Sushi LOOSHI

OK that title does have a story behind it but it is not that exciting, in fact it is kind of simple, and rather foolish. My husband, Kenny, nicknames everything. The people closest to him each have several nicknames…one of mine being Loosh….now that is not a synonym for lush…..as in I drank too much Saki one night…..no nothing like that. Well I LOVE Sushi and when we dine out for sushi Kenny always says “Sushi Looshi?”.

Weird…..I know.
A while back I put a little survey on Strawberry CAKE to see who among my readers was on my side when it came to Sushi. I did not have a great participation in the survey. So I thought lets try it again. My intent was to try every sushi restaurant in the Grand Rapids area and let you know what I thought was best.
WELL life has gotten the best of me and I have only been able to get my steadily growing behind to 4 places! (I am also on the search for the areas best hamburger too, mind you….nothing in moderation with me!)
This book has been on my nightstand, I bought it with the intentions of teaching myself how to make sushi and now I have decided I really just like going out for sushi and reading cookbooks about it. Sushi taste and technique written by Kimiko Barber and Hiroki Takemura, this is a great book if you decide you do want to take on sushi. Or if you are a big wimp like myself then it is also just a dang good read. I picked it up at Barnes and Nobles for around $20. Dorling Kindersley books are always a good bet when you need to get the scoop on something. Great pictures and detailed instructions.

D&W FRESH MARKET

The D&W Fresh Market in Grandville was my first stop. Which made sense because I buy sushi there once a week. It was fun getting to know the man behind the sushi at D&W. I asked the stores manager for “the sushi guys” phone number and gave him a call. Needless to say, he was a bit confused as to why I…..Strawberry CAKE blogger….was wanting to meet with him and put pictures of him on my blog. But he was very friendly and was happy to oblige.

The store employees call him Boss Man, but his real name is Minn. Minn was awesome, he told me he came to USA from Burma 15 years ago. He lived in NYC, that is where he began his journey with sushi. From there he traveled a bit down the east coast and then wound up in all places….Grandville Mi.

Minn makes fresh sushi daily at his sushi bar in D&W Fresh Market and at the Kirkhof Center on the campus of Grand Valley State University. They never had this kind of fare when I went to school there. In the words of my 7 year old “NO fair!”.

I order sushi in a restaurants, I throw it in my cart at the grocery store. But until I stood and watched Minn work I really didn’t realize ALL the prep that goes in to even the simplest of sushi.

Confession: Hi, my name is Sheila Johnson….and I have been taking sushi chefs for granted for approximately 10 years now. I am sorry. I will try to be more appreciative of all the work that goes into each mouthful.

I think Minn could make sushi in his sleep. He didn’t skip a beat as he chatted with me an answered all my questions and took my teasing. I tease often, and then laugh at myself when I get nervous. Awkward. I asked him if I opened a bakery if he would consider doing sushi in the front window. Cinnamon rolls, and sushi. Something new. Something never done before in West Michigan. You never know what the new trends are gonna be. Never hurts to ask. He furrowed his brow at me.
I get that ALOT.

Bossman did the sushi for my sisters wedding 5 years ago….it was great. And beautiful. That is the thing about sushi, it is pretty too. For about 2 seconds until I throw it done my gullet!

This is what I ended up going home with the day I visited “the Boss Man”, eel roll(cooked eel, seaweed wrapped in rice and teryaki sauce with sesame seeds on top), he said it was his favorite. I enjoyed it too.

I recommend if you have never tried sushi that you stop in to D&W and pay Minn a visit. It will give you a taste of sushi with out a huge commitment of going into a restaurant.

MARADO SUSHI

My next stop was Mirado Sushi, downtown Grand Rapids on Monroe. I have been to this restaurant many times also. It is close to where my sweet Seestor works. So I meet her for lunch there. MMMMMMmmmmm MMMMmmm MMMmmm! The service is always friendly and for the most part you can watch them make your order up at the counter. Which I have never done, because I am too busy catching up with my sis. This day we ordered our usual Spicy Tuna. My sister and I, we like spicy! Kamikaze Roll= spice tuna , avocado, kanikama and deep fried with sauce, they got me here with the spice AND the deep fried! I was afraid my digestive system might do a kamikaze with the combination.

I’m getting old….always thinking about the bowels these days.
We also tried the Philadelphia Roll, which was super. Very fresh and tasty. Salmon, avocado and cream cheese, you can’t go wrong with a Philadelphia Roll. They also served us a salad and a broth soup.

I would definitely recommend you try Mirado Sushi in Downtown Grand Rapids, 47 Monroe Center. They are closed Sunday, just FYI.

