Tag Archives: sushi

Moksa, Central Sq

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Moksa – 450 Massachusetts Ave Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139

Oh hi! Its been a while, I know. That’s what a new, demanding job will do to you. Don’t get me wrong, I have continued to go out and eat my way through the city, take food photos, make notes, and write up drafts, but the sitting down and cleaning them up part has been something I am struggling with. Ok, enough about me, lets talk about stuffing our faces at Moksa in Central Sq.

I was stoked (stoked? Who am I?) when Moksa opened up in Central Sq last year. Having lived in Central Sq for years its fantastic to see all these new places popping up. We paid a visit to Moksa a couple of months after they opened and were looking forward to a few cocktails and nibbles after work. It was fairly nice out so we sat outside and kept sitting there for what seemed like forever until someone came over to take our drink order. I got the Peking Sailor which is Hendricks Gin, Campari, Elderflower Vinegar, Bubbly and Cucumber (they had me at Gin and Bubbly). The drink was ok, not sure it was my favorite thing ever (I switched to wine right after) but how it was served was hilarious. I don’t think it was meant to be ironically funny but when the waitress came out with these big glasses brimming with umbrellas and tchotchkes (thanks for the spell check, BL!) I couldn’t help but blush and look around hoping no one had seen the ridiculous cocktail I was about to drink. I mean, we are two women in their 30s in Central Sq, not at Senor Frogs on Spring Break in Cancun. I understand how many may like this sort of attention but it’s just not our thing. After much giggling we moved on to the menu and waited for our waitress again.

We decided to share a few small plates starting with the Vietnamese Spring Roll with Cilantro-Lime Sauce. This dish was delivered to the wrong table but eventually found its way to us. The Spring Rolls were pretty simple, fresh and overall pretty good, probably the best thing we ordered.

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Next we got the Thai Green Papaya and Mango Salad with Peanuts, Mint & Chili Lime dressing. Unfortunately neither of us were really a fan of this one. It was a little bland and the peanuts on the soft side which didn’t add that crunch we were hoping for. Next.

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I had the highest hopes for this next dish, the Popcorn Shrimp with Spicy Remoulade. If you know me at all you know I always lean towards shrimp dishes whether they are fried, buffaloed (yes, I am making that a verb), grilled, tossed with pasta, however you want to make them I will eat them. I’m pretty much the white nerdy version of Bubba from Forrest Gump.  Anyways, popcorn shrimp is one of my favorites and adding remoulade to any fried food makes it a baller dish, I could eat that shit by the spoonful.

The remoulade was fantastic but the shrimp were super dry. They were on a small salad that added some moisture but then they sat on top of another dry bready thing. Too much breading on the shrimp which contributed to the dryness. Pass me my recockulous cocktail to get this to go down, please.

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We wrapped up the night with the Vegetarian Fried Rice with Carrots, Onion & Sake Shoyu. Totally fine but nothing to write home about.

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After dinner we sat with empty glasses for over 20 minutes before we got up and went inside to ask them if we could pay. Can we please pay? Please? We’d like to give you money. Okthanks.

Needless to say, we weren’t fans of the service or food. I’ve heard the dance club in the back is decent and recently had a friend who got the bartender to swap shoes with her so she could go in (no flip-flops allowed) which has boosted my opinion but I think I’ll be going down the road for food in the future.

How did Moksa measure up? 2 Spoons!

Yoshi’s, Powderhouse Sq

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Where: Yoshi’s – 132 College Avenue Somerville, MA 02144
When: June, 2012

A few days after I broke my foot a dear friend invited me over to her house (with a pick up and drop off service!) for a movie and sushi. Full of Vicodin and exhausted from carrying my weight around for the last few days I was stoked to get out of the house and have a real evening with little effort.

We ordered from Yoshi’s in Powderhouse Sq, which I hadn’t ordered from since I moved out of Somerville a few years ago. We shared an order of Gyoza and then I got the Seaweed Salad, Spicy Tuna Maki and Sweet Potato Maki. For starters, this was too much food so ended up taking the Seaweed Salad home for another time.

