I was alone. There is something strangely satisfying about going to a restaurant just to enjoy some silence, alone with your thoughts, so you can savor some food. Plus my roommate was asleep. Anyway, I jumped in the Jeep, and drove down towards the Evansdale district for some sushi goodness. I checked UrbanSpoon beforehand.
I was not impressed by the facade. I mean, just look at it.
There’s a whole lot more parking in back; it’s not just those three spaces. I parked right in front.
The surprising thing? The interior is gorgeous. You have no idea that through this dumpy gateway there lies a rich, mahogany-soaked, beautifully lit and culturally diverse design. I saw on the sign that they were open until 9:30 on Sunday; a good sign for those that live the student lifestyle and can’t eat out during the week.
I was led to my seat by a kindly older gentleman who seemed to have a bit of a hearing problem, or at least trouble understanding my West Virginia dialect. I was seated at a nice wooden table in the corner, next to a wall of asian-styled figurines and collectibles. He lay a wonderful, colorful menu in front of me, where I proceeded to look for the drinks. I found none before he came back literally seconds later. Panicked, I asked what the drinks were at this establishment, and he went to grab the wine list before realizing a college male probably wouldn’t want to drink a bottle of wine alone.
They have three soft drinks: Coke, Sprite, and Dr. Pepper. Surprisingly small selection for a place with such a wide variety of meals. And the superb menu put before me? You have to order the sushi with a little paper black-and-white insert by putting a check next to a box. Disappointing after the snappily dresses workers and overall beauty of the restaurant. Of course, the older man has his reasons; they’ve had trouble taking sushi orders in the past due to the cultural barrier.
As I had come to specifically review a sushi joint in Morgantown, I attempted to ask my server what a popular sushi was. I never made it far in conversation. He seemed rushed, but there were more workers than patrons on this Sunday evening. Puzzling. On a side note, he seemed a little worried about a lone person taking notes. So, looking over the list, I saw what seemed the perfect roll for my student journalistic approach: The WVU roll. Ingredients included Shrimp Tempura, Topped Salmon, Tuna, White Fish, “Crunchies” (still not sure what they are, other than texture, possibly tempura batter), and a very spicy sauce.
Almost too spicy for most, I would surmise. Luckily, I love spicy sushi. It also came with a little bowl of very good miso soup. It was not cheap (13.95), as a chef’s special probably wouldn’t be, but that was expected. I can make sacrifices for my craft. Presentation is key for sushi, and they delivered. Rolled well, perfect rice consistency, arranged in an arc on a square white plate for maximum visual effect. And absolutely drizzled with the tangy and spicy orange sauce, healthy dab of bright green wasabi. I was excited.
Imagine this with more sauce and way bigger.
Let’s be absolutely clear. I am not an expert on fish and rice rolled in rounded shapes. But this was easily on par with both Dragonfly Cafe and Lavender Cafe, two other quality Mtown eateries. Usually, with a spicy specialty roll, they deep fry it. Delicious, yes, but not sushi. But no, the salmon and tuna had the glorious texture of rawness, mixed with the crunchy middle that usually was eaten first, due to my poor chopstick skills.
The positives outweigh the negatives, in this case. They are hiring full-time employees, so a more fluent English-speaking server could help the service substantially. Expand to a better drink menu, and be a bit more relaxed with the service, letting people relax a bit to compensate the high price, and we could be looking at the best damn Sushi place in the Morgantown.
If we had a rating system, I would give it four out of five eats. Whatever that means.