Sunday, November 13, 2011



adjective 8.(of food or cooking) combining usually widely differing ethnic or regional ingredients, styles, or techniques: a restaurant serving French-Thai fusion cuisine; a fusion menu.

Fusion is a fancier way of saying "combining", but fusion is much more than "combining" - it's more like "melting".  I could take a taco and put it on the same plate as sushi, but in no way would I call that fusion.  The dishes are separate, unique in their own ways.  I could put them on separate plates, and you would feel as if you were eating two totally separate dishes from two totally different cultures - putting them on the same plate masks the cultural differences.
Tamari fuses.  It does not combine.

Thanks to James, who never fails to suggest a restaurant that I will absolutely adore, I was able to have one of the most fantastic meals ever at Tamari.  Their concept is Latin American and Asian fusion - my two favorite ethnic cuisines, fused in culinary heaven.

They did not disappoint.

We decided to go the tapas route, trying to taste many different dishes, as they all sounded so appealing, and James had received so many suggestions via Twitter earlier in the week.  We started with the Ceviche, Chipotle Tuna Tartare, and two selections from their Robata Grill: Hanger Steak and Bacon & Quail Egg.


I was automatically enamored by this restaurant with my first bite of ceviche.

I have had many different types of ceviche from several different restaurants.  Their ceviche is served on a tostone and has a layer of yuzu crème that gives it a taste unlike that of any other ceviche I have ever consumed.  

Chipotle Tuna Tartare

The combination of tuna tartare and chipotle, in addition to yuzu crème fraiche and wasabi tobiko, dressed the tostones with which it is served well.  

Bacon and Quail Egg Robata & Hanger Steak Robata
 The Robata was mouthwateringly incredible, especially the Bacon and Quail Egg (I know, some of you are probably turned off by "quail egg", but believe me, it MELTS in your mouth).  The beef robata was tender and juicy.  At $2 each, they are well worth the price (and if you're old enough - ONLY if you're old enough - they are 1/2 price during happy hour!)

We decided to try more - the lobster macaroni and cheese, and we definitely wanted more of those robata.

Lobster Macaroni & Cheese
 Lobster macaroni and cheese definitely exceeded my expectations.  I love lobster.  I love macaroni and cheese.  Smoked gouda is a huge selling point to me when choosing a dish.  I was entranced by the - wait for it - fusion of flavors.

Sushi & Sashimi Plate
 We also ordered the sushi and sashimi plate, just because James and I are huge aficionados of both.  If you've had sushi at Nakama, or Yokoso, or - I know, convenience is of the essence - Giant Eagle, NONE of those compare to the sushi and sashimi at Tamari.  In no way did I ever question the quality of the seafood used, and the rice was perfectly cooked. 

After all of this savory food, you would think that we couldn't eat another bite - falso!  We had to at least take a peek at the dessert menu - and the thought of a churro with peanut mousse was too tempting to resist.  Of course, James and I shared the dessert instead of each getting our own (just as we did with every other dish, by the way!  That's a lot of calories!).  

Churro with Peanut Mousse & Pineapple Shooter (no alcohol in it! All fruit juices)
 Te amo, postre.  Te amo, Tamari.

As meals go, this definitely is in the top 3 - I love Latin American food, I love Asian food - and the fusion of both is a foodie favorite.  Fusion is genius.  Taking the best parts of ethnic cuisines and fusing them into culinary creations doubles the deliciousness of the cuisine.

When things are fused, they cannot be divided.  When things are combined, they can.  I will still enjoy each cuisine separately, but I will never forget how perfect they are when fused.

I also got a surprise - remember my post on Mexico Lindo, and the picture of the purse that I liked?  I now possess it, thanks to James.  Sorry to anyone who was going to buy it for me for La Navidad.  Muchas gracias, mi amigo bueno :-)
Purse made of gum wrappers from Mexico Lindo!
Tamari Restaurant
3519 Butler St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15201 (Lawrenceville)

Tamari on Urbanspoon

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