The Gyoza, with “meat” (what kind, I couldn’t tell you) and vegetables, were lightly pan fried and flavorful. The sauce it came with wasn’t particularily good, it tasted very watered down which made me wish I had brought my own bottle from home (from Whole Foods – its the best I’ve found). The sushi was fine, your standard fare, although definitely not our favorite. We both talked about how we prefer Blue Fin and , for me, Super Fusion – both in Porter Sq. The Sweet Potato Maki was a little dry and didn’t have that crunch from the tempura that I hoped for. The Spicy Tuna was a little on the mild side.

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Overall, I wouldn’t actively seek out or suggest Yoshi’s but for delivery its quick and adequate. I wouldn’t order from here again unless knocked out on Vicodin with a broken foot without many other sushi options around. Glowing review, eh?

How did Yoshi’s measure up? 2 Spoons!

Yoshi's on Urbanspoon

Fins, Beacon Hill

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Where: Fins – 240 Cambridge St Boston, MA 02114
When: March, 2012

March 1st was a pretty weird day. It was my company’s final packing day before our big move from First Street to Tech Sq in Kendall Sq. The fridges had been emptied and cleaned, all supplies had been packed up, framed photos of those we work for were taken off the walls and wrapped in bubble wrap, and rugs had been rolled up and taped. March 1st marked a day of great forward movement and accomplishment for all of us but it also marked the last day I was sharing an office with my office mate of almost 5 years, Alicia. I couldn’t help but get a bit choked up about no longer sharing an office with her – we had shared a lot of great recipes, food stories, heart to hearts and cries (mostly on my part). She had become a good friend and a phenomenal colleague. Alright, enough sappiness, I knew she would be just down the hall in our new place but it still felt like it was the end of an era.

We decided to go out to lunch on our last day as office mates and chose Fins, which had just opened its second location on Cambridge Street in Beacon Hill. I remember Alicia talking about how good Fins was when she lived over in Brighton so was looking forward to their grand opening!

It was pouring rain, naturally, so we hopped into a cab and across the river. The atmosphere and layout of Fins is really nice, I like how one of the dining rooms is separate from the main entrance as it was a cold windy, rainy day so it was nice not to get a gust of cold air every time the door opened. The restaurant was busy but we were quickly seated among all the other professional lunchers.

I started with the Seaweed Salad and Alicia with the Miso Soup. Both were good and pretty standard (no complaints, I don’t want my Seaweed Salad jazzed up too much). Alicia, having just recently had sushi delivered from Fins, ordered the Shrimp and Chicken Fried Rice which she loved. I had a bite (love dining with Italians who insist you try their food!) and can confirm it was really good. The rice was really good just on its own – plump little moist bites full of flavor. The chicken and shrimp just added to it.20120303-093616.jpg

I got the Spicy Tuna Maki and Fin’s Special Roll, per Alicia’s recommendation, which is shrimp tempura with peach, cucumber with mayo & bean sprout. The tuna was super fresh with just the right amount of spice. The shrimp tempura maki was delicious although always a bit of a struggle to eat those larger pieces. You never really know how something will work when they through something wacky like fruit in with sushi but this worked. My only disappointment was that one of the ends had just the tempuraed shrimp tail and I wanted more shrimp! It was a small disappointment though and the rest was delicious.

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Overall, the service was great, ambiance friendly and more sophisticated than a lot of the sushi places I go to, and the food was terrific. I think this is a great spot for lunch or dinner with friends and coworkers. Not particularly romantic but it might have a different feel in the evenings.

Alicia and I are have pretty much settled into our new offices in Tech Square (which is awesome, btw) and have made plans to go out for dinner once a month to catch up!

How does Fins measure up? 4.5 Spoons!

Fuji, Kendall Sq

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Where: Fuji – 300 3rd Street, Cambridge MA 02142
When: January, 2012

My heart skipped a beat when I heard that there was a new sushi place coming to Kendall Square. I LOVE sushi and could eat it every day if I had to (or even if I didn’t). I learnt from some of my twitter buddies that it had opened a few weeks ago and was eager to get over there.

Lucky for me, one of my colleagues also loves sushi so we quickly made plans to go. Coincidentally, this was during my detox week (more about that later) but on a day where I could have protein and veggies so I could make this work.

