It is a unique experience, to eat in a Japanese restaurant alone. I think of sushi and all the other little plates as being so communal -- sharing bites, chopsticks criss-crossing one another for morsels off others' plates. So I really value the memory of my peaceful and beautiful -- and solo -- lunch at Taroko recently. I had an unexpected couple of hours to myself in downtown Ashland before meeting friends for a 1:30 Shakespeare performance. I stopped into Taroko, not knowing what I would find. I didn't have sushi (although every piece that came by looked wonderful), but decided to try one of the house specials (calamari salad) and then enjoy an old love of mine (baked mussels). The salad was so huge, the waitress and I both laughed when she brought it. SO much fresh green & julienned vegs (& all artfully arranged, of course!). The fried calamari was perfect -- and not just a few placed on top but many, many calamari rings tossed throughout the greens. Probably over 3 dozen. It was a real -- and enjoyable - treasure hunt to find them.
I did notice that both the calamaris and the baked mussels were not served piping hot. In my experience, everywhere else -- if you are not selecting them from a conveyer belt where they've been sitting -- they are served as hot as can be. But not here, and I do have to wonder why.
The service was very nice (on a weekday right after 12 noon, they weren't busy), and the atmosphere is nice. If you go out the back door you find yourself right in the plaza at the main OSF theaters - and this is very accommodating, no matter what the weather.
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