Ok, so H2O is one of my favorite places. I probably go out to dinner there more than almost anywhere (and carry out, etc). I was thinking, if you have just started reading my blog, or have a memory like I do, or just don’t know me personally, you may not realize this. Therefore, I decided it was time for a revisit. I have also had a couple of great meals the last couple of times I have been, but didn’t take pictures of one, so I decided to make an effort this last time.
We were with my in-laws, who had never been before, and are generally not sushi eaters, but they were game to try any place we liked so much. We got a bunch of different stuff and shared. The first thing (as always) was the tuna tartare ($14). This is a staple for me and I think I would cry if I was told I couldn’t have it. I know I have talked about it before, but it is diced tuna that has been marinated in ginger, soy and lemon and mixed with radish, chives and cilantro and served with masago on the side (mix it in people, it gives a nice little teeny extra texture). Fried wontons are on the side to scoop it up (I always ask for extra). I love this stuff.
We also got a couple of orders of one of the day’s specials, the pork shumai ($6), which I had seen on the menu before, but had never ordered. They were outstanding. They were little dumplings stuffed with pork and seasonings and sitting in a bowl of what they called a sweet and savory sauce. It had soy and I would say some vinegar as well as something making it a little sweet. Since you generally only get chopsticks at H2O (or a fork if you ask), I was not too proud to put one on my plate and then dump some of the sauce on top. The dumplings were rich and the broth had all the variation in flavors that kicks them up a level—salt, sweet, and acidic. I would easily get these again (and I know hubby would demand it).
My in-laws ordered the shrimp tacos ($10), which we let them eat since they only come 2 to an order and since I have had them many times before. They are some of the better of the “gourmet” tacos you see on menus around town—tender grilled shrimp, with yuzu adobo sauce (giving a little tartness and a smoky flavor), guacamole and crema (adding to the creaminess) as well as cabbage and radish giving them just a little needed crispness so that they don’t become too soft. These are on our regular rotation as well (and are on the menu all the time).
We also shared the special noodle dish of the day which was Shanghai noodles with roasted salmon ($27). Usually their noodle dishes are some of my favorite things, but this one wasn’t as exciting for me, probably because cooked salmon isn’t my favorite fish (I prefer it raw or smoked). The noodles were a slightly thicker noodle (like linginue) and were in a ginger miso broth. I really enjoyed the flavor of the broth but it was kind of hard to get a lot because I was using chop sticks and we were sharing.
Lastly, we got a couple of rolls because, well, it isn’t a visit to H2O without ordering the crazy ho roll ($14). We also got the ultimate California ($10). I love the crazy ho (I mean who doesn’t really?) and this is another thing we almost always get. It is spicy tuna and wontons inside and is layered on top with avocado, snow crab (real crab, yay!), eel, eel sauce, spicy sauce and masago (the little fish eggs). Yeah, it’s a lot going on, and yeah, it is everything I like (even the spicy tuna which isn’t that weird tuna salad-ish sstuff you get a lot of places). It’s gooey, and it’s good. A little bit of crunch from the wonton and little spiciness from the spicy sauce and tuna, but a touch of sweetness from the eel sauce. Delish.
The ultimate California is crab (again, the real stuff), cucumber and avocado inside and the roll is lightly coated in more of the masago. This is definitely one of the better California rolls I have had, but it is clearly a much simpler thing, and to be quite honest, I love all the stuff that is going on with the crazy ho.
So for dessert, we had an order of “the cookies” ($8.50) which I have had many times and love—they’re like the ultimate oatmeal cookie—chewy and warm and served with espresso cream for dipping (and which we had to get because it was my in-laws first visit). But hubby and I were excited when they had a couple of other dessert options. Nicole Anderson, one of the owners (married to the chef Eli Anderson) is a pastry chef and when she does other things, they are just as great as the cookies. If there is one thing I have learned, when they are offering something else (which they often don’t), just order it. This day’s selection (among others) was a caramel cream pie ($8). Wow, was it good. It had the deepest caramel flavor and was topped with a ton of fresh whipped cream and little caramel covered rice crispies. Hubby was so happy—caramel is one of his favorite things dessert-wise. Honestly, I am not sure whether his parents got much of it because the two of us ate it so fast.
So, there’s the update. A few of my classics, a few specials, and an amazing dessert treat. If you haven’t been to H2O before (and even if sushi isn’t your thing), you are missing out. This place is in my top 5 Indy restaurants.
1912 Broad Ripple Avenue