Fuji was busy which is a good thing but we also were quickly able to get a table. We were originally sat next to one of the doors but as soon as it opened with the next guests we asked to move as it was just too cold. The table we switched to was a little further away but it was still a bit chilly so if I had one suggestion for Fuji it would be for them to install a couple of those thick curtains around the doors to try to keep some of the cold out and warmth in. No one wants to eat sushi in the cold! Well, I don’t. Just my two cents.

The restaurant is clean, simple, and welcoming. An upscale sushi restaurant, somewhere you would go for a birthday lunch, with business clients (make sure they like sushi), or a nice dinner with friends. Not the kind of place where you’d see college boys doing sake bombs, not that there is anything wrong with that. The cocktail menu looked delicious but I was detoxing (and I would never, of course, drink during lunch! Right.) so slid that away from me. On to the food!

We started with the Tuna Takaki which is lightly seared tuna accompanied by wakame, julienne cucumber, and ponzu sauce. Technically I probably should have avoided the ponzu sauce and wakame but, well, if that’s my biggest detox fail then that’s OK with me. The Tuna Tataki came beautifully presented and nicely seared. The sauce was a perfect compliment being citrusy with a touch of sweet. I’d definitely get this again (or try the beef tataki next time).

For our entrees, my lunch date got the Spicy Maki Lunch which came with Spicy Tuna, Spicy Salmon, and Spicy California Maki. He was really pleased with it and it looked delicious (he offered me some but couldn’t do it because of the rice, sad).

Typically I would also go for spicy tuna maki so something similar but I had to avoid rice so opted for the 15 piece sashimi combo with Maguro (tuna), Sake (salmon), and Unagi (eel). The fish was super fresh and the eel was perfectly cooked. I didn’t miss the rice, avocado, spicy mayo, etc, that I usually get at all. I actually had to remind myself to slow down as not to inhale the entire dish before my lunch date touched his. The tuna, salmon, and eel all melted like butter as soon as you put it in your mouth.

Overall, the food was delicious, the atmosphere was great (but chilly), and the service was very good. It was pricey though so I can’t see going here every other day. I did see some people at the sushi bar so that might be a better option for when I just need a quick sushi fix. Or take away perhaps?

After work, while chatting with the same colleague I wondered out loud “I wonder what I will have for dinner” and he responded with a very frank “Didn’t you eat enough at lunch?”. It wasn’t until I stopped dead in my tracks with my jaw having fallen a good two inches that he realized the tragedy of what he just said. “WHAT?” I replied with. I don’t think he could hear me as he was in stitches laughing so hard while trying to apologize. For the record, a 15 piece meal of fish is NOT enough to hold over anyone for the entire day! I didn’t have any rice and even if I did one needs to eat three meals a day! Pffft.

How did Fuji measure up? 4.5 Spoons!

Super Fusion, Porter Sq

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Where: Super Fusion – 1759 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02140
When: December, 2011

I think I first really noticed Super Fusion, or “Super Fusion Cuisine III” according to their website, while sitting in the window of Beauty Spa waiting for my nails to dry back in October.  I considered getting sushi to go but was hesitant to try a new place when I knew Blue Fin was just around the corner and oh so reliable and delicious.

Dan and I decided we wanted sushi and thought we would try a new place since I’ve dragged him to Blue Fin for years. I’m really glad we did as it was excellent! The space is pretty small with about 10 tables (for two) that can be pushed together and reconfigured according to parties (we know as we had to move when a large party expanded). It was clean and friendly but not really the type of place you would want to sit at for hours sipping wine glazing adoringly at the person across the table from you (no offense, Dan).

To get to the restroom you have to go through the kitchen which I thought was sort of fun as I always like to sneak a peek at the back of the house.

Ok, so we got (in order from left to right):

– Guan Maki – Tuna, salmon, yellowtail, tobiko, sweet potato, cucumber & spicy mayo
– Snowing Maki – Spicy tuna roll topped with spicy tuna and tobiko
-Cambridge Maki – Eel tempura with cucumber, topped with tuna, torched with spciy mayo, eel sauce & tobiko
– Snow Maki – Shrimp tempura topped with snow crab, mayo, and a layer of avocado & mango

The waiter was a really sweet man who, when he saw me taking photos of the food, took out his own phone and excitedly showed me photos of food he had taken. He raved about the photo of the Spicy Ahi Tempura Roll at the Cheesecake Factory telling us how amazing it is and how the entire roll is tempuraed and deep fried. Anyone who can find a gem on a menu like the Cheesecake Factory’s is golden in my book. I was charmed by his shared excitement for food.

