Monday, April 13, 2009

Sushi in West End

Wasabi recently opened a 2nd location across from Russel's Marina Grill (in the former temporary location of the Steak Knife). This is the second time Wasabi has decided to give-it-a-go in 70124, with their first try on Canal Boulevard closing for good due to Katrina. (Warning: I have not been to the original Wasabi on Frenchman in quite a while, so I can't really compare the two locales.)

Our order (from right to left) was: Phoenix Roll, Super Crunchy Roll, and the LSU Roll. Here is my overall assessment: the sushi is good but not good enough or in big enough portions to justify the prices. For example, the LSU Roll (shrimp tempura and cream cheese inside with fresh tuna on top) was considerably smaller than its counterparts at other local sushi joints but still had a hefty price tag of $14. The Phoenix Roll of snow crab, avocado, and lettuce wrapped in rice paper and topped with salmon was not worth $10.50. (Seriously, since when does adding lettuce to a roll warrant a $5 bump in price?)

On the other hand, the Special Crunchy Roll - which is made "Special" by being topped with fresh salmon - is a much better deal at $6.50. Similarly, the Crunchy Dynamite Roll (above) is a great bargain at $5.50. As you can tell from the picture, Wasabi's Dynamite Roll consists of freshly cut fish as opposed to the finely chopped trimmings that most sushi restaurants serve. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.) Also, Wasabi adds yellowtail to the normal mix of tuna and salmon.

So I guess your best strategy at Wasabi is to stick to the simple rolls to get the most bang for your buck. While Little Tokyo on Carrolton is still my preferred sushi spot in the neighborhood, Wasabi is a welcomed addition to the lakefront dining scene.

Wasabi in West End - Par.


Donnie Boy Riguez said...

I totally agree with your assessment of their specialty rolls. They are way overpriced and I feel you don't get much bang for the buck. If you compare the Phoenix roll with the Utah roll from Shogun, it's no contest. However, if you stick to the basic rolls, the price won't get out of hand and you won't need to eat a ham sandwich when you get home to fill up.

Anonymous said...

yea the owner is chinese and skimp on the portions. They're real tight. They cut the scallops in half, also the cheese cakes are cut in half, everything is cut in half.