Where: Musashi’s, 1400 N. 45th St., Wallingford, 633-0212.
What Does $13 Get You? A lot. Harusami (noodle) salad $1.50; miso soup $1.20; half California roll $3.20; small sake $3.25; tuna sashimi $1.70; yellowtail sashimi $1.70 = $12.55. But that’s a pretty chintzy tip. You can probably skip the sake.
Recommended? If you feel like sushi on a budget.
Official Tasting Notes: Here’s the thing about me and sushi. I have the same feelings towards it that I do towards wine: I appreciate quality when it comes my way, but most of the time, cheap is just fine. I mean, intellectually, I understand that the words “cheap” and “fish” shouldn’t be in the same sentence together, like, ever. But that never stopped me from pigging out on cheap fish from Musashi’s every week when I lived in Wallingford. And loving every minute of it.
The thing to order is chirashi, a massive bowl of sashimi and rice that’s not on the menu, but at $14 it’s out of our price range (though I feel obliged to plug it as the bargain it is just the same). So this time, I decided to branch out. The miso is standard—better than my low bar, those packets from Trader Joe’s. The harusami salad is superb, but I can’t explain why, unless they mix in crack along with the rice noodles and bits of imitation crab and cucumber and sesame seeds and weirdly addictive white mystery sauce. (Is it mayo-based? Probably. I could do my job and call for the recipe, but to tell you the truth, I’m afraid if I know what’s in it, I’ll never order it again. Kind of like the tragic day I uncovered The Secret of the Honey Walnut Prawns*.)
But I digress. Back to the cheap fish. The California Roll is more substantial than most, packed with imitation crab, shrimp, avocado, cucumber and egg. The sashimi cuts are huge and fresh and tasty. I have no idea why everything is so cheap; I’ve never gotten sick, and neither have the legions on yelp—I’d say that’s a sample that would satisfy any statistician.
Bottom line: If you’re looking for amazing sushi, Kisasku is right around the corner and happy to have you. But if you’re fixing for some thick cuts of yellowtail and are (a) broke and/or (b) not picky, then Musashi’s will get the job done every time. Just make sure to get there right on the dot at 5 p.m. when it opens, because, man—it turns out that everyone else in town has a soft spot for cheap fish, too.
*Mayo. Lots and lots and lots of mayo. Ugh.