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Watch-the-chef tempura bars.

Watching the chef is part of the fun at sushi bars. The idea is similar--and the food more appealing to those who aren't raw-fish fans--at a handful of West Coast restaurants that have tempura bars. You sit at a counter in front of seafood and vegetables artfully arranged on ice. Choose your combinations; the chef quickly coocks them in the classic light batter and sizzling oil, then presents them ceremoniously for you to eat, one hot morsel at a time.

Vegetables include asparagus, green beans, broccoli, Japanese eggplant, gobo, Japanese pumpkin, shiitake mushrooms, and yams. Seafood selections are the same quality served as sashimi.

According to tempura specialists, batter must be ice-cold and slightly lumpy; oil (each chef mixes sesame and vegetable oils in secret proportions) must be kept at 340 deg. and changed frequently.

Prices run from $7 for a vegetable sampler to $25 for a dinner with lobster. Standard accompaniments are miso soup, rice, little pickles, and a soy-based dipping sauce into which you swirl grated daikon and ginger.
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Title Annotation:sushi bars
Publication:Sunset
Article Type:Directory
Date:Jan 1, 1986
Words:171
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