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I was killing time before a late evening swing dance lesson and decided to join the writer of Convoy Recon (found through Convoy Conquest) for one of his open invitation meals. This week it was Tsuruhashi Japanese BBQ of which I’d never heard of! The Japanese BBQ was similar to the cook your own meat Korean bbq places but without the banchan. When I arrived, the group had already ordered some kimchi-type appetizer to start. I wasn't feeling too picky so I let them choose the food for the evening.
We went all out and ordered the Steak Cut Kobe Beef ($13.95) which were beautifully marbled and in little squares. These were placed on the grill with enthusiasm and when cooked a perfect medium rare made me smile.
The meats were perfectly seasoned to me and didn't even need the dipping sauces that accompanied the meal. I tasted some of the sauces on their own and found that the simple sesame oil mixed with salt and pepper to be quite yummy... possibly used at home in the near future! I am unsure what flavors the other two sauces were, more ponzu or teriyaki style but they were not heavy or salty like soy sauce. These were also quite delicious for dipping the meat in.
We also ordered some Pork Belly ($6.75). These didn't take too long to cook and had a little bit of a crispy edge how we cooked them. Thinking back, these don't look like they were marinaded either but they tasted like there was more than just salt and pepper on it! Maybe the meat flavors came out really well on the hot grill!
The pork belly came with its own fiery looking paste which turned out to be a non-spicy yet tasty dipping companion.
We also got some Tsubo Kalbi ($13.95) ie marinaded ribs, that was served in a more vinegary broth. The meat was fairly good but I liked the other marinade a little better. The funky looking blocks are huge mushroom stems that we also cooked up with the meat!
Here were the Assorted Organic Mushroom ($9), our non-meat component! The portion was surprisingly bigger than I expected. These were pre-marinated and were divine after grilling.
At this point in the meal, the Grilled Garlic ($2), raw when we ordered early on, were being boiled in the little metal cup (right side). They were softening up and pretty much ready to eat. Garlic breath here we come! The server changed out our grill and we ordered our next round of meat.
Apparently this half of dinner was full of the slow cooking items or the grill still needed a little time to heat up. The juicy Miso Chicken Leg ($5.25) was a yummy meat pick and came with a lone lemon for extra tart. You could also choose salted instead of miso flavoring.
We were surprised at the appearance of the Natural Sausage ($6), a Vienna sausage look-a-like! After a little bit of charring, these were taken off the grill. As a bit of warning, these things were squirters! There were hot jets of juice if you weren't too careful! The taste was nice and porky though.
We did a couple rounds of grilling to cook it all. This ended up being about the right amount of food to be comfortably full but now the desserts were tempting us!
I ordered the Mango Pudding ($4.50) which was a balanced sweetness in my mouth. The fresh mangos on top gave it something soft to bite into. I rather liked it.
Some of the party ordered the Coconut Milk with Ice Cream ($4.50) dessert. This one was ordered with black sesame ice cream, not a typical find! I was intrigued by the taste but still preferred the mango pudding. The others thought it was superb and unique.
After everything, the bill was a little under $30 a person with tax and tip. The premium stuff is around $14 but the rest of the cuts seem to be $6-10 per order. I enjoyed the company and food so it felt reasonable enough. Make sure to check out Convoy Recon and say hi to Beston online or in person. His next location and date is always posted in the first entry.
*updated with additional recommendations*
- Pork Cheek ($6.75)
-Bibinba in a Stone Pot ($8.25). Delicious and stirred! Sis-in-law and I shared this and wish we had our own bowl!
Tsuruhashi Japanese BBQ
3904 Convoy St
San Diego CA 92111