sweet?  On top was also one single nut, I think a pecan, but it was gone before I knew it.

The base of the bowl was a pudding of cream, and, more sweet sauce.

I think I liked this in the end, but, it was about 100x sweeter than even I wanted.  I needed to alternate bites with the cheesecake.  It would have been glorious with some vanilla ice cream, and, if it was actually hot.

At this point, overindulgence + sugar coma + wine/cocktails coma set in.  I guess that meant it was time for bed?

[ Side note: I recently learned that the Sticky Toffee Pudding Company makes these puddings!  If that name looks familiar to you, it is because you can buy them in Whole Foods.  Which you should.  And serve them warm.  With ice cream.  You are welcome.  I've since had them *many* more times, and I adore them.  Reviews coming soon of course.  They also make a fabulous ginger version! ]

Breakfast

Breakfast Card.
Located inside our dinner menu was a breakfast card, to fill out in advance.  Options here were fairly extensive, starting with “Cereals/Fruit: A Good Start” with cereals (classic Kellogg’s, plus hot oatmeal, plus muesli), yogurt and fruit.  Next was the “Bakery” with croissants and hazelnut chocolate twists), and hot options of “The full works”, a full english breakfast, the “Smaller appetite? Why not try:”  bacon butty, or “Something lite”, aka, crepes.  You could pick and choose any individual components, which I thought was a nice touch.

Breakfast was delivered one by one, starting from the front of the cabin, as the crew worked to turn the beds back into seats.  They started about 2 hours out from London, which, given the short flight length, was a little sad.  Dinner finished 2 hours 45 minutes into the just over 9 hour flight, so, that left only 4 hours for sleep.  Oooh.  We were all done eating with more than an hour to go.
Breakfast: Muesli, Hazelnut Chocolate Twist Croissant, Peach Creepes, Coffee.
A little round doily was set on my tray first, and all my items arrived at once.  My order wasn’t quite accurate.  My crepes came with bacon on the side, which I didn’t order, and my coffee cake with milk, which I didn’t order.

Muesli

Muesli is something that I sometimes love.  This … I did not love.  It was regular cereal style muesli, not bircher.  On the plus side, it had a mix of all sorts of things, oats, rice puffs, a ton of different seeds, bits of nuts, dried apples, dried raisins. But, it was just a pile of mush.  I have no idea when the milk was added, but it was clearly in advance.  I did not like.

My companion opted for the porridge, which arrived well after his meal.  I didn’t get a photo, but took a bite.  It was actually pretty good, not standard oatmeal, short grains, nicely cooked, not too mushy, and with plenty of brown sugar mixed in.

Hazelnut chocolate twist croissant

My bakery item was served slightly warm, so it had that going for it.  But the pastry was not buttery, it was not flaky, and it was spongy and pretty gross.  You know me and baked goods, but still, this wasn't good.

The warm chocolate hazelnut filling however was tasty, and I extracted as much as I could.

Peach crepes

Interestingly, the crepes had a second option, “With streaky bacon”.  I thought it odd to have that explicit as a side, when you could opt for bacon or sausage from the English breakfast above.  Anyway.  I didn’t opt for the bacon, but I got it anyway.  It was almost crispy, but mostly just greasy.

The crepes were not very good.  Lukewarm.  The edges dried out and crispy.  I’m not sure who thinks crepes would be successful reheated on a plane?

The peaches were slightly spiced with cinnamon I think (and maybe nutmeg?)  I would have preferred without the spices, but, I imagine most folks would want this.  They were not fresh peaches, more like canned, but at least they weren’t in a sickly sweet compote.

On the plus side, there was a scoop of clotted cream not mentioned on the menu, and that was tasty.

So, overall, not so good.  I salvaged the peaches, cream, and chocolate hazelnut filling, and some nuts and pumpkin seeds from the muesli, but good thing it was 5am in my world and I wasn’t actually hungry.  

Coffee

My coffee was rather cold and light brown.  Hmm.  I ordered it black.  I inquired, “does this have milk in it?”  My FA said yes.  I asked for black.  He came back with a black coffee, this one piping hot, and much better.  Good coffee?  Nah.  But it was drinkable.

