Try packing a baby into a hot ass Florida car, driving forty-five minutes one way and then sitting down for a quiet meal. It doesn’t happen. Usually somewhere in there the baby starts crying, wets through her 18 pairs of clothes and poops in all her diapers. Needless to say, since the birth of Zora this summer, J-Fur and I have made it a point to keep our eating out excursions in the vicinity of our apartment. There have been a few trips to Ybor, one or two to South Tampa and zero to St. Pete. It has mostly been the University area and New Tampa for us.
Because of this, we’ve gotten familiar with some restaurants in New Tampa that we otherwise wouldn’t have known. One of those restaurants was Sushi Ko. For as long as I can remember, this little sushi joint in the Publix plaza at the end of my road has been in business. For that entire time I have avoided it. Not even once had I entertained the thought of going there. This has less to do with Sushi Ko (although always getting coupons in our monthly clipper did make me a bit wary) and more to do with having already found other sushi places in the city to enjoy.
I finally did wind up at Sushi Ko one afternoon. Trying to save a few bucks, we took one of those aforementioned monthly clipper coupons in. We asked the server if we were kosher to use it at this time of day and she assured us it was the time and place. The coupon that seemed most relevant was to order 25 dollars worth of food and get five dollars off. This didn’t seem like much at first but after a few shuffles through the menu we realized the lunch prices were pretty low. So we ordered three rolls (an asparagus, avocado and tempura sweet potato), two miso soups and an order of sesame balls from the dim sum menu. This put us barely over the magical 25 dollar mark.
The soups came out first. They were flavorful enough. Nothing different than any of the other miso soups I’ve had in the city. Our rolls came out next. I spent most of my time with the sweet potato tempura one. I loved the crisp of the tempura batter which masked the sweetness of the potato. It was sort of like Yoko’s tempura sushi in that it gave a nice crunch in the middle. Like the rice version of a potato chip sandwich. It wasn’t quite as crispy as the Yoko version but it was 24 miles closer to my house
The Tempura Sweet Potato Roll
J-Fur focused her attention on the asparagus and avocado rolls. The asparagus was nice and crispy and gave a great contrast to the rice. The avocado was super creamy and offered an equally nice contrast, just in a different direction. Again, nothing special that you can’t get elsewhere, but good enough to please.
After we polished off the rolls, we sat around chatting for a bit wondering what had happened to our sesame balls. A waitress, not the one that was waiting on us, came out and told us that our sesame balls had been overcooked and burned. She didn’t want to serve us burned balls. She offered to strike them from the record but knowing they were imperative to our 25 dollar bill, I told her to go ahead and remake them. When they came out there were nice and steaming hot. We ate them and were mightily impressed. Pretty good stuff they had there.
Sesame Balls Dim Sum
At this point our bill was brought out. 25.16, just like we planned. I handed over my coupon and credit card and waited. The waitress returned a short time later and informed us that she had made a mistake earlier, the coupon was for dinner only. I haggled for a bit because it didn’t say that anywhere on the coupon, we had inquired before purchasing anything and we had ordered additional items just to make it to the twenty-five dollar mark. Despite all of this, the coupon was not accepted and an otherwise okay experience became a bit bitter.
Sushi Ko isn’t a bad place. It isn’t a great one either. Their food is decent enough, it is very reasonably priced and they offer a fair amount of coupons (as long as you go at night). Their biggest fault seems to be the lack of cohesion. To tell us one thing only to tell us something different after we ordered is a bit rough. There is better sushi in Tampa and we may just have to bite the bullet and drive that extra distance to get it.
Mrs Magician’s track “Despicable Things” is about being forced to do things you might not do if the situation was different. That totally works for our trip to Sushi Ko, considering I would’ve never made it there had it not been for Zora. “Despicable Things” is a garage rock, lo-fi anthem that has a simple sort of elegance about it. It comes from the band’s B-Sides album that is (gasp!) a collection of B-sides that have been recorded throughout the entirety of the Mrs Magician’s existence. You can purchase it here. Check out “Despicable Things”: