Mrs. HowChow discovered Sushi King from a friend when she moved to Howard County. We ate the unique crazy rolls on an early date, and it is still our favorite splurge after a harsh day at work. "Crispy." "Grilled." "Pretty in Red." "Eastern Shore." Each one is a treat, although I can't make a trip without splurging on the "Samurai" (oooo, fried shrimp inside) and without thinking about who wants to double-date so that I can split the BBQ squid that Mrs. HowChow will not wrap her tentacles around.
But I keep thinking about the sushi places that I haven't visited and the rolls that I haven't nibbled.
I was thinking this last week during dinner at Sushi Sono, our second standard. We had the perfect table overlooking the lake at sunset, and we devoured a "Bridal Roll," a "Garden Something Roll," and a few others. Before living here, I tended to order sashimi or sushi pieces. Yet Sushi Sono and Sushi King have pulled off interesting -- and different -- combinations of fish, wrappers, sauces, and crunch, so I focused on the dramatic rolls. It's a rare treat. Often on a night when I'm tired and want guaranteed fun. So, considering sushi prices, it is hard not to just buy my favorites and enjoy a night with my wife at one of our usual spots.
But I pledge to try new. You need to help steer me right -- the right new restaurant and the right rolls or fish to order.
What is on my list?
- Hanamura in Columbia gets rave reviews. Chris emailed me in January about the "Kevin Roll" and the opportunity to get great fish at a price a step below Sushi King. (Update: I like Hanamura!)
- Nichi Bei Kei in Columbia gets mixed reviews on Yelp, and there is some mention of a sushi chef leaving in the posts from early 2009.
- Katana Sushi started in Clarksville and opened a new location in Elkridge this year.
- Bethany Seafood Restaurant in Ellicott City serves sushi on top of its Korean menu. Some of those Korean places on Rte 40 must be noteworthy.
- Niko Japanese in the Normany Shopping Center also on Rte 40 has a lunch buffet that nuttyturnips says is his favorite.
(Update: Check out all the comments below along with Hal's new comment on another post. Great suggestions about many of these places and more.) If you are going to try sushi check out my prior posts about Japanese food and the comments -- like Kevin on aji at Sushi Sono.
If you want to dive deep on how people pick sushi places, check out Sallet J, Rushworth FS, "Should I stay or should I go: genetic bases for uncertainty-driven exploration," Nature Neuroscience. 2009 Aug.; 963-65. If you don't have a subscription at home, Richard Gorelick is chatting up technical neuroscience articles in the Sun's restaurant reviews.
If you're interested in cooking Japanese food, check out my review of Kimiko Barber's cookbooks. They're great guides to the Japanese aisle of our local Asian grocery stores.