I write this post mainly to all of the non-sushi eaters out there, because I counted myself as one of you prior to Thursday night. I have only tried Sushi once before in my entire life, and only got half way through a bite before spitting it back up. That was about 5 years ago and I vowed never to try sushi again. That was all before I began my life as a foodie. Through the two and a half years of food blogging I’ve often been asked where in Salt Lake City was the best sushi. I didn’t really know how to answer that question. I have several friends that love sushi and tell me about how you just have to order the right sushi, so I decided to be patient, buying time, and waiting for the right sushi evangelist to take my young 35-year-old man hand, and lead me to the sushi promised land. I knew that if my second sushi attempt went wrong, that there would most definitely not be a 3rd attempt.
I happened to have a client come to visit our office this week, and this gentleman has lived in both New York as well as the Bay area. He loves sushi, and I imagine that he has eaten at quite a few of this countries best sushi establishments. We were gathered together in a group trying to decide where to recommend him to go to dinner, and the topic of sushi came up. Takashi apparently, even here in Salt Lake City where the only salt water is to the North West of us, is on quite a few “Best Sushi” lists for the country, not just Utah. I thought that this might be my opportunity to convert and add a new cuisine to my repertoire so I decided to join him at Takashi for dinner. I was both excited and nervous at the same time.
With that said keep in mind as you read this review, that this is my first real sushi experience. This is coming from someone who admittedly has no idea what they are talking about when it comes to sushi. I have nothing to compare it to other than whatever it was that made me dry heave 5 years ago. With that said, not only was I able to keep down my food at Takashi, I actually enjoyed it quite a bit. I found Takashi to be quite good, so if you haven’t tried sushi before, or maybe you have tried it and not liked it, Takashi might be albeit expensive, a good choice to try high-grade fish.
I found the miso soup to be really unique and interesting. If I’m going to a soup and sandwich place, this soup probably would not be my first choice, but I found it to be good in the setting where we were. Miso is made from fermented soy bean and barley or rice malt. It is a very common soup in Japanese restaurants. I chuckled that they didn’t provide any spoons to partake of this soup, and really there wasn’t a need. The soup was mainly broth, and I downed it in less than a minute.
So we had a group of three and the game plan was to order 5-6 different types of rolls, unaggi, and sashimi. My sushi companions had me start with what would be the considered the mildest forms of sushi, and then depending on my reaction would lead me down the line to the more hard-core sushi.
I started out with the Unaggi which consisted of some rice and eel wrapped in seaweed. Eel is (always?) cooked, so this was a good start for the night. I dipped my eel in my little soy/wasabi mixture, cleared my mind, and threw it down! It was fantastic! I didn’t expect to enjoy the eel at all! In fact I can’t think of a more unappetizing sounding name for food than eel. I can’t help but think of the shrieking eel from Princess Bride. No way I would want to eat anything that resembled that creature that almost ate Princess Buttercup. But yeah, if that is what eel tastes like then sign me up for more!
My next step up the sushi chain was our spicy tuna roll. Unfortunately I failed miserably to take a picture of the spicy tuna roll, but once again, it passed the test. I loved it! The reason why it is often recommended for beginners is all the different flavors that go along with the fish itself. I found the whole thing to be excellent.
The Caribbean was a yellow tail roll with mango. It was probably my least favorite thing I tried of the evening. I don’t know if I was a fan of the yellow tail. All the flavors that went with it were fine, it just didn’t blow me away like the other items.
Of the rolls I tried, this one was my favorite, it came with salmon, pineapple, jalapeno and coconut shavings on top. It packed some punch with the jalapeno, but the fish and pineapple flavors were awesome as well.
This stuff absolutely took home the gold medal of the evening for me. The sablefish was melt in your mouth good without the slimy texture I was expecting. For this type of sushi, you can actually just pick it up with your hands and dunk it in your wasabi, but it was recommended to us to turn the sushi up side down so the fish hits your tongue and not the rice. It was at this point in the meal, I started to feel sorry that I had let so many years of my life go by without trying good sushi.
Another one of my favorites was the sashimi. Basically they were tuna fillets seared on the outside and then bathed in a citrus oil of some kind. I went back for seconds and thirds on this one. Loved it!
There you have it. Sushi lovers …. I “get” you now! The only thing that I saw as a negative, and I’ve heard this from several friends now is Takashi is a bit on the expensive side. I left pretty full, but between the 3 of us, the bill was at $130. While I loved Takashi, and enjoyed their sushi, I probably won’t be going back for a leisurely dinner. It’s time to spread my wings and try other sushi places so I can start the process of comparing and contrasting Takashi to others.