- by Macrae Schaffler
Tsunami is officially open for lunch! You may already be familiar with Tsunami’s superb dinner menu. I dream about the sea bass, the scallops, and the mezze platter.
Midtown’s restaurant scene continues to improve. Definitely the best part of town to look for a good bite to eat, Midtown boasts recent openings of Umai, Lou’s Pizza Pie, and Café 1912’s bar. Unfortunately, the lunch scene was lacking a little before the arrival of Tsunami’s new daytime hours, as most lunch options seem to come with a side of fries.
On our first visit, we sampled the spicy black bean soup with smoked chile cream, the sweet potato lemongrass soup (a special), the fish sandwich of the day, and the seafood saimin. Everything was delicious, and the service was impeccable, just as it is at dinner.
The seafood saimin was perfect for the chilly day on which we first visited Tsunami for lunch. A comforting miso-dashi broth was loaded with noodles, chunks of mahi-mahi, and topped with two perfectly cooked shrimps. Both soups were wonderful, and both very different. The spicy black bean soup was reminiscent of southwestern cuisine, with a smoky cumin flavor and topped with a drizzle of chipotle cream. It had just the right amount of heat in the back of the throat, and it was nice and creamy. The sweet potato lemongrass soup was the special, and it was utterly decadent. The lemongrass flavor was subtle, and it was nicely balanced by the garnish of crème fraiche and toasted sliced almonds. The tone of the sweet potato lemongrass soup was just a little sweet, and just a little savory. I am looking forward to trying to recreate that one at home.
The fish sandwich of the day when we visited was mahi-mahi. The fish was beautifully grilled, with a hint of lemon in the marinade. The buttery bun was spread with remoulade sauce, and the creamy sauce was a nice match to the acidity of the fish. The fish sandwich of the day is served with a choice of fruit, homemade potato chips, or potato salad.
On our second visit, we sampled the special appetizer, which was a crunchy spicy crawfish roll that I highly recommend ordering if it is offered when you visit; chipotle chicken salad, the flank steak, and the grilled chicken pita with harissa. The grilled flank steak was cooked perfectly medium rare, and was served with a pile of black beans, a chunky, fresh tomatillo salsa, and a drizzle of smoked chile cream. It was a very hearty meal, and one that I will definitely order again. The grilled chicken was rubbed with harissa, and the pita appeared also to be rubbed with a little harissa. Harissa is a spice paste consisting of garlic, cumin, olive oil, paprika, and varying from there. Tsunami’s harissa was not too spicy, but very aromatic and flavorful, with a strong kick from the garlic and paprika.
Tsunami offered many specials on each visit, broadening the possibilities even further. Dessert offerings include warm ginger donuts with coconut sorbet, chocolate banana lumpia, and fudge brownie with vanilla bean ice cream. Lunch prices range from $3 for a cup of soup to $12 for sautéed crawfish cakes. Desserts are $5 to $10.
928 South Cooper
lunch Monday-Friday 11 AM - 2 PM
dinner Monday through Sat 5:30 - 10 PM
Rating: 4/5 spoons
Ambience: 4/5 spoons
Food: 4/5 spoons
Service: 4/5 spoons
Macrae Schaffler writes the food blog Edible Therapy.