I had tried eel before (Unagi in sushi speak), so that wasn't a big deal. It's usually cooked and brushed with a sauce that makes it taste smoky or barbecued--certainly tasty, but not necessarily all that exotic in the grand scheme of things.
The sea urchin (Uni) on the other hand was a bit more of an adventure. Although I didn't find this out until the day after I ate it,
"[U]ni is actually the [sea urchin]'s gonads . . . . Uni ranges in color from rich gold to light yellow, and has a creamy consistency that some love and is off-putting to others. It is nevertheless one sushi item that is in incredible demand around the world, which is reflected in its price. Sea Urchins are a rare treat for those who acquire a taste. Uni has a light, sweet, and somewhat briny flavor and is is usually enjoyed as nigiri sushi or sashimi."
Our waitress was very excited when I ordered it, she said it was one of her favorites and they had it fresh that day. (Apparently the freshness makes a big difference.) I was a little nervous when it came out. I was imagining something that would look more like an actual sea urchin, but what I got looked like a pale slice of raw liver. Nonetheless, I gamely dipped it in a little soy sauce and popped it in my mouth.
It wasn't bad. The texture was very soft and light, and it tasted a bit like an oyster--salty and wet, but not overly fishy. Although it was a bit expensive ($5 for a single piece), I would definitely eat it again.
To see how I'm progressing on the Omnivore's Hundred, click here.