Later on I opted for a decaf, and it was clearly instant, but again, not bad.

I liked the large size mug.
Bacon Butty with Brown Sauce.
My companion went for the Bacon Butty.  He has had some great breakfast sandwiches on flights before, so I was eager to try it.  The roll was spongy and soggy and greasy, the bacon was flabby style, and I don’t like brown sauce.  Glad I didn’t get this, and, he was probably glad I didn’t want to steal it.
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Monday, July 09, 2018

Poke from Poke Origin

I'll spare you the preamble.

Yes, I've join the swarm of people who are obsessed with poke.  You can read all my poke reviews here.

For me, my poke obsession started as a easy delivery or takeout option when I was traveling a lot for work and got sick of eating in restaurants constantly.  And for me ... uh, poke isn't about the raw fish.  Or a rice base.  I don't get either of those usually.  For me, it is about the toppings.  The crunchy things.  Oh, and of course, crab salad.  Even imitation crab.  Love the stuff.

Poke Origin is in San Francisco, far from my house and office, and not available for delivery from nearly any of the delivery services since it is too far away.  I've wanted to try it forever, but, just not generally accessible to me without a lot of effort.  But, Postmates came to our rescue when my work group wanted to order poke, and since we were a large group, the extra delivery fee was worth it.  Particularly for the options.

Oh, the options.  What sets Poke Origin apart, and why I was interested, is the options.  18 kinds of protein ... including non-standard items like lobster tail (!), spam, and three types of crab.  More than 20 toppings.  We were in.

Overall, I was quite pleased, and most of us really appreciated the large variety of toppings and options.  As someone who *doesn't* go for the raw fish, it worked great.  But ... everyone who did get raw fish felt the quality of the seafood was lacking.  Most said it didn't matter as much because of the great sauces and toppings, but, I can't recommend Poke Origin for quality seafood exactly.

I'd still order again.
Large Poke. $13.99.
"Five scoops of protein and your choice of base, toppings, and sauce."

Like many poke places, the concept is to design-your-own, with different selections for each step.  Bowls come in 2 sizes, regular (up to 3 proteins) or large (up to 5 proteins).

The steps:

Base (1):
  • Sushi White Rice
  • Brown Rice
  • Mixed Greens
  • Kale
  • Nachos
  • Kelp Noodles
The base options are a good indicator of how Poke Origin excels.  Two choices for rice, two choices for greens, and even nachos or kelp noodles, if you are feeling really different.

Many places allow for 2, it was interesting that they only allowed a single choice.

I went with kale, given my recent strange kale obsession.

Next, Add-ons (0 - 5).
  • Cucumber
  • Sweet Corn
  • Carrot
  • Jalapeno
  • Red Onion
These were pretty basic, I only added sweet corn and jalapeno.


Protein (0 - 5 for large, 0-3 for regular):
  • Ahi Tuna
  • Salmon
  • Spicy Tuna
  • Scallop
  • Escolar
  • Albacore
  • Tofu
  • Crab
  • Spicy Crab
  • Shrimp
  • Spam
  • Octopus
  • Seared Albacore +$2.00
  • Marinated Big Eye Tuna +$2.00
  • Hamachi +$2.00
  • Snow Crab +$2.00
  • Unagi +$2.00
  • Seared Lobster Tail (Limited) +$6.50
Ok, um, wow?  This is where Poke Origin blows all other establishments away.  The number of choices, and selection, is just insane.

Want tuna?  You can have ahi, spicy, albacore, marinated big eye, or even seared albacore.  Want crab?  THREE CHOICES (imitation, spicy, or snow crab).  Um, they have spam.  And ... lobster tail??!

Yes, this is why I picked Poke Origin, as I adore crab, and it is my poke of choice, and I was thrilled to see so many options.  I got all three.

Note that some items (like lobster tail, obviously, carry a surcharge).  Additional scoops are available for $2 more as well.

