Bug nigiri.jpg
This Japanese insect nigiri is typically deep fried in the oil squeezed from a Metroid's anal glands.
The Japanese love to eat all kinds of


Japanese Eaters Are Ballsier Than Arby's Regulars

Bug nigiri.jpg
This Japanese insect nigiri is typically deep fried in the oil squeezed from a Metroid's anal glands.
The Japanese love to eat all kinds of fucked-up delicacies. Jason Sheehan recently wrote about square Japanese watermelons , but that's only the tip of the iceberg.

The Japanese eat shit you wouldn't even eat if you were so stoned that you'd be willing to eat at Arby's. Although this insect nigiri actually looks kind of nice (especially the really pastoral-looking praying mantes garnishing that tofu), this other collection of allegedly edible crap pushes the envelope of good taste. And I should know about pushing the envelope of good taste, since I push your mom's envelope of good taste nightly.

Anyway, despite all of the aforementioned hyperbole, Japanese cuisine is generally really awesome. After all, if you're willing to eat Slim Jims, you're fully equipped to handle raw fish. And if you'll eat raw fish then it's just a hop, skip, and a jump to stink bugs or tuna eyes, finished with a virgin's sweat and garnished with a schoolgirl's panties.

Recently I've been trying to repair my damaged sushi cred. I was looking for a decent sushi place to eat, and blogger Jay Friedman gave me a recommendation: Kisaku.

Jay told me I should definitely get the hotato konbu jime--scallop marinated in seaweed. If you're going to order this, call AN HOUR BEFORE you arrive at Kisaku. Trust me on that. I called to order my hotate konbu jime a half-hour before we arrived at Kisaku's charming Wallingford location, and it STILL wasn't ready. So we ordered some other stuff instead.

We stuck mostly to nigiri sushi. Albacore ($4 for two pieces) was succulent and creamy and tasted very fresh. Sockeye salmon nigiri ($4.50) came to the table in twin slabs of rusty copper- colored flesh with a rich fatty finish. And yellowtail ($4.50) was of course very light and supple and tasty as always.

Normally I have scorn for rolls. That's because rolls are typically eaten by sorority girls and dudes with Ed Hardy T- shirts and baseball caps with brims so perfectly straight they must level it with a satellite-mounted laser. Still, in the interest of journalistic fastidiousness, I usually always get one, just to see.

Luckily, Kisaku doesn't disappoint. The Wallingford Roll ($6) comes sliced into six pieces, filled with diced yellowtail with scallion and cucumber, garnished with daikon sprouts and dusted with tobiko roe. This was a pretty typical roll, but fuck it: All the ingredients were very fresh.

Finally, the hotate konbu jime ($4) came to the table. Given all of the suspense and preparation, I thought it would cost more. The chef cautioned us not to dip it into soy sauce, which was sage advice because the flavors were so subtle: the scallop flesh was mildly sweet and there was a distinct marine smell, like a distant sea breeze, in the finish, thanks to the konbu marinade. Dousing this in soy sauce would've been a total mistake, because the brassy salt splash of the soy would have definitely obliterated the mild peaceful taste of the scallop, like doing donuts in a monster truck inside a display of Faberge Eggs.

Kisaku is a pretty good neighborhood sushi place. It's cheap and the sushi is fresh and they've got pretty talented sushi chefs. Sure, they don't have exotic traditional Japanese delicacies, like a leprechaun's testicle,tied up in Super Mario's mustache hair and served with Power Pellets and eaten off the naked breast of your mom, but fuck it. I wouldn't eat that anyway.

Rating: 7.5 pellets out of 10

Kisaku is located at 2101 N. 55th St. #100. For reservations call 545-9050.

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