I’ve discovered that sushi places in Tucson are a hit or miss, and usually a miss.
I’ve been to Sushi Ten, which lured me in with online reviews promising happy hour prices that last almost the entire day. Turns out that you really do get what you pay for: room-temperature food and blandness delivered in each bite.
On the opposite end of the price and quality spectrum is Sushi Garden. While it has awesome sushi. the extensive lines and petrifying prices tend to steer me away from this mainstream restaurant.
S, when that sushi craving kicks in, I am left to choose between low prices accompanied by indistinguishable sea creatures, or delicious sushi that leaves my wallet empty… Right? Nope.
When I arrived at the UA, I met upperclassmen friends who shared their love of sushi with me. As I was new to the Tucson sushi scene, they took me to their sushi spot, a cozy place on Campbell and Blacklidge called Yuki’s Sushi.
Walking into the restaurant, I was expecting it to be full. However, Yuki’s remains relatively off the radar, especially on weekdays. This means attentive waiters, a calm environment and a quiet dining experience.
I was envious of my friends who were 21 as they enjoyed $1 Draft Beer and $6 sake bombs with their meals during Happy Hour, which is held Monday through Saturday from 3:00 until 6:00 p.m.
Even if sushi isn’t exactly your cup of hot green tea, Yuki’s has other great inexpensive dishes including fried rice, vegetable tempura, stir fried noodles and teriyaki entrees. Oh yeah, and the hot green tea is also worth a try.
From the beginning of my Tucson sushi adventures, Yuki’s has remained my number one choice. If you’ve got that craving for sushi and want to lounge in a relaxing environment with tasty, inexpensive sushi, then Yuki’s is the place to go.
As small and nonthreatening as they look, the sound of “fish” and “McBite” in the same name causes shudders from all McDonald’s lovers. After all, have you ever trusted fish from a fast food restaurant?
McDonald’s fans have grown accustomed to the ground-up chicken disguised in nuggets of a fried exterior, but fish cut up and processed into convenient and bite size portions? Now that’s something we may never get used to – like a fish out of water, you might say.
That is why I took it upon myself to find out if these pesky little nuggets were any good at all. I eat fish on a daily basis and have also eaten some of the strangest things from around the world.
From escargot, to alpaca steaks, from guinea pig to “Rocky Mountain oysters” (look it up), I’ve eaten a lot of odd things. So I wasn’t that apprehensive to try it.
On first bite, no amount of seasoned batter with pepper flakes can disguise the obvious square shape of a mini fish stick. “Popped from the seas” is not as accurate as “cookie cuttered by a machine”
There wasn’t anything unfriendly about the smell or taste, but you’ll get exactly what you’d expect. For a fish craving though, the Fish McBites snack isn’t too off kilter to try, once or twice.
If you’re not a big fish eater though, I would stay away from these as a first experience and try something friendlier that isn’t found at a fast-food chain. You never know when the fish may start swimming upstream from you belly and leave an unpleasant mess in your wastebasket or toilet.
The first U of A Breakfast Club of the semester, which allowed 25 students to meet with President Ann Weaver Hart, kicked off Thursday morning.
At the breakfast, held in the Ventana room, Hart stopped at each table in order to speak with all of the students in attendance, according to Katy Murray, president of the Associated Students of the University of Arizona. Both Hart and Murray would speak briefly on the tradition they hoped to set on campus with this event, Murray explained.
“I think it’s great not only for Dr. Hart to learn from, but also for students,” Murray said.
The idea for the breakfast club came in July and has been in the works since the beginning of the fall semester, according to Murray.
There were about 40 applicants for the first breakfast, despite the short time frame of a week to get the application live, due to the availability in Hart’s schedule.
“For a week turnaround, I think we got the word out to a lot of people, which was awesome,” Murray said.
Ideally, two student breakfasts’ will take place every semester, Murray said. Applications for the second breakfast, on April 23, will be sent out soon in order to give students more time to fill them out, Murray added.
“I think the biggest benefit, honestly, is that not only does it give our administration an up close and personal feel of what students are thinking, what their ideas are and what their passions are,” Murray said. “But it also helps to inform students what big things are coming up for the university and what big issues are coming up that we have a chance to make an impact on.”
This year, even if the Grammys sent out a memo for “appropriate attire”, most of the glamorous stars ignored this memo.
It was said that there was to be no shear fabric, no cleavage and no shown “giggly skin”, which Miranda Lambert made fun of a great deal on the red carpet during her interview with Ryan Seacrest. Though these rules were put into place, most of the best dressed celebrities embraced their rebellious spirit and showed a little skin anyway.
