All the Spokane food-related stuff that I can't figure out how to wedge into my other blog.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Agedashi tofu

Ok. Get over the name. Yes, it's the dumbest name of all time for a restaurant. But forget about it, because is the best sushi place in Spokane.

Right off the bat I should explain my sushi snobbery. There's an American tendency to screw up good food from other countries. The jalapeno-popperization of sushi is a perfect example. I'm not into sushi that's been injected with cream cheese and/or deep fried.

That's not sushi to me. That's like calling deep-fried mozzarella sticks "Italian." Generally speaking, Spokane has a big old hard-on for injected, californiaized, and fried "sushi."

Salmon skin roll - aka "Alaska" roll will make sushi-poppers with the best of them, but unlike the majority of sushi places in town, has the basics (e.g., "normal" or "traditional" sushi) dialed in.

Right off the second bat I should mention that I'm no sushi connoisseur either. I just like fresh raw fish. It's really really easy to tell when fish is not fresh. Cause it smells like fish. I cut my sushi teeth at a place in Bellevue called Kiku's. I worked down the street from Kikus and went there at least a couple times a week for years. So that's the benchmark. Good or bad. I'd like to think it's good, since the great sushi and sashimi and Japanese "comfort food" that I had while visiting Japan was very familiar to the food at Kikus. So there!

So. I dig I dig the people that work there. And given that just about all of the front-house staff and sushi chefs have been there since the beginning, I think they must be doing something well. And I dig their fish. I've tried every sushi place in town, is my favorite.

Your basic salmon sushi. Hard to beat this.

I wish they had more traditional Japanese comfort food there (katsu curry, tonkatsu, etc), but they've got lots of fun appetizers and plenty of non-beef/chicken/pork options.

Some of my favorites:
- Alaska roll. Funny name for a salmon skin roll. It's done well, with nice crispy broiled skin and it's dirt cheap. I'm pretty sure it's just under $5.

- Agadashi tofu. Nicely fried tofu with dipping sauce. Under $5 also.

- Seaweed salad. Standard, but yummy. Also cheap.

- Oysters on the half shell are rad when they have them. Super clean, drizzled with a touch of rice wine vinegar and finished with a dab of rooster chili sauce. These guys really sparkle. When those aren't available, I go for the baked oysters.

- Aji sushi - also a special. Aji is mackerel with a light vinegar sauce. Served sahimi style. In my experience, this is a good touch stone to sushi places. If you order it, don't do the soy/wasabi deal -- it's ready to eat!

- Salmon sushi. Always fresh, yummy, and perfect.

- Maddie loves the kid chicken terriyaki plate: aside from the chicken, it has a potsticker, some tempura, rice, salad. It's around $7.

Sparkling oysters. Blurry picture.

I love a great spider roll when I'm out with friends and these guys have a passable spider roll, but it's no award winner.

All in all, is a favorite for this family.


  1. For vegetarians the Curtis Roll is wonderful. I get it without the avocado because I'm not an avocado fan much of the time. It's covered with a thin fried tofu skin--I can't figure out how they create that so beautifully. They also have edamame, miso soup and some other vegetarian options. You can always request your own combo although I love the Curtis roll so much I've never bothered.

    We got one of the appetizer combos--can't recall the name--that was several bits of wonderful pickled vegetables. Carrots, maybe eggplant, something else? Yum.

    Our younger kids (12 & 10) thought the teriyaki plate was awesome too. "Best sushi place ever!" they said (I think it's the ONLY sushi place they've ever been to).

  2. Found it--the pickled veggie dish is tsukemono. Try it!