Kinja is one of our favorite places to stop in or order food from. Not only because of its close proximity to our home but because to put it simply, the food is really good. It helps that the staff is incredibly sweet and the owner is always readily available to make whatever sushi you order. Last week, my husband called from work and asked me to go on a lunch date with him. The way that he asked reminded me of two people who just began dating and that giddy feeling you get when that amazing guy you’re crushing on calls to ask you out on a date. Yes, I am really getting that mushy. It was cute.
We met at Kinja at 12:30pm and we were the only two guests in the restaurant. We enjoyed the music and chatted while we sipped on our beverages. Our waitress was super sweet and took the time to suggest some items from the lunch menu. We decided to go with a small appetizer that we had seen on the menu before but had never ordered: Spicy Tuna on Chips. We are big fans of spicy tuna and decided that we would try it.
Our appetizer arrived pretty quick. Our waitress put the plate in the center of the table. My husband and I both looked at one another because we knew it was going to be good! There were six rice chips arranged in a circle topped with generous portions of spicy tuna, Tobiko, topped with a mayo and spicy sauce with a lemon wedge garnish.
After squeezing lemon juice on the chips, we each took a chip and took a bite (no, we did not feed one another). I really liked the light, crispy texture of the chip. Of course, when I think of a chip, I think of something cooked in oil, extremely crispy, and crumbs everywhere. I am not sure how these particular chips are prepared but they definitely had a distinct lightness to them. I think anything else would take away from the spicy tuna. One reason that I am big on sushi and Japanese food is because I enjoy how each distinct flavor is able to be tasted among everything else but all those flavors work really well together. Hard to explain, so I hope you understand where I am coming from.
Needless to say there was not a scrap of leftovers from the appetizer. It was delicious, as we knew it would be. I wanted to point out that this type of appetizer is what I think an appetizer should be. In the sense that when you’re out to eat and order an appetizer, it should be a small plate of something wonderful to snack on before your main meal, not another main meal in itself. Have you ever ordered nachos as a so-called appetizer somewhere and you get a plate of nachos that is bigger than your head? I liked that this appetizer from Kinja was small – petite, if you will – but big on taste. Just what it should be and just what I love.
If you’re in the Yelm area and have not tried the Spicy Tuna on Chips, what are you waiting for? Get in there and try it … and don’t forget to invite me to join you.
Kinja Japanese Restaurant
1314 East Yelm Avenue Yelm, WA 98597