Some of the best dressed celebrities were Katy Perry, in her skin tight, sea-foam-green dress that hugged every curve. It was flattering in the best ways by accentuating her chest with a bejeweled neckline.
There was also Kelly Rowland in a beautiful black mermaid gown with shear cut outs that were clearly not apart of the new Grammys “Dress Code”. Regardless, the dress was absolutely breath taking.
Speaking of breathtaking, every female in the US along with some men were taken away by how glorious Justin Timberlake’s attire and performance was this year. He is back in action, dressed in a perfect black Tom Ford suit with a very stylish oversized bow tie that was very reminiscent of the 1910’s.
There were also a few stars that didn’t do the best job dressing themselves this year. Adele, you are loved so much and you have a beautiful voice, but someone should write an entire album about how awful that floral print dress was. It looked like your grandma’s couch.
As far as overdone wardrobe goes, Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine decided to embrace her inner dinosaur with her studded and sequined emerald green Givenchy dress. We love the color with your hair, and the contrast of red and green is always wonderful, but you really didn’t need every accessory in the same color.
Carly Rae Jepson could have used a few of Welch’s accessories, though. It seemed that Roberto Cavali was a very trendy designer this year for the Grammy’s, but this young Canadian forgot to add a bit of pizzazz. Jepson wore a beautiful dress, but seemed to be washed out by it and looked very bland.
No worries stars, you can always redeem yourself next year, and bad publicity is still good publicity, right?
The limited time offer of chicken and waffles will return to Cactus Grill Barbecue from Feb. 20 to March 6.
Free samples of the dish will be available on Feb. 18 and Feb. 19 for students to try the unique dish consisting of a Belgian waffle, chicken strips, syrup, and hot sauce.
When the promotion ran last semester for two weeks in October, sales increased for the Cactus Grill Barbecue by almost 200 percent, said Todd Millay, marketing manager for the student unions. More than 2,000 waffles were sold during the two-week promotion last semester generating more than $12,000.
“It was hugely successful and it somehow resonated with the students quite well,” Millay said. “Maybe because it is a little bit different; a little bit quirky. We know a lot of students from California probably have access to chicken and waffles; there are chains out there like that. It was too successful not to bring it back.”
The dish is not sold during breakfast, but starts at lunchtime and continues until closing time. The dish drew in longer lines last semester, according to Millay.
“It brought a lot of new customers. It definitely boosted our customer count,” said Kristi Edmond, the supervisor for Cactus Grill. “When it went away people were really sad, so by word of mouth we’ve been telling everybody, ‘hey, chicken and waffles are coming back,’ and they’re really excited. And it’s exciting for us because it was our first LTO (limited time offer) we’ve ever experienced.”
Students have the option to have two chicken strips on top of the waffle for $5.59 or have three chicken strips for $6.99. Toppings include syrup, hot sauce, and powdered sugar and students can put as much or as little as they want on the dish.
“Just like Pangea, we are trying to create something different on campus,” Millay said. “A reason for students to enjoy the union and expose students to something they haven’t tried before; that’s what college is all about.”
Given its impeccable concept – a full-scale replication/tribute to 1930s cabaret shows – the anticipation was high for Monday night’s “The 1017 Club” and it delivered on all fronts.
The air was filled with tense excitement from the second you walked into Crowder Hall, a full 1930s-style orchestra onstage and ready to swing the night away. As directed by Keith Pawlak, the 2 hour performance hardly ever flagged thanks to the level of musicianship and the nonstop fleet of entertainers including Black Cherry Burlesque’s Bunny Boom Boom and magician Michael Howell. While it took a little bit for the band to warm up in the first half, the orchestra quickly found its footing and cycled through soloist showcases like “Twilight In Turkey” and “Jazznocracy.” The element of wild fun once crucial to the 1930s revues was not lost on Pawlak’s ensemble, the various musicians keeping the chronologically-appropriate selections at once loose but faithful. Trumpeter Glen Gross in particular gave a particularly spirited performance of Raymond Scott’s “The Toy Trumpet,” a wonderful pop tune that soon gave way to dancer Bunny Boom Boom’s most engaging performance.
One of the most impressive aspects of the show was the way in which it was staged with four tables placed onstage facing the band, further enhancing for the auditorium audience the illusion of peering into an actual cabaret club. Those seated at these tables were all dressed in lavish 1920s and 1930s fashion, taking part at various points in the performance in dancing and pantomimed conversations as the orchestra ran through its numbers. The presence of these “club guests” was a perfect example of what “The 1017 Club” was doing right, giving those in the audience a true taste of the atmosphere that made such clubs in the ‘30s so vital to the development of American jazz culture. Along with sparse but appropriate lighting and prop use, it was this framing devise that truly sold the charm of the show.
