While people know their food is phenomenal, Tsunami Sushi Bar and Lounge in downtown Annapolis has always been under-appreciated in the local beer scene, in my mind. They’re not swimming in tap lines, to be sure, but what they do carry is thoughtfully curated and diverse enough to be of great complement to their menu. In fact, one of my “night out on the town” traditions is to snag a stool at the corner of the bar on my own before heading home. (They’re one of the few places in town that consistently carries some of my long-standing favorites, like La Fin du Monde and Old Rasputin Imperial Stout.)
So when I heard a few weeks ago, they were going to be hosting a beer and sushi pairing featuring Evolution Brewing Company of Salisbury, Maryland, I was excited.
Unlike other beer dinners I’ve been to in the past, this was not a programmed event with speakers or coordinated serving. Instead guests were invited to go at their own pace, enjoying as much – or as little – as they wanted, in a private dining setting with friends. Normally I love the choreographed nature of standard beer dinners, but this was a nice, much-welcomed departure from the norm. Especially in the middle of a busy work week, when I wanted nothing more than to turn my mind off and completely relax with beer and food I didn’t have to make.
So, how was it? Delicious. I loved the choices of beer. The Exile Red is a beer I think many pass over in the store, but definitely shouldn’t – making it the perfect introduction for the evening. Also, I thought it was a great choice to showcase the Lot No. 3 IPA, rather than its big brother, the Lot No. 6 Double IPA. While I know many prefer the latter, it was nice to have something a little softer in the middle of the Red and the Lucky 7 Porter. Plus, it made me appreciate it a bit more than I probably have in the past.
Then there was the food. From the presentation to the diversity of flavors and textures, I loved how the talent and knowledge of the Tsunami team came through in each dish. They obviously took a lot of care in crafting dishes that married perfectly with the beer. For example, the smokey Kobe meatballs with the Lucky 7 Porter featured in the last course? Heavenly.
I can’t wait for the next one.