We all have a favorite local restaurant for whatever cuisine we might crave at any given time. You have a favorite bar, a favorite pizza place, and probably, a favorite sushi restaurant. But having a favorite doesn't mean you shouldn't try something new, or something that's been there waiting the whole time.
Wasabi Japanese Restaurant was my go-to sushi place in college. It's easy to get to, sitting close to the Post Road next to TGI Fridays. But it's easy to miss if you don't know what you're looking for. I've raved about how much I love their creamy ginger salad dressing, so much so that only one other Japanese restaurant's salad dressing has come close. I was excited to finally revisit the place after a few years, and introduce my boyfriend to the food I've been talking about for so long.
We showed up too late to take advantage of the lunch special (two rolls for $9.50, three rolls for $11.50 and a variety of kitchen entrees for $9.95, with soup and salad, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.), but we made good work of the menu anyway. I ordered a miso soup ($2) and green salad ($3.25) to start. They definitely don't skimp on the salad, or the salad dressing, which lived up to my memories from nearly 10 years ago. My boyfriend started off with a clear soup ($2), which was chock full of mushrooms, a pleasant surprise.
I went straight for my old standbys, a salmon roll ($5) and a California roll ($4.95). Wasabi fills its sushi rolls with enough filling to insure the rolls aren't mostly rice. My boyfriend ordered an eel cucumber roll ($5.50) and a shrimp tempura roll ($6.95). With generous slices of eel and chunks of shrimp tempura, he was a happy camper.
Where Wasabi really shines is with the special rolls. And the presentation when you order more than a few is always exciting. We indulged in a Kamakazi roll (crab, shrimp, avocado, tobiko and oshinko, topped with "chef's special sauce" after a dip in the tempura fryer; $9.95), and a Pink Lady roll (shrimp tempura, spicy tuna, avocado and tobiko, in pink seaweed; $13.95). The Kamakazi roll was much wider than a typical sushi roll, and trying to cram a whole piece in our mouths was comical, but delicious. The pink seaweed used in the Pink Lady roll (and also in the Summer roll, $13.95) was so cool. Our sushi chef smooshed the Pink Lady roll pieces together to form little hearts, which I of course thought was super cute.
The next time you find yourself being driven insane by the Post Road, duck in to Wasabi for a quick bite, or at least a quiet, peaceful break from the madness.
Wasabi Japanese Restaurant
350 Boston Post Road, Orange, (203) 795-5856, wasabiorange.com.