Sauce (0 - 3)
  • Mild House Poke Sauce
  • Spicy House Poke Sauce
  • Spicy Aioli
  • Creamy Wasabi
  • Kimchee Sauce
  • Sesame Aioli
  • Unagi Sauce
  • Honey Avocado
  • Miso Sauce
  • Yuzu Citrus
The sauce options were also plentiful, creamy, spicy, mild, light, and everything in-between.  I'll dock them a point for only allowing 3, although you could add more for $0.50 charge.

I went for 6 different sauces, all on the side.  Honestly, I wanted them all (except the honey avocado since I'm allergic), but I was trying to be reasonable.

Toppings (Unlimited)
  • Seaweed Salad
  • Edamame
  • Jelly Fish
  • Kimchee
  • Oshinko
  • Green Onion
  • Cilantro
  • Ginger
  • Wasabi
  • Massago
  • Furikake
  • Sesame Seed
  • Minced Garlic
  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Tamago +$0.50
  • Mango +$0.50
  • Pineapple +$0.50
  • Avocado +$0.50
And then, yup, tons of toppings, fruits, veggies, seasoning, crunchy stuff, and, uh, jellyfish?

Unlimited, although many premium ingredients had surcharges.

I added oshinko, green onion, ginger, wasabi, massago, furikake, sesame seeds, minced garlic, macadamia nuts, tamago, mango, and pineapple.  I was just so excited for all these choices!
Create Your Own Bowl (Large).
Top Layer: Tamago, Wasabi, Mango, Pineapple, Green Onion, Oshinko.
Digging into my bowl was a feat, as it was just so loaded up.  It was also HUGE.  Seriously, huge.  Large is easily multiple meals, or at least, it was in my case given the distribution of ingredients.  This was NOT a bowl of filler kale!

So, starting on top.

I haven't ever seen tamago at a poke shop before, and I was happy to pay a little extra for this.  The portion was a single slice.  It certainly wasn't fine sushi restaurant quality or anything, but, I enjoyed it.  Firm, slightly sweet.  I always get tamago at sushi restaurants for "dessert", and it worked similarly here, particularly with some sweet mango!

Speaking of mango, another premium ingredient, but done nicely here.  Large portion, super ripe and juicy.  The pineapple wasn't really worth the upcharge, it was literally just a little canned chunks of pineapple.  I was hoping it might be roasted?  Not sure what I was thinking really, likely just excited to see something different.  There was much less pineapple than mango, which was fine with me.

The wasabi, ginger, and green onion were not notable, all applied in reasonable portion.  My bowl was missing masago, which I ordered, and expect should have been on this top layer, as others in my group had it there.

My final ingredient here was oshinko, one of my favorite things.  I had exactly two small pieces.  TWO.  I know my bowl was loaded up, so I think this was the last thing to be added, and they just ran out of room?  I was still quite sad, as my co-workers (like the bowl pictured above), all had generous portions.
Middle Layer: Spicy Crab, Snow Crab, Imitation Crab, Sesame Seed, Furikake, Macademia Nuts.
Under that layer was the good stuff.  All the crabs, plus the "sprinkles".

I'll admit that I was pretty sad by the lack of quantity of the furikake, sesame seeds, and macademia nuts, as I adore those things.  It was easily fixed because I had my own at home, but still.  I also seemed to be missing the minced garlic, but it might have been in there and just minimal?

But the crab.  Um, wow.  You can't see it in this photo, but this was an insane amount of crab.  2-3 scoops of each of the three varieties.  I don't understand, actually.  My bowl had more proteins than any other, by far (of course, the others had more traditional, cubed, choices).  I'm not upset, but, it was an insane amount, honestly.

The spicy imitation crab was my favorite, standard imitation crab, shredded style, mixed with what I think was just the spicy aioli (which I had on the side too).  I liked it quite a bit, my favorite of the crabs.

