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Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Kabuki

When Kabuki first opened, I was elated. A sushi bar? Five minutes from our house? !Vive maguro! Unfortunately, the place was dead, the service sucked, the drinks were WAY overpriced, and the sushi was mediocre at best. Since then, I've been getting my sushi fixes on vacations to larger, more water adjacent cities (with a few trips to Shogun and Wasabi here and there to supplement).

Since that time, we've heard enough scuttlebutt about how good they are to give them a second chance. So last night Steve and I headed over there to celebrate his final, er... final of law school. When we walked in, everything seemed eerily familiar: the cool driftwood decorations, the dirty fishtank, and the sparse staff and even more sparse clientele.

We decided to sit at the bar so we wouldn't be awash in a sea of empty tables.

We ordered a nice selection of items: squid tempura, cucumber, tuna, and shitake mushroom rolls; and albacore, yellowtail, and saltwater eel nagiri. Steve got a Buddha, which was, as Jackson would call it, a boozy mess. I was actually almost done with my beer by the time Steve recieved his well-deserved Buddha, because the only guy in the place who knew how to make them busy making food in the back. We waited for our food after the Buddha arrived as well, but we passed the time by watching the sushi chef work.

When we finally got our sushi we were surprised. We had been watching the chef fill up one of those big wooden boats with a beautiful assortment of nagiri and rolls, but we assumed it was for someone else, since we hadn't ordered that much (or so we thought).

Long story short, the sushi was fantastic. I contend that all the fish in Lincoln is pretty much the same (they get their fish from the same place), so the way to judge a sushi restaurant is their rice. After all, doesn't the word "sushi" mean "seasoned rice"? The rice is what makes or breaks the meal for me-- that's why I don't like the sushi at Chinese buffets, that's why I don't like the attempts at sushi I've tried at home, and that's why Marz has the worst sushi I've ever tasted. It had the right balance of salty, sweet, and vinegary flavors; it wasn't crunchy or mushy; it wasn't too skicky; it was really the perfect sushi rice. Whoever makes it is a talented person. Bra-vo.

I see myself eating lots more sushi from Kabuki in the future... but I'll probably get take-out.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Mr. T said...

Thanks for the review. Sushi and sashimi is awesome. I have yet to try sushi in Lincoln with the exception of those pre-packaged things at some grocery stores.

6:08 PM  
Blogger Thomas Irvin said...

Ash and I had the big boat o' sushi there and loved it. One of the items was the spicy mexi roll or something and I questioned Ash's wisdom in ordering it but it was really, really good.

3:23 PM  
Anonymous Maggie Osterberg said...

I'm with you on the rice thing, which is one of the reasons why Wasabi is no longer an option for me; their rice is awful. It barely holds together, is often dried out and when you add the abysmal (an hour to get a sushi order when there are only three tops going in the place?) service, well, I'm glad Kabuki is close and Sushi Ichiban is less than an hour away.

1:36 PM  

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