Friday, March 4, 2011

Sushi Avenue

If I had to pick my favorite cuisine, it would probably be sushi. On one hand I cringe admitting that. Sushi has become so trendy. Everyone eats sushi. You can even buy sushi in the grocery store. But sushi is so good.

But I have two problems when it comes to sushi. The first is that I have an enormous appetite and I love sushi so much. Sushi isn't cheap. The second is that I prefer the more expensive, odd sushi items which makes my sushi dinners more expensive. I am only "allowed" to eat sushi on rare occasions due to my loss of self-control upon entering the doors of a sushi restaurant.

Fortunately, I was recently permitted to make a trip to Sushi Avenue. Sushi Avenue has three different locations, but we always go to the location on the square in downtown Decatur. Sushi Avenue is not known as one of Atlanta's sushi hot spots like MF Sushi or others. I contend that its lesser known status is one of its key assets in that it serves good sushi at decent prices. The restaurant serves a wide variety of items of great quality.

I started off with an octopus salad. The octopus was cut into bite size pieces and served with cucumber slices and a sauce similar to a watery sriracha sauce.
The octopus salad was delicious. The octopus has a chewy texture and a sweet seafood taste that matches nicely with the heat from the hot sauce and the crisp, coolness of the cucumbers.

I then had a chirashi bowl (chirashizushi). A chirashi bowl is a bowl of rice covered with a variety of sashimi pieces. The chirashi bowl had tuna, salmon, squid, octopus, salmon roe, shrimp, tamago (sweet egg omelet), and other seafood items.

The chirashi bowl was also excellent. It is an excellent way to get a variety of sashimi pieces at a better price and with an ease of ordering.

Finally, I ordered a variety of nigiri pieces and my wife selected some rolls that we shared.
In the top left are two rolls of rice topped with salmon roe and a raw quail egg. I have heard these called "tiger eyes" at other places. When you eat a piece the salmon roe pop in your mom releasing their salty juices and the egg pops releasing the yolk. It forms a salty omelet in your mouth.

Next to the tiger eyes in the top left are two pieces of scallop. Scallop has a delicate taste and texture raw.

Below the scallop pieces, the two white pieces of nigiri are squid. I love raw squid. It has a very chewy texture. I believe I have mentioned before that I have an odd but undying love for chewy foods. As you chew the squid, it breaks down into a milky texture with one of the best sweet seafood tastes.

Below the squid are two pieces of surf clam. Surf clam is less chewy than the squid but still chewy and is even sweeter.

The roll down the middle of the plate is a rainbow roll. I believe it has avocado and cucumber inside the roll and the outside of the roll is covered in a variety of pieces of fish.

The roll on the far right next to the rainbow roll, was a roll filled with fried sweet potato and pumpkin. As far as vegetarian rolls go, this is about as good as it gets. It was delicious. Of course, fry pretty much anything and it will taste good.

We also had a crunchy scallop roll which was filled with tempura bits and raw scallop. It was also delicious.

Last but not least is my all time favorite piece of sushi. It may also be my favorite food. In the bottom left is uni. Uni is sea urchin. While I will admit that it has a less than appetizing appearance, I contend that its displeasing appearance is vastly overcome by its amazing taste. The urchin is soft, almost a liquid. It begins to break down into a liquid with the first bite. It has a unique sweet seafood taste. The best way I can describe it is to say that it forms a sweet seafood milkshake in your mouth.

For dessert we had mochi. Mochi is a ball of ice cream with a wrapper made of pounded sticky rice. Our mochi had a red bean ice cream inside. The wrapper is hard to describe. It is gummy, chewy, and doughy with a sweet taste. I highly recommend mochi if you have never tried it before.

Other than the delicious, reasonably priced sushi, all you need to know about Sushi Avenue is that it is a small restaurant with an intimate feel. Diners can sit at the sushi counter if they prefer. The wait staff are always reasonably to highly attentive and friendly.

Sushi Avenue
131 Sycamore Street
Decatur, GA

Sushi Avenue on the Square on Urbanspoon

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