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Luxor Steak House

Monday, January 9th, 2006

We ate the Luxor Steak House on December 20, 2005. It was a last resort choice in that we attempted to go to many of the different fine dining establishments in the Luxor to find that they were all closed Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and some even on Thursdays. This lead us to the Steak House which happened to be open. We were seated in a booth the shape of about 160 degree arc. The decor was of the kind found in the nicer rooms of a Steak and Ale or similar restaurant. It wasn’t cheap, but nothing I’m too fond of. Our server was a man named Joe. We got our menus and ordered our drinks and perused for our meals.
Luxor Steak House Menu

For starters Shinta ordered a lobster bisque and I ordered a tossed Caesar salad.
Lobster Bisque
Tossed Caesar Salad
The bisque looks delicious. My Caesar salad didn’t seem tossed in the slightest. It seemed more shredded and topped. To me it was a disappointing start, but I didn’t taste the bisque.

For the main course Shinta ordered a grilled free range chicken entree and I ordered the “petite fillet with Australian lobster tail.”
Grilled Free Range Chicken
Petite Fillet and Australian Lobster Tail
I really enjoyed the lobster. It certainly had a different flavor and aroma than the Maine lobsters I’m used to. The steak was good as well, but considering the steak I had the day before at Emeril’s, I was disappointed. The meat was done medium well, as I ordered, and it was cooked very evenly. The quality of the beef was very good too. The taste was just, well, slightly dry beef. I’m not saying it was bad, just that considering what I had just eaten the day before, it didn’t measure up. I’m typically a no-sauce guy. I don’t usually put sauces on anything, especially a steak. To me, this steak needed a sauce of some sort, but I don’t know what.

For dessert, we had the berries and cream. It was nice to have some fresh fruit, and the presentation looks good as well. Nicely done.
Berries and Cream

Sekisui Midtown

Wednesday, January 4th, 2006

For our anniversary we decided to go to Sekisui Midtown in Memphis for dinner. I can summarize the whole experience with two words: it sucked. We came for an early dinner, so when we arrived there was no wait for us to be seated. We were put in a booth in the back. That was no problem as we were happy to be in a quiet place. The light was low, but not so dark as to be a problem. The table was well used. It was quite worn, covered with stains and scratches. The veneer was getting thin. That doesn’t exactly make for an attractive environment for what one would think of as upscale, but it’s livable. The service had something to be desired. The waiters and waitresses seemed to spend quite a bit more time at the other tables refilling drinks and whatnot than ours. It was almost to the point that it seemed they were intentionally avoiding us. Maybe I’m imagining things, but at the minimum, we were left hanging on several occasions. The menu was quite large with many selections. It took us quite some time to get through them all and make a decision on what to order, but in the end we both decided to get the Sekisui dinner. The description from the menu is as follows:

Shrimp Tempura Roll, & individual pieces of Tuna, Salmon, Yellowtail, Shrimp, Eel, & a Sashimi Assortment

Sounds delicious, right? The menu indicated that it also came with a soup and salad. It came as you see here.
Sekisui dinner starter salad and miso soup
It looks quite good, but it was quite truthfully some of the worst food I’ve ever eaten. The salad probably would have been fine without whatever it was that they put on it. The miso just wasn’t miso. I don’t know how to describe it, but it wasn’t miso. It sucked. The “salad dressing” tasted exactly the same. I couldn’t eat more than a few bites of the salad and sips of the soup before pushing them away. That’s saying something considering how broad my idea of what “edible” is. Next, the waitress brought out the main course as you see here.
Sekisui dinner main course
Presentation is quite an important part of the restaurant business. It is especially important for sushi. It’s part of the essence of sushi. At first glance, that wood tray was quite enticing. It was beautiful at first glance. Look a little more closely at the tray itself. You’ll notice stains, spots where the finish was worn to the bear wood, large knife cuts, and scratches. In fact, I actually got a little concerned as to the sanitation factor considering that they served raw fish. Well, we ate anyway. Let’s start with the wasabi. The wasabi was a little bland. It wasn’t as pungent as I would expect and I actually used up all of my allotment. Now to the food itself. The amount of food was huge. I actually didn’t finish it all, but I did at least try everything. The sushi and sashimi were quite good. The tuna was much more fresh than I’m used to (which is a good thing). I usually don’t like tuna sashimi very much, but I enjoyed this. Everything else was quite good as well. I especially enjoyed the eel (as I usually do). Overall the value was good. Considering the amount and variety of the fish, it is well worth the price.

For dessert, we had the red bean ice cream. Sadly (but no surprisingly), we dove into it before I remembered to take a picture. It didn’t last long. It was okay. I prefer green tea ice cream more, but it was sufficient.