When he brought our food out he took the time to explain which rolls were which and what his suggested order to eat them in was. He suggested starting with the Snow Maki, then going to the Snowing Maki and then the last two could be eaten as we wished.

I LOVED the Snowing Maki. I always get spicy tuna maki so this was like that all super charged. The tuna was super fresh and it had great flavor. I also loved the Guan Maki although always have a bit of trouble with those extra large rolls and time eating them right after I ask my dinner companion a question that I know will last at least 40 seconds. I typically would have shied away from sushi with mango but I’m glad I didn’t as the Snow Maki was also very good. We both wished there was a little more avocado over the top though. The only one we weren’t big fans of was the Cambridge Maki although now that I am looking at the description and the photo I am wondering if they gave us the wrong roll as the description says its topped with tuna and spicy mayo but the fish on the top of this one clearly is not tuna. Hmmm. Anyways, whatever this roll was it was a little too fishy for both of us so we didn’t finish it.

Our waiter brought us a couple of complimentary desserts when dinner was over which was very nice of him. It was a tapioca pudding with black bean paste. Turns out I am not a fan of tapioca pudding. Turns out I do hate to make anyone feel bad after a nice gesture and will still eat something I don’t like.

Overall, I think Super Fusion gives Blue Fin a run for its money. Blue Fin has a nicer atmosphere but the sushi was equally delicious and reasonably priced, even for the big fancy rolls. I’ll definitely be going back and adding them to my contacts for when I’m getting take away sushi.

How did Super Fusion measure up? 4 Spoons!

Super Fusion 3 on Urbanspoon

Hana Sushi, Cambridge

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Where: Hana Sushi – 2372 Massachusetts Ave Cambridge, MA 02140
When: November, 2011


Located on Mass Ave a little further up from Davis Sq towards Arlington
I don’t think I had ever even heard of this sushi place but it came up with good reviews in my in depth “Davis Sq + sushi” google search.

I got there a few minutes before Daniela and looked in to see only one table of guests which was a bit of a turn off but Daniela did reassure me that it was still early at 6:30 so we went in and took a table. The staff were all very friendly and the atmosphere was fine, your standard black Chinese lacquer (I confirmed this is the official name with my furniture buddy, I am not stereotyping) tables and chairs.

After debating between the scallion pancakes and tempura appetizer we went with the latter. It was a generous plate with tempuraed (?) shrimp, acorn squash, butternut squash, red and orange pepper, and broccoli. Peppers were a waste of space on that plate, I’d take extra of all of the others over those. I’m glad I saved the best for last, the shrimp, as those were crispy yet succulent.

It’s kind of nice that we get the exact same sushi options every time we go out as we can then compare apples to apples, or spicy tuna to spicy tuna in this case. We ordered the spicy tuna maki as well as the sweet potato make, often called Idaho rolls. I also got two pieces of unagi sushi as I have a weak spot for eel done right.

We both agreed that the tuna in the spicy tuna was super fresh, practically still breathing fresh, but the ratio of tuna to everything else in the roll seemed a bit off for us. It was a mouthful of tuna and then the “spicy” and cucumber sort of trailed behind unnoticed. The pieces were bigger than what we are used to and sort of awkward to eat. The sweet potato maki and unagi were good as well but nothing particularly special.

I wouldn’t not go back but given the choice I’d pick to Blue Fin over Hana any day! Sorry, Hana.

Oh, here is a challenge I was given by Daniela if anyone can help me out with it! There was a restaurant she and her mom used to go to in LA where she would always get a thinly sliced cucumber salad with a vinegar dressing on it. Has anyone seen this on a menu in the Boston / Cambridge area? If so, where?

Hana Sushi on Urbanspoon

Thelonius Monkfish, Central Sq

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Where: Thelonious Monkfish – 524 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02139
When: November, 2011

Last night Daniela and I did something naughty. Verrrry naughty. We donned trench coats and fake mustaches, crept across town to Central Square and tried a new sushi restaurant – Thelonious Monkfish. Please don’t tell Blue Fin.

