Reflections on Stripmall Eating

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

You Gotta Have Balls*

Name: Sushikazu
Location: 920 Dekalb Pike, Blue Bell, PA
Personnel: Jesse, Me
What We Ate: Wasabi Shumai; Complimentary Hijiki and Tofu; Oshinko; Japanese Tuna Balls; Kanica Roll; Blue Bell Roll; Una Avo Roll; Green Tea; Complimentary Orange Sections
Condiments: Soy-Vinegar Shumai Dip; Soy Sauce
Bill Total: $48
Observations: Holy shit. We struck suburban gold. Jesse had been telling me about Sushikazu for some time, and we finally had the chance to visit last weekend. It's a small place and it's kind of hidden behind a strip mall off of Route 73. But the place was obscure only to me—on a Saturday night it was packed with much savvier diners who'd had the foresight to make a reservation. The hostess gently chastised us for our mistake and we hovered by the entrance, watching what looked like promotional tourism videos until she found us a table. Because it was so crowded service was slow, but boy, everything we had was well worth the wait: A plate of oshinko (pickled veggies) surprised with unexpected flares of sweetness and umami. Spicy-sweet pork dumplings wrapped in wasabi-flavored leaves melted on the tongue. The Kanika roll, a bundle of King crab, cucumber, glinting roe and spicy sauce, was crowned with perfectly airy shrimp tempura. The highlight, though. was Japanese tuna balls, where the soft raw fish was embedded with slivers of green onion, and crispy crackles of tempura and rice cake. Unfortunately my camera batteries ran out en route, or I would be sharing pics of these gorgeous creations.
*The title of this post is actually a reference to a novel by Lily Brett, which is about a octogenarian man who opens up a restaurant with his sexy Polish girlfriend. They specialize in all things ball-like.

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