Sherman's Food Adventures: Isami Sushi

Isami Sushi

When I first started blogging, I had already been to many of the restaurants in town, but had not taken pictures nor written about them.  It was a bit of a drag to go back to each and every one for the purposes of being complete.  However, some slipped through the cracks since we find newer restaurants opening up frequently.  Therefore, places such as The Eatery and Isami Sushi have been lost in the shuffle.  Thanks to a comment from a reader, he reminded me of Isami Sushi and I made it a point to go eat there.  We ended up meeting with Popper and Popette where we had the plan to grab some Soft Peaks afterwards.

With the kids attacking the Salmon Sashimi shortly after I took a picture of it, Viv and I were only able to wrangle one piece from their ravenous appetites.  Considering the price ($11.00) and quality, this was a pretty good value.  For a non-value type of Japanese restaurant (ie. Sushi Town, Sushi Garden, Sushi California), the sashimi here was inexpensive, well-portioned and buttery.  We were all giggling at the typo on the menu that read "shopped scallop cone" rather than Chopped Scallop Cone.  My son actually wanted one, so we ordered it.  As evidenced in the picture, they didn't skimp on the baby scallops as the thing was an almost perfect 50:50 ratio of rice and scallops.  They were lightly dressed, buttery and sweet.  He found the sushi rice to be on the softer side, but still chewy and mildly seasoned.

Trying to change it up a bit, I decided to try out their Unagi Battera.  Neatly constructed, but a little loose, each piece fell apart as we picked them up.  There is a fine line between being too densely packed and too loosely constructed, so in general, it was still fine.  As such, the texture of the rice was softer and fluffier, but still with some chewiness.  On top, there was an ample layer of buttery unagi that wasn't over-sauced.  We weren't interested in getting any specialty rolls, but wanted something bigger than the traditional ones.  Hence, the compromise was in the Special Maki consisting of tuna, salmon, salmon skin, cucumber, avocado and flying fish roll.  This was 10 pieces large and stuffed with plenty of filling.  I though the roll was pretty standard (besides being big) and ate quite well with the right textures.

Originally, I was going to give the Chicken Karaage a go, but it appeared we had enough food already.  Fate would have it, Popper ordered it and offered me a piece!  Exactly what I had on my mind...  Beyond the crispy rendered skin, the meat was succulent and had a certain umaminess to it.  We couldn't put our finger on that particular flavour, but it was appealing.  For some reason, it was served with a salad (not that we were complaining though).  Usually, my daughter can easily down an order of Gyoza all-by-herself in addition to eating other items.  However, she only ate half of one this time around.  For me, it sort of made sense as the filling was rather mushy.  There was a pleasant hit of ginger though and the dumpling skin was delicate while seared quite well.

As always, we got the Assorted Tempura, but this was a bit different where they added 2 pieces of fish with the usual ebi and veggies.  I found the batter to be pretty thin, especially on the veggies.  So much so, you can actually see the veggie underneath as seen in the picture.  Despite the minimal batter, everything was still crispy.  Arriving on a cast iron plate, the Beef Yakisoba was not sizzling.  Why serve it on such a plate if you don't do it right?  Anyways, this was pretty average in my books.  I found the noodles almost not cooked enough being not overly hot and somewhat too chewy.  They were also pretty greasy which made for a not-so-appealing mouth feel.  The dish ate dry as there wasn't enough moisture.  Lastly, there was a lack of flavour which might've had something to do with the dry noodles as well.

Trying something different, we had the BBQ Mixed Seafood.  Okay, if the picture looks more light a seafood motoyaki, then you are right.  What they did was BBQ the seafood and then chopped it up and baked it with a creamy sauce.  We weren't really fond of this either as the seafood was overdone and not smoky (despite the BBQ).  Lastly, we had to add a Mini-Chirashi Don since my son was not satisfied with the amount of food we ordered.  Well, this was a fabulous deal at $12.00.  This was topped with plenty of sashimi which was fresh and visually appealing.  It ate well too with chewy sushi rice underneath.  So overall, our visit to Isami Sushi yielded generally decent food at very reasonable prices.  Not sure about the cleaniness of the place though, they might want to look into that.

The Good:
- More than acceptable food
- Reasonable prices
- Fairly good service

The Bad:
- May need to keep an eye on the cleaniness


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