Take Out of the Week: Samurai Sushi and The Cork & More

As we navigate through this time of uncertainty, we have postponed the Drink of the Week column and are replacing it with a takeout option for the week. Support local businesses and stay safe, Tahoe.

The Cork & More

Shop for gourmet food items and wine, while maybe peeking at gift options for my loved ones, all while waiting for a mouth-watering sandwich to finish up so I can take home and wolf down? Sign. Me. Up.

Technically, it’s not just sandwiches they’re serving up at the Cork & More, but that’s where we’re going to start – beginning with a pair of specials they have just for the Memorial Day weekend.

The firehouse grilled tri tip (you had me at tri tip) sandwich starts out with an overnight marinade parade then gets a little time on the grill to soak in some smoke and char. That gets laid to rest on a toasted sourdough roll and is piled high with horseradish mayo, pickled jalapenos, fire roasted red peppers, and melted provolone and pepper jack. It’s smoky, it’s sweet, it brings a little bite with the horseradish, it’s really a rainbow of tastes and flavors.

The other, which I’m sure you’ve heard of before, is a BBQ pulled pork sandwich. Ok, ok, you sando aficionados already have the drop on this so I won’t go into much detail, but just know both of these are only available through the weekend (or whenever they run out). There, PSA complete. Moving on.

Perhaps the one sandwich we cannot go without talking about at the C & M is the tuna melt. They have scoured the entire earth (maybe even into Gondor) to find the best possible albacore for this sandwich. You do not get any of that fishy taste and it’s done with such a delicate touch, that the end result is super light, not over the top, but packed with flavor. Oh yeah, it’s also done panini-style so you could eat this thing upside down — if you really wanted to — without losing any of the goods.

If you’re looking for something a little more romantic like a picnic this weekend, turn to their cheese charcuterie for two. Your choice of two (or three) cheeses packed around salami and olives, fresh and dried fruit, and nuts paired with your choice of wine, it’s happy hour to go. Just make sure you give them at least 30 minutes to wrap that up.

Speaking of wine pairings, I’ll leave you with one last note about their Friday night dinners for two (check their social media each week for details). Yes they are perfect for date night. No, don’t give any to the kids. Sometimes parenting means they can have cereal for dinner.

The Cork & More is located at 1032 Al Tahoe Blvd., in South Lake Tahoe. Starting this Saturday they will be open from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily. For more information visit them online at or give them a jingle at 530-544-5253.

Samurai Restaurant

For me, sushi is on my short list of favorite foods. Maybe that’s why when writing this up I shed an actual tear because I have not had any since all this hubbub went down. I guess I only have myself to blame because sushi take out is alive and well at Samurai.

Let’s start from the top because I don’t know about you, but when I eat sushi, appetizers are a must. Sure, you can dive head first into roll after roll like a T.P. convention, but why not ease into the experience with a nice barbecue albacore. Grilled to give it just a hint of that smokiness and paired with a little kick, when it hits your mouth it just melts like ice cream on a hot day.

Or, if you like to live life on the crispier side, the tempura appetizer gives you lightly coated shrimp and veggies fried to perfection without hitting you over the head with oil.

You get a delicate crunch and smooth bite ranging from broccoli to green beans to sweet potatoes, making this the perfect defense against kids who don’t want to eat their veggies.

Ok, enough with the appetizers, let’s talk rolls. We can’t talk rolls at Samurai and not bring up AJ’s special roll. Packed to the gills, it’s that same tempura shrimp, spicy tuna, yellowtail, and salmon with a little bit of cream cheese topped with samurai sauce. It’s a little bit crunchy, a little bit spicy, and a little bit rock ‘n’ roll all at the same time.

Sure, we could talk about other delicious rolls (Tahoe roll, anyone?), or the fact that they have great baked mussels, or even that your kids can chicken (teriyaki) out while you roll into a sushi coma, but if you want something a little more on the sweet side, let’s not forget about dessert.

I typically gorge myself when eating sushi to the point where just mentioning the word dessert has my belt and pants button cry out for help, but you really might need to save room for the coconut sticky rice with mango sherbet.

It’s that magical coconut sauce that really makes this dessert train chug down the tracks.

You might want to think about sharing, but then again, you might want to take another sip of sake and rethink that decision.

Samurai Sushi is located at 2588 Lake Tahoe Blvd. in South Lake Tahoe. Currently, they are open from noon to 7:30 p.m., Wednesday – Sunday, and 4 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday (closed Mondays). Check out their menu at or call them at 530-542-0300.

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