The imitation crab was also good though, very standard imitation crab.  I enjoyed it, as I always do, particularly pairing and playing with different sauces (more on these soon).  It worked equally well with creamy sauces (creamy wasabi, spicy aioli, etc) and with lighter sauces (poke sauce, miso citrus, yuzu).  It also worked great as a "dip" for my taro chips (more on that soon too).  My second favorite of the crabs.

The one that shocked me though ... the snow crab.  The real crab.  The one I paid extra for.  It ... was just fishy and mushy.  I hated it, and discarded it.

Next time: I'm trying the spam, the seared albacore, and the lobster tail!
Lobster Tail..
One of my co-workers did get the lobster tail.  It came on the side, in its own box.  An actual poached lobster tail, in the shell and everything.

Crazy!
Bottom Layers: Kale, Sweet Corn, Jalapeno.
And then, once I extracted the pounds of crab, the base.

Normally bowls are filled up with the base, lots of rice, lots of greens, you know, the cheap filler.  For me?  Not much actually.  I *wanted* a bunch of kale, so this was a bit disappointing, but, again, they gave me so much crab I can't really be upset.

The kale was curly kale, and a bit strange actually.  It was very moist, in a way that almost seemed marinated.  I think this was just from all the toppings and juices running through.  I liked it though.

The jalapeno slices had some kick, great to pair with the crab.

And the strange winner?  Yeah, the sweet corn.  I'm nearly certain this was the kind from a can, honestly, nothing special at all, yet I really liked it.
Sauces: Creamy Wasabi, Sesame Aioli, Spicy Aioli, Miso Sauce, Spicy House Poke Sauce, Yuzu Citrus. (Top Left, Clockwise).
And then, sauces.  Normally mixed with your proteins and mix-ins, but I requested on the side so I could try independently, and mix and combine as I pleased.  And so I could dunk my taro chips!

I tried 6 of the 10 choices, and would gladly try all the rest.  They were all winners.

Starting from top left, clockwise:
Creamy Wasabi: This was good, I think actually a cream not mayo base, with a nice wasabi kick.  It didn't quite go with my selections, but I gladly saved it for later use, and, for the taro chips (which was a quasi successful pairing).  It worked great with some roasted plantains I had later!

Sesame Aioli: This was great! Nice flavor, creamy mayo base.  Interestingly, not a very full portion compared to the others.  Nice to dip the taro chips.

Spicy Aioli: Also good, creamy mayo based spicy aioli, like you'd use in spicy tuna or spicy crab, and I suspect they use to do so.  Not the best I've had, but totally fine.

Miso Sauce: This was fascinating.  I selected it because I like miso and I had no idea what to expect.  The miso flavor was there, which was nice, but it was also fairly oily.  I think it would make a great dressing mixed with some mayo.  Which I plan to use it for.

Spicy House Poke Sauce: Standard poke sauce, soy based, light, but, spicy (since I got the spicy one).  Nice heat.  Good with the crab instead of a creamy sauce for lighter option.

Yuzu Citrus:  Another light soy base, citrusy.  Fine, but my least favorite.

3 were included, the others were +$0.50 each extra.

Sides

It always makes me sad that most poke places to do not have side dishes for the most part.  Maybe some miso soup or bag of "Hawaiian" chips.  But Poke Origin, much like the plentiful options for proteins and toppings, has plentiful options for sides.  
Taro Chips. $2.
Ok, those taro chips I keep talking about.  They came in a little paper bag.  A little *greasy* paper bag.

They were just ok, honestly.  Over fried, as you can tell from the dark color.  Definitely too oily.  But the grease bag was a good sign, in that I think they were fairly freshly made?

I appreciated the option, and did gladly dunk them in my sauces, and use as scoops for my crabs.
Seaweed Salad. $3.50.
As I said, sometimes I like seaweed salad.  Sometimes I don't.  So, instead of having it as a topping on my bowl, where it could potentially "contaminate" everything else, I got it as a side.  

And ... it was the style I don't really like.  I still can't identify why I sometimes do and sometimes don't like seaweed salad.  It makes no sense, as it looks, and sounds, the same.  But it was just too slimy, got too stuck in my teeth, and didn't have great flavor.
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