Repeats with a Twist - Yokozuna, Tulsa, OK

I've been very lucky while working at OSU that I've never had a home football game on my birthday, or even during my birthday week. We're either playing on the road, or have a bye week. Even with all that, I've never taken my actual birthday off when it's during the week. I honestly never even thought about doing it. Then last year my mom and a family friend came to visit and it coincided with my birthday so I took the day. So from now on, as long as I don't have a work requirement, I'm off work.

Last week since my birthday fell on Tuesday, I took off Monday as well.  No real point showing up to work for one day, right?! I made plans to meet Shawn for lunch in Tulsa. Our original plan was to try Cafe Seville, since neither of us had ever been there. I arrived early, and saw their new hours...closed Mondays. I was so bummed. While I waited for Shawn I stopped in a very cute shop next door called Canterbury Lane. My original plan was just to browse, but then I got sucked into the sale section. The owner recommended we try The Ridge. Drove over there, and it's only open for dinner. So after a little more back and forth, we settled on Yokozuna. We had both been there before, and it was one of my very early blog posts. But since my pictures weren't that great, it was a perfect excuse to go back and try again.

There are 2 locations in Tulsa. One downtown, where I ate the first 2 times. And on this trip we ate at the one in South Tulsa, close to Shawn's house. Each location has a very unique look. Downtown is in an old brick building on the corner in the heart of downtown. South Tulsa is in a relatively new strip mall, and has a much more modern look with very clean lines. Huge windows take up 2 sides of the restaurant. There's a bar to the right as soon as you walk in, and a combination of tables and booths in the main dining area. They created a small second floor with a few tables by putting an overhead over the booths along the back wall. Very creative use of space.

Shawn had been feeling a little under the weather, so he got miso soup to start. 

I'm not normally a fan of miso soup, but it looked really good so I tried it. This soup was wonderful. It wasn't very hot so that was disappointing. But the soup had tremendous flavor. Most places the miso soup is mainly chunks of tofu and a few pieces of veggies This almost looked like a mushroom soup.

We also started with roasted pork crispy spring rolls

Another hit. The roll was absolutely stuffed with pork and vegetables. The pork was extremely tender, and all of the flavors worked really well together.

Shawn suggested that we get 4 rolls and split it. I guess my eyes were bigger than my stomach because I agreed. And for some reason we were on a spice kick, as all 4 of the rolls had spice. We momentarily contemplated the scallop roll, assuming there's no way it would be raw. We were wrong, so it quickly got crossed off the list.

Shawn asked for "a lot" of ginger. She must have thought I wanted it too, because we each got this

They do not play around when you ask for "a lot". In the grand scheme of things that's a good thing, and Shawn needs to remember to just say "extra".

Hot Mess 
Chipotle cream cheese, jalapeno and imitation crab, tempura fried and topped with Hot Mess mix of imitation crab and spicy tuna. Topped with Simchi pepper, eel sauce and served with a fried wonton chip
I had this one on my last trip with Bob, and I ordered it because I remembered it being awesome. And it still was. I love the wonton chips on top. It adds such a nice crunch and different texture, but you really can't eat it as part of the roll. 

Roll & Gift
Tempura shrimp, jalapeno and chipotle cream cheese rolled in masago, topped with blackened eel, scallions, eel sauce, sesame seeds and sriracha
The very first time I ever tried sushi was in Maui in 2007. I figured Hawaii was as good a place as any to get my first taste. Unfortunately that first taste was raw eel. After that, I refused to touch sushi for a year. Now I eat it all the time. This roll was fantastic. Blackened eel lends such a subtle flavor. And then the contrast of the sweet eel sauce, which has no eel at all. There's a lot going on in the roll and you would think that the jalapeno and chipotle would make it spicy, but it's not at all.

Nutty Thai Professor
Coconut shrimp, imitation crab, cream cheese, peanut butter, jalapeno, mango and avocado in soy paper with sesame seeds. Topped with sriracha, eel sauce & cilantro
When the server first recommended this roll, we both thought it was very odd. I mean peanut butter, cream cheese and mango all together? That makes no sense at all. But it works. Really well. No one flavor overpowered another. Instead it was just creamy deliciousness. We were both very pleasantly surprised.

Last was Geisha's Demise
Seared yellowfin tuna, avocado, wasabi and imitation crab rolled in Shichimi pepper
with sweet evil sauce
I made the fatal mistake of dipping one side of a piece into the sweet evil sauce. My mouth was ON FIRE. They weren't kidding with the evil part, and there is absolutely nothing "sweet" about it. After that, I dipped just a tiny corner of the roll in, and then dipped the roll into my soy sauce. Even that was almost too much. They could give you 1/4 the amount of sauce and it would be plenty.

We tried, but we couldn't finish all the food. It was just way too much. Again, our eyes were a lot bigger than our stomachs. Had it just been the sushi, we would have dominated it.

Then the fortune cookies arrived, and this was mine

Clearly the Yokozuna Gods knew it was almost my birthday. I don't usually do sake, but in the spirit of birthdays I did one. Still not that much of a fan.

I will of course continue to eat here. The service is prompt and efficient, everything I've tried has been really good, and I enjoy the atmosphere. Building one in Stillwater would be outstanding.