Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Croquer: Sushi, Two Ways

I was very excited to get my first guest blog submission from my friend Ashley via text last week! She was in New York, sitting at the West Village vegetarian (Red Bamboo off-shoot) Soy & Sake Village (47 7th Ave S #49, NYC 212.255.2848). "You'd be proud, Nathan," she beamed (yes, via text) and told me she'd send a photo of the glorious animal-less sushi roll she was thoroughly enjoying. Check out the Village Roll (faux rock shrimp, tempura, cucumbers topped with fried banana and avocado with spicy vegan mayo). "Deliciousness x a million," she claims. I believe it!
On my way to a concert at the Wiltern Theatre this week, I found myself craving a little sushi myself (shocker), and wanting to find a GOOD spot nearby (instead of the eeny-meeny among the fishy strip malls) my passenger pulled up a Yelp location search for the area on her phone, which directed us to Sushi Eyaki (5040 Wilshire Blvd. 323.930.2636). Though it was a discreet strip mall storefront, I already got a good feeling from Eyaki. We sat at the small sushi bar and promptly ordered salmon sashimi, a spicy tuna crunch roll and the Rock n Roll (shrimp, baked fresh water eel, avocado & crabmeat, tempura fried). First on my radar were the details - the fresh pickled ginger and sweet cucumbers set before us first were the most delightful I've tasted in LA. The salmon was butter-smooth perfection, trumping any sashimi I personally have had before (note: I am a sushi novice - though my seasoned guest did agree to its superior quality). The following rolls were complex and very tasty, though perhaps overly ornamented with eel sauce and spicy mayo drizzles.. I had a little trouble tasting the tuna and eel. Which brings me to a critical point: This semi-fish-phobic (me) might just be growing his chops a bit!
..And it never tasted so good!

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