January 7, 2009

Take Out: Sushi in a Box - Sustainable. Delectable. Possible.

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I am now a lovah of sushi. I don't remember when exactly I went from tolerating sushi to "Damn, I want some more of that." It was somewhere in between Yakuza and Dragonfish. But anyhow, here I am. A sushi lovah.

Bamboo Sushi, the first sustainable sushi restaurant in the US, is in our fair city. What does that mean, sustainable sushi? Sounds a little buzz-wordy to me. Luckily, at the host's station in the entryway, there is a little business-card sized explanation. It lists Best Choices, Good Alternatives and Avoid types of fish, based on how they are caught or farmed. Buying or eating seafood in the Best Choices column or the Good Alternatives column "support those fisheries and fish farms that are healthier for ocean wildlife and the environment." Groovy. As long as it tastes good, I'm down with that.

When I called my order in, I asked the person on the phone what her favorite traditional roll was. She said the wild salmon and asparagus - because she hates salmon everywhere else, but loves it in this roll. I really appreciated her admitting that she hates salmon. That takes some guts in the Northwest.

It wasn't the best sushi I've ever had, but considering I ordered the sushi to pick up at 5:20 and I didn't get there until almost 6 and then I had to drive home while the sushi was hanging out in a box the whole time, well, it was pretty darn good. I had: Wild Salmon and Asparagus roll, Spicy Tuna roll, and The Green Machine, which included tempura fried asparagus, green onions, topped with avocado and a sweet chili cilantro aioli.

The sushi held up to the takeout box with moxie - the spicy tuna was spicy, with fresh crunchy jalepeno strips and the creamy aioli was such a perfect dressing on the Green Machine. The salmon/asparagus roll was mild and slightly sweet. All the rolls were prettily displayed in the box, which I appreciated. Take out is not always pretty. The host said that the Green Machine rolls might have gotten soggy waiting for me to pick them up, but I didn't notice that - the flavor was all there, there was no crunch, but I couldn't detect the absence of the crunch.

Bamboo Sushi's tagline is Sustainable. Delectable. Possible. I just can't get out of my head that scene from Singin' in the Rain, when they are coming up with taglines for the new movie: "Lockwood and Lamont: They talk!" Then, with perfect timing, Jean Hagen says, "Well of course talk. Don't everybody?" This is how I feel about this tagline. The first two words are great, but "Possible"? Of course possible, ain't everything? It feels.... tentative.

I'm guessing, though, that they were looking at it differently. More hopeful than tentative. Hopeful that they will be the first of many sustainable sushi restaurants in the country. And maybe a little proud of their accomplishment - And to that, I say good job. If you can make it taste good, and be sustainable, then by all means, do it. Which is what they have done. Bravo. Please pass the sushi.

Bamboo Sushi on Urbanspoon


Take-a-Wipf said...

I've heard so much green wash over the last couple of years that I don't trust any company that says they are "sustainable". Most of them don't even get what that means.
Please don't tell me that is a styrofoam box your food is in.

Hey, It's Ansley said...

Not a styrofoam box, it was paper and is in our recycling bin. And I didn't eat the leftovers until about 7:30 and they were still good then.

kab said...

Actually, these guys really are trying to walk the talk. They're very proud of their recycling program and they're certified by the Marine Stewardship Council. I went to a media event right after they opened and got a chance to talk with the MSC folks who are really excited about it.