I had a mad sushi craving, and decided to go to Sakana despite having a very medicore experience there on my birthday. Meh, it's close and was a nice day, and I was in lunchin' mode!
Sakana is in terribly yuppie downtown Wayzata. The decor is somewhat traditional for a Japanese place. No frills or glitter, just some cozy seating and a sushi bar. They offer traditional American-Japanese fare (gyoza, tempura, noodles, sashimi and sushi, fish e.t.c.) and while the sushi is priced normally, the entrees are quite expensive. Today, they had a lunch special for 2 sushi rolls for $10 ( a choice of the basics: Cali roll, Boston Roll, tuna, spicy salmon etc.) I was pretty hungry, so I ordered the Shumai (steamed shrimp dumplings) and one Spicy Yellowtail roll and one Eel and Cucumber roll.
Shumai are usually the same everywhere I go. This one was not much different, except the shrimp didn't get as lost in the softness of the filling These are usually a little mushy, but not in a baby food way, more of a yummy little steamed dumpling-type of way. The sesame ponzu sauce was light, salty and sweet. Perfect.
Spicy Yellowtail Roll
Eel and Cucumber Roll
This has seriously been my best sushi experience to date. The rolls were not at all fishy. They were light, tasted fresh and were constructed excellently, with a swipe of spicy mayo on the plate. I struggled to eat a few of the larger yellowtail pieces, but I've developed a strategy, which is to bite one half and chew it in my mouth while still holding the other piece up to my mouth with the sticks. This way, I can chew and make a bit more room in my mouth to fit the rest of the roll in. It sounds like it might look gross, but it actually is pretty methodicall. Bite, chew chew, then chomp goes the rest of the roll. Any flimsily made roll would fall apart at this maneuver, but not these! The mayo was excellent...I can't place what they flavored it with, but it was smokey and spicy. The yellowtail rolls had just a hint of spice - so I doctored it up with lots of wasabi, which is ok by me!
What makes the ultimate sushi experience for me is the mouth-feel. Sometimes you get kinda fishy, sometimes you get kinda messy or too spicy. But SOMETIMES you get lush, velvet, fresh perfection, and this was it. I find myself attempting methods to get the best out of each roll, because it's just so good you want to do something to savor it and take it higher.
I'm glad Sakana is close. My next plan is to go there and try the mackarel and see how it differs from Wakame (which was much more underwhelming.)