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Dine and Dish: Mirin Fusion Kitchen

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Sometimes I go out to eat just to enjoy my food. Then, I kick myself for not planning to review it.

That was the case when I met up with friends Connie, Barb and Sheila for lunch. Our original plan was First Watch, but it was a 45-minute wait. Just next door is Mirin Fusion Kitchen, and after a quick look, Barb, who arrived early like me, agreed that the menu was worth the move.

Mirin Fusion Kitchen opened in October 2020 as a fast/casual Asian restaurant. It features build-your-own bowls, with a base, such as quinoa and brown rice, organic spring mix, white rice or soy garlic noodles; proteins, such as ahi tuna, jumbo shrimp, steak, chicken or tofu or a combination; six sauce options from sweet to spicy; and 15 toppings from a fried egg to cabbage or pickled carrots to sesame seeds.

Mirin Fusion Kitchen offers a variety of menu choices. Photo by Danielle Wong Moores

Its menu also has a huge range of starters, from soups and salads to nachos, fries, wings, dumplings and even a pseudo-sushi roll stuffed with glass noodles and vegetables, wrapped in seaweed. Entrees feature proteins cooked up a variety of ways, hibachi-style, in a poke bowl, in soup and more. There are even kids’ meals, either a rice bowl or nuggets; cinnamon donuts or Japanese mochi for dessert; and boba tea.

I was in the mood for something traditional and comforting on a cold day. So, I chose the fried rice, topped with grilled steak.

Inside, the restaurant is clean and airy—light wood tables, with gray and orange metal chairs with trims in black. There’s plenty of seating, and even though it was full, it didn’t feel crowded.

And fast/casual is right. Our meals arrived quickly, and I thought for a moment about taking notes, but was so giddy about catching up with old friends that the thought passed. But I enjoyed the meal thoroughly, lavishing each bite of the grilled and flavorful steak with the coral yum-yum sauce and swirling it through my light and delicately flavored fried rice.

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Yet, I couldn’t stop kicking myself for not planning for a review. Which is why I returned with friend Eileen a few weeks later, with an eye on actually taking notes and photos this go-round. I ordered the fried rice again, to compare. It was, I had to admit to myself, slightly different from the first iteration I tried. There seemed to be fewer shredded carrots, and I missed the veggies. But the steak was just as tender and full of marinated flavor; the rice was soft and light and slightly peppery, dotted with bits of scrambled egg; and creamy, sweet/tangy yum yum sauce was just as luscious.

My daughter also came with me, so I was able to sample Mirin’s version of kids’ nuggets and fries. The waffle fries were soft inside and crisp outside and earned her thumbs-up. Meanwhile, the nugget was perfectly respectable soft, minced meat inside a crisp brown Panko crust.

Eileen opted to build her own bowl, topping her quinoa and brown rice with grilled organic tofu, miso sauce, zucchini, scallions, cilantro and a final touch of sesame seeds—which she said she wouldn’t necessarily have thought of without seeing some of the other entrée descriptions, but it definitely added to the dish.

Our meal was quick—Eileen had to return to work, and I had errands to run nearby—but Mirin fit the bill for what we needed. It was fast and casual, but also fresh with lots of flavor. And well worth the trip for two enjoyable lunches and one complete review.

Make Your Reservation

Mirin Fusion Kitchen

630 Crane Creek Dr., Suite 402

www.facebook.com/mirinfusionkitchen-101571241621413/

Open daily, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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