Note: For an update on Ambrosia, and my current boycott, click here.
I love spicy food. All kinds of spicy food – Thai stir fries, sushi (bring on the wasabi), blackened fish, salsa (no mild for me, thank you). There is generally a selection of sauces, procured from Peppers of Key West available at my house for any given spice need.
I usually find, however, that restaurants tend to cater to the lowest common denominator, and that when I order a “spicy, blackened fish sandwich” what I get is a fish sandwich that needs to be doused in hot sauce. First of all, if you are going to charge more to make something spicy, then do it. I don’t want to do it myself, if I did I would have just cooked to begin with.
Anyway, I had not been to Ambrosia in probably 2 1/2 years. They have moved from their modest location on Packer Street to fancy new digs in the Santa Maria resort on Simonton Street. I was hesitant to say the least. Would the food be as good? Would it be more South Beach than Smathers Beach? Would service suck?
Would the food be as good? This is the primary concern here, as I have memories of the greatest sushi ever coming out of their kitchen. Yes, is the short answer, the food is just as good. I love that you write your own sushi order on a piece of paper. I love that they run out of things, as it can only mean that the food they do serve is fresh. But most of all, I LOVE that when they say something is spicy, they mean it.
After much back and forth I decided not to get the Atomic Roll (a spicy tuna roll made with black widow sauce from Peppers), but rather the SUPER ATOMIC roll. This version has all the greatness of the black widow sauce, but with habenero tobiko on the outside. Let me tell you, they are not joking with this. It is a delicious balance of heat and flavor. It is a party in your mouth. No visit to Ambrosia is complete without the Super Atomic roll.
This is, of course, not to say that the other stuff we had was not fabulous – the salmon and hamachi sushi pieces are melt in your mouth delicious. Only the highest quality fish is used here. The other rolls were not only delicious, but beautifully presented as well. Oh, and how can I forget the soy sauce? Really. It is homemade and divine. I have never had a more full-bodied flavorful soy sauce. I have never actually wanted to spend any time discussing soy sauce before, and find it a little odd that I am doing so now.
I am drooling just writing this and longing for another visit to Ambrosia. I do have more to say, but it will have to wait until the next visit, which will be soon.