Santa Cruz Good Times

Saturday
Feb 06th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Due West of Japan

Dining_ImuraImura Japanese Restaurant serves sushi, shioyaki and some Korean specialties too

If you'd like to improve your sushi-making technique, Chef Jim Song stars in an informational five-minute video on the website of Watsonville's Imura Japanese Restaurant. In it, he makes rolling a compact, symmetrical California Roll appear error-proof. At Imura you will find this perfectly made roll along with other traditional Japanese dishes and locally uncommon culinary gratifications.

Contributing to Imura's uniqueness is its selection of Korean specialties including Galbi marinated short ribs ($17.95), Yukeh Jang ($14.95) with vegetables, vermicelli and flank steak in broth, and Duk Man Doo Gook ($13.95), a soup with Koreak rice cakes and meat dumplings. I chose the Hot Bibim Bab ($15.95), a rice bowl in which is arranged meat and vegetables, topped with a fried egg, and mixed together just before eating.

I had missed the fine print that read "served with Korean condiment," so was elated when a six-item plate of banchan arrived. The small plates of embellishments included sweetened shreds of carrot and white daikon radish, salty cabbage kimchi, sesame-scented, blanched broccoli florets, pickled vegetables, fat strips of seaweed, and chili-flecked bitter yellow squash that succumbed to the teeth with a soft crunch.


The Bibim Bab was served in a heavy black pot and might easily have served three as an entrée.  It had been mixed together in the kitchen, diminishing the presentation value of the dish. I spooned the mixture of soybean sprouts, sautéed greens, threads of toothsome vegetables and diced pieces of smoky grilled chicken into a small bowl and added bits of banchan. I topped it with darkly red Korean chili sauce, a spicy mixture, lightly sour, that hinted of salty fish.


I couldn't resist a couple of the Specialty Rolls. The Firecracker ($9.95) was lightly tempura-battered and deep fried, its top striped with chili sauce and sprinkled with white sesame seeds. Inside, rice and a sheet of nori seaweed held spicy tuna.


The lovely, subtle flavors of Moss Landing ($12.95) I dared not mask with wasabi and soy. Avocado and tempura shrimp were rolled uramaki-style with gleaming white rice on the outside. It was topped with sweet seared scallops, micro-sliced green onions, a drizzle of creamy mayonnaise-like spicy sauce and shimmering orange jewels of tiny tobiko fish roe.


Imura also prepares a full line-up of Japanese favorites such as Nigiri rolls ($3.50 to $7.95), vegetarian rolls ($3.50 to $12.95), Donburi rice bowls ($8.95 to $12.95), lunch salads such as seared Tuna Tataki ($14.95) with tobiko and nori and tempura, broiled fish shioyaki ($11.95 to $16.95), or teriyaki lunches ($9.95 to $12.95).

Lunch Bento boxes ($10.95 to $13) and dinner boxes ($16.95 to $18.95) include your choice of teriyaki plus two Japanese or Korean specialties. Most tables have a call bell if you need something more.


And if you'd like to end on a sweet note you'll find ice cream flavors ($3.50) from traditional green tea to Western chocolate fudge with Oreo cookies.


Imura Japanese Restaurant, 1994 Main St. (at Green Valley Road), Watsonville, 761-8799. Beer and wine. Open Monday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Closed Sunday. Visit imurasushi.com.
Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

On the Run

Is there hope for California’s salmon?

 

Chinese New Year of the Red Fire Monkey

Monday, Feb. 8, is Aquarius new moon (19 degrees) and Chinese New Year of the Red Fire Monkey (an imaginative, intelligent and vigilant creature). Monkey is bright, quick, lively, quite naughty, clever, inquiring, sensible, and reliable. Monkey loves to help others. Often they are teachers, writers and linguists. They are very talented, like renaissance people. Leonardo Da Vinci was born in the year of Monkey. Monkey contains metal (relation to gold) and water (wisdom, danger). 2016 will be a year of finances. For a return on one’s money, invest in monkey’s ideas. Metal is related to wind (change). Therefore events in 2016 will change very quickly. We must ponder with care before making financial, business and relationship changes. Fortune’s path may not be smooth in 2016. Finances and business as usual will be challenged. Although we develop practical goals, the outcomes are different than hoped for. We must be cautious with investments and business partnership. It is most important to cultivate a balanced and harmonious daily life, seeking ways to release tension, pressure and stress to improve health and calmness. Monkey is lively, flexible, quick-witted, and versatile. Their gentle, honest, enchanting yet resourceful nature results often in everlasting love. Monkeys are freedom loving. Without freedom, Monkey becomes dull, sad and very unhappy. During the Spring and Autumn Period (770 - 476 BC), the Chinese official title of Marquis (noble person) was pronounced ‘Hou,’ the same as the pronunciation of ‘monkey’ in Chinese. Monkey was thereby bestowed with auspicious (favorable, fortunate) meaning. Monkey years are: 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016.  

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of February 5

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Wine and Chocolate

West Cliff Wines gets its game on, plus a brand new chocolate cafe on Center Street

 

How would you stop people from littering?

Teach them from the time that they’re small that it’s not an appropriate behavior. Juliet Jones, Santa Cruz, Claims Adjuster

 

Dancing Creek Winery

New Zinfandel Port is a ruby beauty

 

Venus Spirits

Changing law could mean new opportunity for local spirits