Sushi Para II

February 28 2008 - 10:57 AM

My first warning probably should have been the "all-you-can-eat sushi" for only $16.99. However, my hole-in-the-wall-lovin’ self worked up an appetite as we descended to a basement in Lincoln Park, revealing a small space adorned with wooden furniture and a sushi bar wedged in the corner.

I deliberated over the menu and like all my prior "all-you-can-eat" experiences, secretly vowed NOT to roll out of the door in discomfort by the end of the meal. Their menu had a decent variety of appetizers, nigiri sushi and their special rolls. My friends jumped on the appetizers as I carefully made my choices of the special rolls.

For any special roll at any Japanese restaurant, I look for a
combination of the following: unagi (eel), spicy, avocado, crunchy,
masago/tobiko, wasabi and/or crunchy. Which brought me to order the
American Dream Roll, the Spider Roll, the Volcano Roll and the Palatine
Roll. While waiting for my order, I tried some of my friend’s shumai
(which by the way, is Chinese) and it reminded me of one of those
microwavable ones I would sometimes get at grocery stores, out of
temporary insanity.

When my food finally arrived, it looked promising. The rolls were
big and colorful. However, my eyes immediately zeroed in on the
Sriracha (aka Rooster sauce) sauce delicately dropped on the top of the
Volcano Rolls. Sriracha sauce is acceptable with the following
cuisines: Thai, Vietnamese, and any variation of Southeast Asian food
really. Japanese? No.

As I picked up my roll, it promptly fell apart. I managed to savor
what was left with my chopsticks. The overall taste was decent and I’ll
give them points for their somewhat creativity but the rice was a
little hard and did not stick together very well. It was hard to judge
the freshness of the fish while it was buried in all that goodness. The
seaweed tasted rubbery, as if the sushi rolls had been left to marinate.

The rest of the evening was spent trying to figure out how to eat
these sushi rolls in less than 10 bites. It provided for good comedy,
but not necessarily a great sushi experience. Food aside, the service
was also decent. The restaurant quickly filled up within the hour and I
was impressed at the amount of people in the tiny restaurant.

Looks like I will be continuing on my search for the "Best Japanese
Restaurant" in the city, preferably with fresh ingredients and rolls
that actually stay together.

Sushi Para II
2256 N. Clark Street
773-477-3219

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