What’s up with Wasabi

Tabatha Saake

Kyla’s Kitchen

I have always been a huge fan of sushi, and since Wasabi offers a wide variety of food and a close location, it is always my first pick. That’s why it was the perfect restaurant for my birthday dinner.

Since the sushi takes a while to prepare correctly, I like to start off the meal with appetizers like edamame or gyoza for the table. This is the perfect way to stave off hunger for a while, and leaves everyone ready for all the sushi that is to come. I personally prefer the edamame, because they are small and it is hard to eat to many of them and get full, like with bread, but the flavors of the soybeans contrast perfectly with the salt, and prepares the palette for any sushi on the menu.

I have loved the more basic rolls, ones with just a few savory ingredients, since I was little, and at Wasabi, they not only have an amazing California roll, they have multiple different special rolls that are a take on it, like adding spicy salmon, chili mayo or mixed crab. We ordered the regular California rolls as well as sampling some of the ones with extra ingredients. I would highly recommend the regular for people that haven’t tried sushi before or want to start small and build up to the more complex choices. The California roll is a popular pick l that almost everybody likes with fresh crab, crisp cucumber and avocado. All of the ingredients may sound weird as a combination, but when they are wrapped in the seaweed cover and surrounded by rice, they complement each other very well. However, all of my friends were adventurous with their choices, so we had a wide variety of sushi to choose from.

Plate of California roll, M&B II, and Wasabi Special.

Tabatha Saake
Plate of California roll, M&B II, and Wasabi Special.

One of my all time favorite dishes at Wasabi is the M&B II, which consists of a shrimp tempura roll, topped with smoked eel and avocado. This is finished off with a sauce that is bordering on barbecue, so along with the almost salty mix of smoked eel and avocado, there are smoky undertones to bring the whole roll together. The only problem with this dish is they pack so much shrimp in the seaweed and rice wrap that it is hard to eat in one bite but this is the best kind of problem to have with sushi. This roll pairs well with a little bit of wasabi and soy sauce. I could not stand wasabi when I first tried sushi, and because it is so hot, it took me a while to try it again, but eventually I found that with the right amount, it can bring out some of the more subtle flavors, and complement the bolder ones. With the M&B II, the wasabi helps to highlight the lighter flavors of the shrimp, and the soy sauce brings out the freshness of the eel.

We even went so far as to order tako, which is steamed octopus over rice, wrapped in a thin strip of seaweed. This part of the menu also offers rolls like squid, flying fish eggs, wasabi and quail eggs in a roll, and several types of fish. I did not have the chance to try the octopus myself, but those who tried said they liked it, although it had a very rubbery texture.

Finally, as far as atmosphere goes, the dim lights, soft ambient music and decor of the restaurant make this location a perfect place for conversation, and because the staff is so attentive and lively, the overall atmosphere is very comfortable and welcoming. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t tried any rolls yet or you’re a sushi connoisseur, Wasabi was perfect for my birthday celebration and is just as perfect for a fun night out.

Emma’s Eats

In order to properly celebrate her birthday, Kyla and I decided to go out to a nice dinner with a few of our friends. Since I had never to an actual sushi restaurant before, we figured it was finally time to try it out. Now, this was my first time going to Wasabi, but I had heard great things about it and was eager to go.

Being in a group of about eight people, everyone got something different so we got to sample a lot of different types and all were good, but there were a few specific types that stood out among the rest.  The first of which, and the best in my opinion, was the Wasabi Special. Now, I know this sounds really spicy with wasabi in the name, but it actually wasn’t that bad. This was essentially a variation of a classic California roll, but with an interesting twist. While the contents of the roll were the same, there was a chili mayo on top along with a spicy crunch. Bold and different, this sauce added flavor to the sushi. Instead of the typical, bland California roll, the chili mayo added a little heat to complement the flavor of the tender crab. The crunch on top added to the texture as well, providing a variety of texture in each roll. The only issue was that I couldn’t fit each roll into my mouth so it got a little messy!

The second roll that stood out was the Spider roll.  While spider doesn’t sound appetizing, it’s actually just fried soft-shell crab paired with cucumber and avocado, topped with the chili mayo, again. The delicate flavors of the crab were brought out extremely well by the crisp cucumbers and juicy avocados, and the spicy chili mayo on top enhanced the subtle flavors even more by

Sampling of the California roll and the Wasabi Special.

Jamie Gardner
Sampling of the California roll and the Wasabi Special.

contrasting them leading to the perfect pairing of spicy and sweet. This roll dipped in soy sauce is even better because the strong, tart flavor of the soy sauce blends in well to tone down the heat from the chili mayo while still bringing out the flavors of the crab, cucumber and avocado.

On each plate of sushi brought out, there was a side of ginger, used to cleanse your palate in between the different types of rolls, and a side of wasabi. Each of us at the table tried a little of the wasabi for fun because it’s known to be extremely hot and it did not disappoint. Not being a fan of extremely spicy flavors, I was only able to eat an extremely small amount before I had to start chugging my water to stop the burning in my mouth and nose. This led us to our only real issue; they didn’t bring us out much water and it took a long time to refill.

However, despite that small issue, our waitress was extremely friendly and very helpful in helping us pick some rolls to try.  If you’re a fan of sushi and in the area, I would highly recommend going to Wasabi for a great environment and even greater food.