Of course even with the dancing and party guests, the true star of the show was the jazz. Selected by Pawlak and guest vocalist Johnny Crawford from the University of Arizona’s own jazz archives, the pieces never failed to delight, and with Crawford’s charismatic participation in the show’s second half the orchestra only got livelier as it got later. A born entertainer, Crawford brought a perfect balance of professionalism and playfulness to numbers like “A Cottage For Sale” and “Betty Co-ed,” taking time between his turns at the microphone to dance to the orchestra or entreat the young ladies at the stage tables to waltz with him. Crawford also showcased his softer side on beautiful songs such as “Moon-Glow” which displayed his lilting tenor for all it was worth. Aside from Crawford, the second half of the show also featured a small set from guitarist Skip Heller’s Hot Five. The group, which featured Heller and Josh Rhoads on guitars in addition to the exceptionally talented Miray Rhoads on violin, blasted through an all-too short set of three songs showing off Heller’s nimble technicality and a smart guitar/violin interplay that stole the show. Heller’s Hot Five was arguably the highlight of the night, putting the audience in a chipper mood for the orchestra’s grand finale “Christmas Night In Harlem.”
Yet in true cabaret fashion the casual fun of Crawford’s segment gave way to Pawlak’s announcement that the band still had a few songs left, the informality only adding to the swinging excitement reverberating around the hall. With a show-stopping version of “Winter Wonder Land” and the jazziest version of “Someday My Prince Will Come” you’re ever likely to hear, “The 1017 Club” came to a satisfying close. Far and away a highlight of the School of Music’s season, one can only hope they follow it up next year with a jazz tribute to the ‘40s.
What a wonderful night at the opera. Sure it has its stigmas, but when you actually get settled in for a two and a half hour performance of un-amplified students belting out Italian it all becomes far more impressive and engaging than impenetrable. All around La traviata’s third night was superb, mixing in stellar lead performances, a lovely but subdued set design, and some of the catchiest music you’ve never heard before for a supremely satisfying experience.
While La traviata was technically my first opera, I’d been told by two of the leads in an interview for the Wildcat Weekend that this particular piece is a perfect opera for the uninitiated to see. It turned out to be an apt prediction. I was hooked from the first act, a downright spectacle veering seamlessly between gigantic crowd/chorus scenes and intimate romantic moments played breathtakingly by leads Yunni Park (playing Violetta) and Humberto Borboa Beltran (playing Alfredo). Park shined throughout, proving herself quite capable of playing both the loving giddiness of Violetta as well as her darker moments. The vocal range required to play Violetta is astounding, and there was scarcely a moment where Park didn’t sound totally in control of her voice. The staging from artistic director Charles Roe enhanced the tenderness of the Violetta/Alfredo scenes, with stunning blocking that brought the large supporting cast off and on stage several times. While Park’s Violetta and Beltran’s Alfredo were clearly stars of the show, credit must be given to the cast at large for propelling their voices so pointedly throughout Crowder Hall. The music written for La traviata by Giuseppe Verdi is wide-ranging, at once familiar in its scales and melodies yet infinitely fascinating to someone not terribly familiar with the music beforehand. Yet no matter how complex the orchestra’s playing became, there was almost always synchronicity between those on stage and those in the pit, all players involved coming together to put on an amazing show.
In addition to the lead performances and the orchestra, this performance of La traviata also made exacting use of its set and costuming, both of which made the show all the more engaging. Each of the four acts featured various combinations of beautifully constructed doors with elaborate frames, not too gaudy but elegant enough to successfully conjure up the opera’s Paris, 1850s setting. Together with the lighting, the stripped down stage arrangement often presented a nice counterpoint to the action of the opera, such as the rich dark blues of the backdrop in Act 4 that, when revealed when a character opens one of the free-standing doors, reflects the grim storm afoot in the heart and failing health of Violetta.
The party scenes of Acts 1 and 3 featured similarly restrained set design, prominently featuring the doors and a few key pieces of furniture such as antique tables and wine glasses strewn about the stage. What truly made these two acts pop was the costuming, with design for that being credited in the playbill to Christopher Allen. From Violetta’s stunning dress as she falls in love with Alfredo to the wild fashions of the visiting gypsies and Spanish matador in Act 3, the costumes were designed with precision and flair enough to warrant their own section in this review. Truly some of the more spectacular work I’ve seen from a production on campus.
