Sachi and I made these plans the previous week after indulging in a few adult beverages, so I sent her a text asking if we were still on. She immediately responded: "Most definitely still on. 5PM, table for two."
I haven't known Sachi too long, but this is precisely why I love the girl. She's up for anything. A sushi outing at 4:45 in the afternoon with someone she barely knows? Sign her up.
Let me also say that Sushi Zone has been on my "list" for ages. And considering my gripe about the lack of abundant sushi restaurants in this town, I can't believe it's taken me this long to try it.
Now if you're wondering why on earth we were eating dinner at 5PM, we had our reasons. For starters, I had a kickball game to play in at 6:30. (Kickball is actually how I initially met Sachi, but sadly she is not playing this season). Also, check out the photo on the left. That is the line that had already formed FIFTEEN MINUTES before the place even opened. That's because the place is *tiny.* It contains two booths that cozily would fit 6 people each (but 4 realistically). Aside from that, it's just the sushi bar, which has room for 8. There is one waitress, one sushi chef, and one bus boy. In other words, if you do not get in on that very first seating, be prepared to wait at least an hour and usually more. (Sachi waited 3 hours the first time she ate there).
Since we wanted to get our food as quickly as possible, we were determined to be one of the first in the restaurant to order. We literally just started rattling random things off the menu to the friendly waitress. We ended up ordering two appetizers, three plates of sashimi, two rolls and some sake. (We were hungry, OK?!?) Fortunately, we realized we had over-ordered before the sushi chef made the final roll and promptly un-ordered it. We loved the Hawaiian Roll #1. It was tuna, avocado and scallions topped with macadamia nuts. Not sure I've ever had nuts on a sushi roll, but I loved the crunchy texture, and they went beautifully with the fresh fish and avocado. (For the record, Hawaiian Roll #2 with mango instead of avocado also was tempting).
More on the amazing sushi in a minute, but we also ordered a couple of hot dishes which we adored. The one on the left is a must-order item here. It's bass baked inside of mussel shells with chunks of mango and mixed with a spicy mayo sauce. Ummmm....yes please. (They also have a baked mussels dish that looked to be very similar.) This was the first thing from our laundry list order that arrived, and I'm pretty sure we devoured it in about 2 minutes flat. We also ordered the Hamachi Kama (cheek) off the specials board. This is also a cooked dish, and it was flaky and light. It was a little challenging at times to pry the fish off the bone with chopsticks, but it was delicious nonetheless and I would definitely recommend (and a steal at only $8.50).
But for me, the real measure of a good sushi joint is the quality of the sashimi, and it truly shines at Sushi Zone. In our ordering frenzy, we chose mackerel (left), tuna, and salmon. Just looking at it on the plate you knew it was going to be awesome. First of all, they are extremely generous with their sashimi cuts here. I mean....just look at it! Huge chunks of some of the freshest fish I've ever laid taste buds upon. Seriously. So. Fresh. I hate when fish tastes...well, for lack of a better word...fishy. I also hate when it's chewy or has a weird texture. You'll find nothing of the sort at Sushi Zone. The fish we had there was almost...buttery. It sort of just melted in your mouth as you do that close-your-eyes-and-go-mmmmm face. I had never tried mackerel before, but it is my new favorite sushi now.
The other great thing about Sushi Zone? The prices. Most rolls are under 10 bucks (even the fancy ones). The sashimi plates will only run you $12 each, and most of the appetizers were under $10 as well. (Just beware...cash only). Our total came to $72. Not too bad for two hungry girls craving some delicious sushi and girl time. Cheers to the sushi and Sachi...and to many more culinary adventures in our future!