daily meal

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

First Post: Sushi Time!

For those daring enough to try it, Sushi is a Japanese dish most commonly composed of raw fish, rice, and other ingredients, such as avocado or cream cheese. It is not scary, it is not slimy, it does not smell horrid, and it will not kill you to try it. Just think of it as an alternative way to eat your seafood! I must admit though, years ago when I first heard about Sushi and learned that it was mostly made using raw fish, I was utterly disgusted.  In fact, there is even a video of me spitting out sushi at a restaurant.  Thankfully, I no longer feel the need to spit up any of my food and have become an absolute sushi fanatic.  As a result of my "becoming of age" experience with sushi, I am able to sample all sorts of foods, and am very willing to expose my pallet to any other food the world has to offer! My "maturing" experience so to speak is also the reason why I am dedicating my first post to the flavorful meal that is sushi.

If you have traveled the world recently, I am sure you have noticed the abundance of sushi restaurants that have sprung up.  In Paris alone I was shocked by the number of sushi eateries I saw.  Every street I turned down there was a promise of finding sushi.  Maybe it is just me, but for some reason I found it quite ironic that even though I was in Paris, I was having a much easier time finding Japanese food than a simple Crepe. It was then that it occurred to me, that even back here in New England, there are several different options for eating Sushi alone. Its popularity is undeniable. In fact, it is so popular that a customer of mine requested a Sushi Cake for a party.  This was the end result:
Now that you know where to get a cake that looks like a plate of sushi, lets get back to the topic of where to find an actual plate of Sushi.  There are numerous restaurants serving sushi in New England.  No need to travel to Japan to find a well prepared sushi dish.  In Massachusetts alone I have sampled numerous restaurants - some good, some bad, some horrible, and some that were absolutely amazing!  If you are living in the Boston and north of Boston area, I suggest trying out these places:

Yoshi Sushi (Somerville, MA) - If you are looking for a small, quaint, and quiet dining experience than Yoshi is the place for you.  It can get a little rowdier when it is full, but luckily the restaurant is small enough that it is never too noisy to enjoy a conversation.  Yoshi's sushi is very filling and the restaurant runs on a BYOB policy.

Koreana (Cambridge, MA) - Koreana is a little more upscale and larger than Yoshi.  The prices are a little higher, but you are also paying for the more elegant atmosphere.  They serve an array of sushi and many other hot meals, but I suggest just trying the sushi.  During dinnertime and on the weekends you will most likely have to wait if you do not call ahead.

Inaka Japanese & Korean Cuisine (Lawrence, MA) - A family owned restaurant conveniently located in the same plaza as the movie theatre, so if you are in need of dinner and a movie, then Inaka is the place for you.  Like Yoshi, the atmosphere is a little more quiet, nothing too fancy, but they are larger in size. The service is excellent and the way the food is prepared and presented is unbeatable.

Wang's Table (Haverhill, MA) - Wang's table is somewhere in between Yoshi and Koreana in terms of size and atmosphere.  It is not an exceptionally large place, nor a noisy place, but they do offer an extensive drink list that enables restaurant goers to loosen up.  Try their lychee martini or everyone's favorite, the Scorpion bowl! Although I have been going here for years, I must admit they have turned me off recently.  There food is delicious, but the service is mediocre at best.  For the past year I have noticed that every time I go in there, the wait staff all act as though they rather be somewhere else and you are inconveniencing them by eating there.  Usually I just ignore it and enjoy my meal since the restaurant is closest to my home.  However, I recently decided to venture elsewhere, which leads me to my featured restaurant - Sushi Time!

*Sushi Time (Plaistow, NH) - If you are from the area then you will understand what I mean when I say, "A sushi place in Plaistow!?!?" When I first heard about Sushi Time, I will admit I shied away.  After all, Plaistow, NH does not exactly scream delicious, well prepared, sushi.  In fact, it makes me think the complete opposite.  Since I stereotyped Sushi Time as the place one goes to die from food poisoning, I continued my relationship with Wang's Table.  About a month ago though I was craving Sushi - absolutely craving it! But alas, Wang's Table was closed due to a power outage.  I decided it was time to cave and give Sushi Time a try.  After all, I had not actually heard any negative reviews about the restaurant.

When I first walked in I was pleasantly surprised.  Not only was it a cozy little room, but it was also packed for a Sunday night.  To me, if places like that are full on a Sunday evening, then that is more than a good sign! The atmosphere is nothing too fancy, but the service is great - very friendly and helpful.  Unlike Wang's Table, I felt as though the employees of Sushi Time actually wanted my business.  That alone is an excellent start to a dining experience.  Then, the sushi came... and wow! Just as good, if not better than Wang's Table.  If you are a tuna fan, then I very highly recommend the Spicy Tuna Roll.  They also offer pages and pages of specialty rolls.  Try the Red Sox Roll - it is absolutely superb!

Additionally, Sushi Time is extremely well priced.  They are definitely one of the less expensive sushi restaurants I have ever been to, but trust me, their quality of food is that of a four star restaurant.  Oh, and one more thing... if you are looking for a place to drink and have fun, then Sushi Time may or may not be the place for you.  They only serve beer, wine, and saki.  However, on the weekends and sometimes on busy weeknights, the wait staff will come around to all the tables with a bottle of saki to squirt into your mouth.  This does make quite a lot of sense when you consider their motto: "More Saki... More Happy!"

*(Please note: These are not the only Sushi restaurants nearby, there are plenty more in the area.  These are simply just the top places that I have been to several times and can accurately critique from experience).  Pin It

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