After I left Tacoma, and Sushi Tama, I thought I would never find another sushi restaurant as unbelievably fresh, personable and real. Snohomish County doesn’t offer a lot in the way of diversity, in people or in a wide array of ethnic cuisine. But a year ago, with a best friend, Kelly, I tried Sushi Ring in Everett…which is very strip-mall-ish weird. All-You-Can-Eat sushi for $28.95!!!!! Ridiculous, right? What is this…sushi that comes around on a belt? Wow, was I wrong. One of the key chefs, “Elvis,” has a reputation there…there are Elvis accessories everywhere, including Elvis wine. Ridiculous. Kelly & I have enjoyed three excursions there sans les enfants…YAY! She devours seven or eight orders of Maguro, and I order other creations in a similar quantity. Hey, we’re without kids!
So I felt extreme enthusiasm when my wonderful husband altered his schedule to go there with me, last night. I’ve never been to Japan, but I’ve had great sushi in San Diego, Seattle, Honolulu and, well, Tacoma. And when I ate in Honolulu, my friend and I were the ONLY WHITE PEOPLE THERE!!!! Everyone else was Japanese. So it must have been authentic, right?
All I can say is that Sushi Ring is off the charts, and my husband agrees.What makes it more interesting is that several of the staff speak Spanish. Seriously!!!! We can say “una mas,” and they get it. Gracias. Por favor. Wow. ‘Cause it’s sushi. It’s Japanese, right? This makes me think about the interweavings of culture in this world.
And these people, who speak Spanish…well, they can make any Maki roll, expertly crafted, with NO Nori. Really…I truly dislike Nori, and it’s not every chef that feels confident-enough making a Maki roll in saran wrap with no Nori to “cheat” and hold the formation together. These men & women do it expertly, and I’ll tell you why it’s expert: it doesn’t fall apart! Along with:
- Upside down shrimp…cooked shrimp, sliced halfway through, turned over like a cup and filled with diced, raw scallops in a sweet, creamy sauce;
- Albacore hand rolls (Nigiri sushi) dressed with seasoned Mirin & thinly sliced scallions;
- Crunchy tempura roll with tempura shrimp in a maki roll, then rolled in tempura breadcrumbs;
- Daily specials…yesterday ours was a Maki roll filled and topped with salmon, yellowtail, albacore and maguro with a sweet, creamy sauce on top;
- FRESH, FRESH, FRESH fruit drizzled with plum wine.
I make sushi, myself. It’s not nearly as good: the rice is not quite as tender or evenly-spread in the Maki rolls, I don’t pay for the variety of seafood to create multiple combinations, and I don’t know how to cook the Unagi or make its sauce! Decent, but not decadent.
Sometimes, a cook has to know when to say when. Even when, in most cases, I know that my cooking produces more flavorful, fresh, complex experiences than nearby restaurants, I have to admit when it’s not enough. Against Sushi Ring, my sushi pales in comparison. As does my Spanish. Comprenez-vous?