TM, as I will call it for short as I seem to spell it wrong every time, wooed me with their “Jazz for the Palate” tag line. I had also heard from Dan that the sushi was fantastic and it was worth going to even though they don’t have a liquor license (gasp!). Those of you who know me know that I like a drink or two with my meal but this had to be done.

We didn’t think to make a reservation so when we got there, and saw that the place was packed, the host told us we could take a seat at the sushi bar or he had space at a Japanese-style table. We got excited about that until realizing those cushions aren’t really ideal when wearing a skirt. To the bar we go!

The waitstaff were very good, efficient and attentive. It wasn’t lacking just because we were at the bar which was great.

Their menu is extensive. They have everything from tamarind duck to ginger cod. From fried rice to Tonkatsu curries. From Udon to Krapows.The names are fun to read over and the descriptions are clear and mouth watering. My favorite names were in the “Fairy Tale Sushi Series” with names like The Frog Prince roll (salmon, mango & tempura crunch, layered with avocado, then crowned with a spicy snow crab & tobiko salad) and The Sleeping Beauty Roll (white tuna, crushed pineapple & tempura flakes wrapped in yellow soy paper & sushi rice, then draped w/ salmon, sliced ripe mango, drizzled with a refreshing pineapple-lime mayo). I like a good fairy tale, especially if its got a happy ending.

We had stalked the menu ahead of time, pointing out the Cranberry Crab Rangoons which looked interesting and delicious. We still went through the motions of pretending to look and exclaim “oh, Cranberry Crab Rangoons, those sound interesting… Hmm, what do you think? Should we get an order?”. Yes. Yes, we should. They were amazing. One wonders how you would make a cream and crab filled dumpling that is then deep fried even better but apparently cranberry is the way. The tart but sweetness of the cranberries cut into the heaviness of the cream and made them feel lighter and, dare I say, healthier? Yum! The only complaint we had was that the order came with 5 and we had to awkwardly split the last one. Come on, add another to round it out! Okay, I really just wanted another.

We always get the same thing when we go out for sushi – spicy tuna make and idaho maki. Its our thing. We weren’t willing to give either of those up but we did think we should try something new in addition to these traditional rolls. We got, per Dan’s recommendation, the Harlem Nocturne Roll which consisted of avocado, asparagus, cucumber, tempura crunch all wrapped in nori and rice topped with smoked salmon, cream cheese and spring onion “confetti”. Hajimemashite! Dan was right, its like a fresh salad explosion in your mouth. I couldn’t say it better. And, honestly, anything with “confetti” is bound to be fun. I’d definitely also recommend the spicy tuna and idaho rolls here, they were both really fresh.

When we were paying our bill I noticed that every time a customer came in I’d get really cold so I’d ask to sit at the back of the restaurant next time. I’m always cold though, aren’t I?

Thelonious Monkfish on Urbanspoon

Blue Fin, Porter Sq

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Where: Blue Fin – 1815 Massachusetts Ave Cambridge, MA 02140
When: October, 2011

Blue Fin certainly isn’t new to me, nor am I to it. I’d recognize most of the waitstaff if I say them outside the restaurant as I think at this point they’d recognize me.

On this occasion I went with Daniela for our annual tradition of sushi and manicures around my birthday (we do the same for hers). I had also been here celebrating my birthday with Libby and Dan just a week earlier and then with my Dad and Daniela again soon after. I could eat here days in a row before every wanting anything else – its that good.

The atmosphere isn’t really the greatest, it is in a mini-mall, brightly lit, and with no table cloths or anything. Oh, and there are no bathrooms in the actual restaurant so if you have to excuse yourself let your date know you may be a couple of minutes. Despite all this, I’d recommend it in a heartbeat, just maybe not on the first or second date.

The sushi is super fresh and never disappoints. The spicy tuna is bursting with fresh flavors, the shrimp and sweet potato tempura rolls are crunchy on the outside and soft and delicious on the inside, the eel is like butter that melts in your mouth.

For starters get the seaweed salad which I have recently been turned on to or if you aren’t watching your waistline try the Crab Croquettes which are deep fried balls of crab and cream cheese that will melt in your mouth. Don’t forget to dunk them in a healthy dose of Japanese mayo as if they weren’t creamy enough.

See you soon, Blue Fin.

Blue Fin on Urbanspoon