Thursday, January 31, 2008

Sushi King: Unique Rolls in Columbia

Sushi King is the best reason for your friends to drive all the way from DC or Baltimore.

It is also so hidden that it is a reason to write this blog.

The special rolls are the most imaginative sushi that I have ever seen. Unique designs from high-quality ingredients. Tuna wrapped around rice and a tempura shrimp. A long roll with two spicy sauces and king crab wrapped with tuna inside. A roll grilled so that the sauce across the top looks like melted cheese, but tastes delicious. I have seen nothing like them anywhere else, and I haven't tasted a bad one even after years of trying them all.

The regular pieces are high quality, and the other Japanese food looks good and often includes specials on the board over the sushi chefs. But these special rolls have made my friends happy to drive down from Baltimore or up from DC. They're imaginative. They're delicious. They're heavy pieces filled with flavor.

They're also impossible to just stumble across. Sushi King is in a shopping center next to a DMV off Dobbin Road just south of Rte 175. You turn at a traffic light across from a Blockbuster, and you can't see anything from Dobbin. Mrs. HowChow got the recommendation from a friend when she moved to Howard, and she took me here on an early date.

Try this as a first sample: samaurai roll, spicy grilled roll, crazy roll, and crispy roll (squeeze lemon on top). If you're a big eater, add a pretty in red roll or the Eastern Shore roll. You really won't go wrong, but you should notice that the rolls split into two price points -- about $6-8 for smaller ones and about $13-16 for the larger. The larger ones (samaurai and pretty in red) are huge and worth the price. But you may want to mix it up with the small ones.

You can eat the special rolls in a special room. Make a reservation for one of the two private rooms. Wooden walls, including a sliding door. Wooden benches so that your feet hang under the table. (You aren't sitting on the floor.) Room for six or even eight. The rooms are a beautiful place for an impressive dinner. They're also the perfect way to corral a toddler who comes along. My godson walked around the benches and crawled under the table. He loved the adventure, and the adults chattered happily without worrying that he would disturb anyone else.

All this comes with nice service. A little slow some nights, especially when the place is full. But the waitresses are friendly once they recognize you -- and maybe a little rushed until then -- so sit back and enjoy.

If you like Sushi King, you should check out my post about Asian restaurants in Howard County or my post about local sushi, which highlights Hanamura across Dobbin Road and Sushi Sono in "downtown" Columbia and has comments touting other joints. If you are at Sushi King, check out Lily's Mexican Market in the same shopping center or Mango Grove for Indian food right up the street.

Or check out a working list of the best restaurants in Howard County.

If you're interested in cooking Japanese food, check out my review of Kimiko Barber's cookbooks The Japanese Kitchen and The Chopstick Diet. They're great guides to the Japanese aisle of our local Asian grocery stores.

Sushi King
6490 Dobbin Road, Ste. F
Columbia, MD

NEAR: The Kmart on Rte 175, the DMV/Starbucks/Blockbuster on Dobbins Road. Sushi King is in the same shopping center as the DMV off Dobbins. Look for the intersection with a Blockbuster. The Sushi King shopping center is across Dobbins from the Blockbuster.

Sushi King on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If you tried Sushi King and liked it, then you should definitely try Sushi Sono. Sushi Sono will be running a month-long special during March 2009. For the entire month, select menu items will be 33% discounted. No coupons are needed to take advantage of this offer. The restaurant is located on the lake, across from the mall.