This is my first week of my radiation treatment. Unlike chemo, radiation is daily instead of once every three weeks. Unlike chemo, radiation lasts all of a few minutes instead of 3 hours. Unlike chemo, radiation doesn’t suck shit nearly as much! There are still going to be side effects, but they will appear later and won’t bring my life to a screeching halt quite like chemo did. At least, I hope they won’t.
in the stairwell of the cancer center
The cancer center is a lovely building and the people are so incredibly friendly and kind. I am in a good mood when I go in, and it’s not forced like it is when I have to deal with a department like General Surgery at the medical center. The other day when I went for my treatment, I wooshed into the dressing room and emerged in less than a minute with a gown on and dumped my stuff in a locker. One of my radiation techs said I was like a superhero, dashing into the changing room and emerging with a gown on faster than anyone. Ha ha! My dreams of superhero status will be realized yet :)
Another thing I like about radiation… I can eat sushi. And eat sushi, I have been. With gusto! as my dear oncologist would say (he didn’t tell me to eat sushi with gusto, he was asking me to breathe with gusto while he listened to my lungs). I had lunch with one of my tele betties in Boulder yesterday at Sushi Tora. I could eat sushi every day for every meal and never tire of it. Never.
my bee-yoo-tee-ful chirashi
Just the day before, I met up with Jeremy at Ai Sushi and Steak at Boulder’s 29th Street mall. It’s a relatively new restaurant in the relatively new pedestrian mall. We thought it looked a little mall-ish which isn’t what you necessarily want when hunting for a good sushi dive.
bad idea: posting photos of sushi in black and white
the modern interior
The place is huge with a section for teppan, a sit down section, and a relatively large sushi bar and booze bar. I’m guessing it seats about 120. I honestly didn’t have high expectations for the place, but immediately noted that our server, a young Japanese woman, was ten times more professional than the dorkus at Sushi Tora and she spoke fluent Japanese (with the sushi chefs). Bonus.
starter salads and jeremy’s lychee martini
sunlight roll and hamachi nigiri
The starter salads were a mix of mi fun (thin rice noodles) with real crab meat, and avocado in a light seasoned rice wine vinegar. Delicious and refreshing on such a warm day (it was 90F in Boulder) – it also cleansed the palate nicely. Since it was happy hour, Jeremy sprang for a lychee martini and we began with a sunlight roll (soft shell crab, eel, avocado, and 2 colors of flying fish roe) and an order of hamachi nigiri. The sunlight roll was great if you like the combo of crunchy, salty, sweet, smooth, creamy – which we do! Excellent quality hamachi.
special roll – our request: spicy tuna, spicy scallop, avocado, masago
Next came our otoro sashimi which was $6 a piece. Toro is fatty tuna or the belly of the tuna. Otoro is the fattiest part of the belly (chutoro isn’t as fatty, but is part of the belly). This was quiet amazing and melt-in-your-mouth, but I’ve had better otoro at other places and for less than $6 a piece. The special roll was our own requested combination – a holdover from our favorite sushi joint in South Pasadena. It was well done, but not as good as the original.
end it on tamago
The samurai roll is a shrimp tempura roll with tuna, salmon, eel, and avocado. I liked this roll, but I prefer the sunshine roll to this one. We finally ended with an order of tamago (egg omelette) nigiri and Jeremy had another order of hamachi nigiri. The prices were on par with Sushi Tora and the quality was pretty good – perhaps a half notch below Tora. The service was better despite the “mall-ish” setting and feel of the place. And there always seems to be one sushi chef who loves to flirt with the ladies – he was a charmer for sure. Who doesn’t love a man who offers you a complimentary specialty maki? Unfortunately, he offered it after we had finished our meal and were ready to pop like two fat ticks.
Ai Sushi and Steak
1685 29th St
Boulder, CO 80301
June 10, 2008
$91.65 (including tax, not tip) for two diners
Rating: 88/100 (B+)
Now that we have two restaurants on the tour, I can begin ranking them:
1) Sushi Tora
2) Ai Sushi and Steak
Ai is a close second to Tora. Stay tuned to see if next week’s selection dethrones Tora.