Matter of Taste: Sushi
What tastes good to you might not taste good to me. Let's talk about everything but.
Here’s the thing about sushi: the word itself means different things to different people. Some say only sashimi fish is “real” sushi. Others consider any fish at all served with rice in a roll as sushi. Before we send you up and down Gulf Boulevard, here’s a quick lesson:
The word “sushi,” loosely translated, means something that tastes sour. Sushi traditionally combined fermented rice with fish; the fermenting rice produced vinegar, which broke down the fish. The rice was then discarded and diners ate the fishonly. This process evolved into modern-day sushi, which combines rice, fish, and sweet rice vinegar.
This modern sushi evolved out of the Tokyo Bay area of Japan as a sort of “fast” food because with the use of vinegar, chefs could prepare it quickly (as opposed to waiting for the rice to ferment) and diners could eat it with their hands. Along the Pinellas beaches you’ll find plenty of opportunities to grab some sushi, but in all likelihood you won’t think of it as “fast food.” The sushi bars and restaurants up and down Gulf Boulevard are used to catering to tourists from every corner of the globe, so odds are there’s at least one that hits all your taste buds the right way. If you’re not sure where to start, well, start below, and go from there.
If you want...
...Hard core sushi with lots of raw fish, go to Tokyo Bay in Tierra Verde. They offer more raw fish than cooked, although if you have cooked sushi die-hards in your group, they can dine on Korean dishes or sample some of the rolls that contain cooked fish.
...Sushi without a lot of raw fish, try Nori Thai on Blind Pass. The sushi menu includes a variety of sashimi, but most of the rolls are cooked. They also serve a full Thai menu and the chef can combine the flavors used in Thai cooking with the sushi.
...Sushi and teppanyaki, try Blue Fugu on St. Pete Beach. They have enough sashimi (raw fish with no rice), sushi, and rolls to satisfy most sushi aficionados, but they also have teppanyaki grills for those who want beef, chicken or cooked meats.
...Sushi for beginners, head to Osaka on Madiera Beach. Osaka has plenty of cooked and uncooked sushi as well as sushi appetizers and cooked rolls. You can order a sampler appetizer and if, after that, you decide sushi’s not for you, you can get a Thai entree for your main meal.
...Rolls, and lots of ‘em, try Kiku on Clearwater Beach. If you crave rolls stuffed with lots of veggies, spices, and other accoutrements, Kiku has them a-plenty. They serve plenty of Volcano rolls and other traditional rolls but have some of their own creations as well.