Overall La traviata landed in a way I might not have anticipated. Now that I’ve been fully immersed in the opera I can confidently say it’s a thrilling thing to experience live, an event in every sense of the word. There’s nothing quite like sitting the back of a medium-sized auditorium like Crowder Hall and hearing the haunting melodies of your peers reverberating around you on all sides. Sure you could go to the movies and see the Met’s recording of a show, but live opera is undoubtedly one of the more affecting art forms you’re going to find. The U of A is fortunate to have a program as clearly talented as this one.
Arizona finally worked its way up into the red zone, Ka’Deem Carey finished off the drive. 2-yard touchdown run. Wildcats trail 45-10.
Rose Bowl is still pretty filled out. Not something you’d see at Arizona Stadium….and probably won’t at that 11:30 a.m. homecoming game.
Game. From. Hell.
Matt Scott hurt in the end zone, being helped off the field. Vanilla Vick watch 2012.
Our video guy, Tyler Besh, is a superstar. Already made a video recap of the first half. Check it out might be ugly, but here’s a video recap of the first half. Arizona went into halftime trailing 42-3. Check it out.
Arizona getting more yards on pass interference penalties than actual offense. Second half underway. Can the Wildcats at least chip away at the lead? Maybe?
Positive yardage would be a nice step.
Arizona trails 42-3 at halftime. Oops.
UCLA is either really good….Arizona is really bad…..or both….or neither. Who knows anymore.
Another TD. UCLA leads 42-3, and it’s not even halftime.
Soooo uhhhh, when’s the football game starting? This doesn’t look like football like i remember it.
The wee-Garic Wharton makes a physical, tough catch. Impressive. The dude weighs as much as me. I’m 5-foot-8, 155-160 pounds. He’s 5-11, 160.
Arizona lucks out on a pass interference call on third down. First down, but then an illegal formation. Just a sloppy game all around. This team just can’t seem to handle the road, and the tough crowds that are laced across the Pac-12, which the Wildcats unfortunately don’t even hold a candle to.
Luck, UCLA penalties really the only reason why Arizona even made it to the red zone. Wildcats finish off the drive with a 28-yard field goal. Trail 28-3.
Arizona opens with a sack, but UCLA follows it up with a 30-yard completion.
They Wildcats are finally able to make a stop…..then the Richard Morrison of old returns. Muffed punt. UCLA recovers. Remember that time he scored a punt touchdown? No?
And then…….a wide-open Jerry Johnson brings the ball within the 5-yard line…Jared Tevis completely misses the tackle on the play as well.
UCLA finishes off the drive with a 1-yard touchdown run. 28-0.
Arizona needed four downs to avoid it’s fourth straight third-and-out. Got a first down on a Ka’Deem Carey run.
On the next play, Dan Buckner lit up on an attempted (and failed catch), but defender called for a “targeting” penalty. What is that….
Arizona fails to make anything of it. Dugandzic getting some reps. Bouncing back from the early mishap. Rugby punt to UCLA’s 8.
ENDFIRST: UCLA- 21, Arizona- 0.
Sione Tuihalamaka with a face mask penalty on third down…would have been Arizona’s first stop. UCLA running the ball with ease. Tackling has been what RichRod and co. have discussed all week. Can’t seem to tackle…..shame, shame, shame.
Hundley throws a perfect fade to Jordan Payton. 21-0 lead. Can those Pac-12 South champ talks be put to rest now? Maybe?
BTW, former Arizona recruit Devin Fuller is playing for UCLA, has two catches for five yards. He’s comedian Sinbad’s nephew (he of Jingle All the Way fame).
Some numbers from the first two drives for you: UCLA: 103 yards
UCLA had eight first downs, to Arizona’s 0.
Doesn’t appear to be changing at all either…Hundley is accurate. Franklin is poweful. Arizona can’t tackle. Not a great formula for success.
QB Brett Hundley brings it in himself for UCLA. Early 14-0 lead. Not first time this has happened for UA (see: Oklahoma State), but still not promising.
The O-line has done a good job all season…..until now. Matt Scott sacked. Things not going so well. Maybe give Ka’Deem the ball a bit more Rich Rod?
Two straight three-and-outs. This is feeling way too similar to the Oregon game. At least Dugandzic bounced back on the punt, kicking it into UCLA’s 20-yard line.
Kyle Dugandzic has been nothing but solid for the Wildcats this seeason at punter….until just now. After a three-and-out, he shanks a punt and only kicks it 18 yards, keeping UCLA in Arizona’s zone. Things are looking dicey so far. Arizona needs to wake up.
