In the two years that the Belle of Gulf Boulevard and I have resided at the beach, we have dined at a myriad of venues along the boulevard. We have staked out several as being our favorites that we return to on a regular basis. One of these gastronomic treasures is the Thai Star Sushi Bar at Madeira Beach.
At Thai Star we are always greeted like family by owner Diana Hansana. Diana not only remembers us, but she also remembers what we enjoy. For me that is usually hamachi kama. Hamachi kama is the collar of yellowtail fish (Hamachi). It is the most fatty and juicy part of the fish and there are two in each yellowtail (one per side). Usually it is grilled/broiled until the skin is crisp and the inside is just cooked through.
On our most recent visit I think Diana was a little disappointed that I didn't order the yellowtail collar, but I had my taste receptors set on trying a new dish I had recently discovered. Usuzukiri is similar to tuna tataki, with fresh fish sliced very thin and served with ponzu sauce and scallions.
Our usuzukiri was a beautifully presented and served appetizer of salmon and tuna slices arranged on a bed of shredded daikon radish. This delightful dish had our taste buds jumping with joy. For two this was an appetizer. For one person it could be an entree. For us it was delicious.
One of my bride's favorite dishes at Thai Star is the Pineapple Fried Rice with egg, onion, cashews, carrots, scallions, and diced pineapple. The diner has a choice of chicken, pork, shrimp, or beef if a protein is desired. The Belle chose chicken with her rice, and exclaimed that it was good. And filling.
I was intrigued by the Lobster Volcano. This dish can be served with steamed or grilled lobster. I chose steamed and each of those lobster morsels coated with a sweet chili sauce with steamed vegetables was the most tender lobster I have ever tasted. This dish is served with a huge mound of steamed white rice. I am not sure where volcano fits in because this was not particularly spicy. It was just out-of-this-world good.
The sushi, sashimi, and Thai specialties are some of the best we have enjoyed anywhere in the Tampa Bay area. The prices are very reasonable. Several Singhas and chardonnays with one appetizer and two entrees came to a very pleasant $73.56. We tacked on a well deserved 20% gratuity.
The Piglet Parade, without reservation, recommends Thai Star Sushi Bar.