Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Itamae Sushi

Within walking distance of Hanaita, both Itamae Sushi and Ha-Ne Sushi offer their own unique dishes—like DOZO!, they are conveyor-belt sushi places.

The only other place I have ever seen conch sushi was in Florida, and I certainly had never seen a “Fried Conch with Cheese Roll” like I did inside Itamae. I knew that if I really wanted to, I could have ordered a fresh one from the sushi chef, so that the fried conch would not be cold inside the roll after many a revolution on the old train…but it was so chaotically noisy inside, and the chefs were so busy bustling, that I decided to just grab a ready-made one off the “belt.” The roll wasn’t the best, but it wasn’t half bad—sort of like a trailer-trash, fast-food version of overly inventive, extremely evolved sushi with stringy aerosol cheese to boot.

The Lobster & Mango Salad Roll was a misnomer—they should have written “Lobster Salad & Mango Roll”—but I knew what they meant because of the photo. Somehow, mango always marries well with salmon and just about any crustacean in my opinion, and that was the case with this two-piece ensemble. I thought it was interesting that they draped such large slices of mango atop the rolls, as if they were fish wrapping a maki; the black flying fish eggs were also a pretty standard accompaniment with the lobster salad, which had that pungent hint of wasabi mayo just as I’d suspected (I wish they would make a lobster mixture without that wasabi flavor, but for some reason it’s hard to find).

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