Jonathan Franklin slices and dices for a UCLA touchdown. 37 yards and he becomes UCLA’s all-time rushing leader. Franklin is a stud. Arizona is in trouble today. Ka’Deem, you’re up. 7-0 UCLA.
We’re here in Los Angeles at the Rose Bowl, and boy the weather is beautiful. This press box is nice. Space to move around, rolley chairs.
Food doesn’t quite match up with Autzen Stadium (in Eugene, Ore.), but that’s an unfair comparison anyway.
Speaking of Autzen/Oregon….The Ducks are over at the Colliseum putting on a show. Oregon leads 55-45. Arizona needs USC to lose, plus a couple of other things, and it controls its own destiny in the Pac-12 South.
Noise is a beautiful thing. Beyond the musicianship of the band, beyond my wild dancing, beyond the questionable soundwork, what I took away from the Crocodiles show is that chaotic, frenzied noise can be all you need to feel alive. At a certain point, I have to believe that the experience of feeling alive, or of feeling incredibly invigorated on a visceral level, is what live music is about. I’d be willing to bet most people aren’t there because that’s their heroes up on stage, but rather because it’s an inexplicably cathartic thing to be gut-punched by the gravity and intensity that live music induces in the body.
This is almost certainly how Crocodiles feel as well. The lights in the audience dimmed above the thirty or forty people who were actually there to reveal a blood-red lighting set up onstage, as three figures began dutifully pummeling at their respective instruments in an effort to create no other melody than noise. On the one hand, they had to wait for their drummer and lead singer to even climb onto the stage, but on the other there was something telling about how the show began, light show and all, with three friends causing a gigantic ruckus. There was no eye contact with the audience, and no eye contact with each other. There was only feeling and a disoriented wave of sound. Then, and only then, did frontman Brandon Welchez decide to join the party.
The band kicked it off with a faithful and energetic rendition of their breakout song “I Wanna Kill” from 2009’s Summer Hate, Welchez hugging the microphone stand and bouncing about as a good frontman might in between his lyrics. Welchez tows the fine line between bratty and passionate onstage, screaming obnoxious “WOO!”s into the mic during the midst of almost every song to the point where it became more annoying than exhilarating for me. In fact, no disrespect to Welchez, but at times his voice was rendered almost subordinate to the racket made by principal guitarist Charles Rowell and curiously enough the anonymous female keyboardist. The role of the keyboardist is an underutilized one in noise pop bands of Crocodiles’ breed, but for every melody she played with her right hand she worked an overdrive pedal with her left, constantly fluctuating her position in the mix from docile to fearsome as if to match Rowell’s marvelous flourishes. This interplay between Rowell and the keyboardist proved to be fruitful, bringing songs like the stunning closer “Mirrors” to points of sublimity with their penchant for flooding the speakers and submerging the entirety of the Congress performance room beneath their noisy waves.
To Welchez’s credit, the closer for the band’s record Sleep Forever, cleverly titled “All My Hate and Hexes Are For You,” was an absolute highlight due to his subdued and humble vocal performance. Of course when the song finished the band returned to its faithful guitar/keyboard team for another few stompers before closing their eight song set with “Mirrors.” In addition to being quite possibly the best song in the group’s canon, “Mirrors” was punctuated live by an additional three to four minutes of methodical single-chord strumming that rose from a buzz to an all-encompassing fervor. By the time the band had walked offstage, appropriately leaving behind their guitars to feedback into the amplifiers, it was difficult to say how much time had passed or what had just happened. All that was clear, in a most impressive way, was that this group of San Diego twenty-somethings are the latest in a line of musicians who are keen to just how affecting sheer noise can be.
While their records are certainly worth listening to, particularly their second record Sleep Forever, it’s understandably a different experience from seeing them live. The only thing to say is that next time you’re given the opportunity to see Crocodiles, especially in a small club setting where there is no escape from their aural attack, take it. In the meantime, here’s another live version of “Mirrors” (I assure you, nothing like the life-changing version they played last night) to tide you over.
It’s that time of year again where downtown Tucson becomes an exciting frenzy of mixed culture (yes, even more so than it normally is!)
Tucson Meet Yourself will be going on the entire weekend and features food, art and entertainment with a wide ethnic diversity. Try Russian meat dumplings, Iraqi mushroom curry, or Cuban pork sandwiches while listening to Caribbean music. The entertainment and cultural experience is definitely worth it, so spend a day getting acquainted with something different.
For more information, go to the Tucson Meet Yourself official site.
If you go:
Friday October 12, 2012 from 11am – 10pm
Saturday, October 13, 2012 from 11am – 10pm
Sunday, October 14, 2012 from 11am – 6pm