TWO CHOP STICKS UP!
I was really shocked people…I thought this was going to be another one of those fringe sushi bars located in a strip mall that is just waiting for the health department to find it. Afterall, nothing says “good eats” like being told its location is sandwiched between two car dealerships. Yum!
We arrived…groaned a few times driving around the empty strip mall parking lot and weren’t anticipating much. The decor was…uh…nice! Commercially slick surfaces, polished and primped urban sushi house stylings…it felt like a midwestern low budget version of n or China Grill (that was a compliment actually).
They have a huge menu ranging from new sushi (Uni shooters and gourmet rolls) to traditional japanese favorites (maki, tempura and noodles type fare) to regular midwestern palette pleasures of filet mignon and lobster. We started off with a spicy crab salad sample served along side a wonton cracker (was I just given an amuse bouche in Indianapolis?) and it was so tangy spicy delicious I order a whole serving for myself. We mixed our selections from across the menu.
The Ultimate Tuna Sashimi…not sooo ultimate.
We ordered a smattering of traditional rolls and modern gourmet rolls recommended as house favorites. Six rolls in all and I wasn’t that thrilled with the traditional attempts. They were fine…nothing particualrly bad about them i guess…but I didn’t get that bursting fresh fish taste with any of them. I assumed it was due to the sashimi turn over not being what it should be; we were almost the only ones in the dining room on a Saturday night.
The center piece of our meal was the Ishi Yaki; the tradition of cooking meat on a hot rock table side. Our tuna selections were large and the ginger dipping sauce marinade they floated in was finger licking great! I hope Ishi Yaki has a rebirth in new japanese american cooking and becomes the new fondue. It’s elegant, tastes great and is an easy way to slow down the meal.
A nice surprise was the bacon wrapped scallop cakes. Scallops and blue crab minced with peppers, shallots and chives, wrapped in marinated bacon served on top of a plum teriyake sauce. The presentation was beautiful, the sauce not too sweet and the “cakes” juicy and large.
I think this place has a chance…the food is not the problem here…actually I’m not sure if there IS a problem here. It’s location is not very appetizing yet it has some big box restaurant neighbors that are doing very well. Come on people…let’s meet for a spicy crunchy tuna roll.