There they are our spicy tuna and kamikaze rolls. Delish!

MIKADO SUSHI
Mikado Sushi, on the corner of 28th and East Paris. This was the third place I tried on my search. I think I heard from too many people that it was their favorite, and my expectations were too high. I did, however, have great company this day…..

this is Robin, by bloggin’ friend. She is a loyal(crazy) follower. Also a lover of the Pioneer Woman…so we had to get together so I could give her the up close and personal skinny on my trip to visit Ree…with my new friend Karen.

We ordered a combo platter and shared it. It was picture perfect! There was a very strange couple pieces of white sashimi. To the eye they were very normal, but on the palate it was the strangest thing either one of us had EVER had in our pie holes! The texture was something like a rubbery, raw, slimy, chewy, hunk of fat…with no taste. Robin’s eyes bounced out of her head after she placed it on her tongue. I was not scared I too gave it a try and my cheeks puffed out to guinea pig sized proportions! Very strange stuff. Our wait staff was pretty much not helpful in telling us what it was we were eating. It was pretty busy in there so I will give them the benefit of the doubt. Over all I would give it a B. Like I said I think maybe my expectations were too high.

TOKYO GRILL

44th St. @ Breton
(616)455-3433
hours M-Fri 11:30am-10pm/Sat. noon-10pm/no Sunday hours posted
Yesterday I took my oldest daughter out of school….to shop and eat sushi. Hey, you just have to do these things sometimes. And the girl needed a new bathing suit…that was modest and fun and wasn’t going to break the bank. That is no easy task. I think I would rather rip my pinkie toe nail off than bathing suit shop for myself. But for my big girl it was not too painful.
SUSHI that’s what this was really about not bathing suits. So after we got ourselves good and hungry shopping we met my seester (her name is Carla) for lunch at Tokyo Grill. I had heard many good things about this restaurant. And they proved to all be true.
Word had it that they make the sushi for The Electric Eel, which is a hip new restaurant in town, in the Wealthy Street District. But I did not confirm that with “the eel” that is just “the word” on the street.
The atmosphere was cozy. check
The bathrooms were clean. check
The staff was busy but attentive. check
The menu was not lacking in choices. check
The sushi chefs were in clear view and enjoyed us watching them as they prepared sushi. check
Orbit gum with the check(that’s kinda fun!). check
Did I say we were hungry? Well we went a little nuts, when we ordered, so we thought. This is what we checked off on our order sheet.
Hotategai-scallop
Unagi-cooked eel
Crunchy Maki
Helluva Maki-yellowtail, avocado, mayo, scallions, reversed with masago
Philadelphia Maki
Spider Maki-soft shell crab. asparagus, avocado, mayo and masago
Casey Maki- Tuna, avocado, cream cheese, scallions, reversed with masago and sesame
Vegi Tempura

Sorry about the blur…I was a bit hungry I think I was shaking from excitement. Suuusheee!

YES we are pigs. Yes we could hardly stand up after our meal was completely gone. Not one grain of rice was left.
Oink. Oh excuse me.
This is my new favorite place to eat sushi in Grand Rapids. I know there are more places to try. And I will over time but for now I would say give the Tokyo Grill a go. Everything was fresh, and displayed fabulously. Also, everything else that was coming out of the kitchen look amazing. We are going to give it a try with all of our kiddos soon.
So now whether you live nearby or far away will you let me know what your stance on sushi is. Don’t you love polls? Check it out there under my Ranch Count Down.
LuvYa,

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Comments

  1. 1
    Robin S. :

    Yep, that would be me, the loyal, yet crazy blog reading sushi eating friend. You summed that up well! And yes, that stuff was very strange! Ewww. Still can feel it in my mouth when I think back to it! Need to go to that Toyko Grill, wow! Still can't believe you are going to the ranch!

  2. 2
    Emily :

    I've experimented with sushi making, but it is a ton harder than it looks! I can't seem to make everything stay together like the experts. I guess I'll have to visit the Tokyo Grill sometime for the authentic stuff. 🙂

  3. 3
    Friberg Clan :

    Man..that all looks way too good! I HAVE to get some soon…let's go!

  4. 4
    Anna :

    Love, love, LOVE this post!! Being on the east coast for the last decade, I have a ton of sushi places to choose from, but when I come home to GR, I never know where to go…I am salivating just reading this…and I am pregnant and not due until Oct!! No raw stuff….but maybe a lovely little CA roll to hold me over 🙂 I've tried to make it too…definitely not as easy as the sushi chefs make it look…loving your blog, and most of my friends out here are reading you too!