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Sushi Dake satisfies yen for sushi

Bill Scollon

I’m the first to admit I’m not passionate about sushi, but there are

times I get a yen for it. And while there are several good sushi

places in town, I enjoy going to a small, unpretentious restaurant

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tucked into a strip mall called Sushi Dake. And though it does crack

me up that the restaurant is next to a tropical fish store, I can

assure you there’s no connection.

Sitting at the sushi bar gives you a front-row seat to watch the

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sushi chefs artfully prepare dishes. As you would expect, there are

many kinds of sashimi (raw seafood) and sushi (raw seafood atop

seasoned rice) available. Since my tastes run mainstream, I stick to

less adventurous selections such as salmon, tuna, mackerel and eel.

The seafood is consistently fresh and delicious, the rice firm and

moist. In case you’re an amateur like me, let me share with you the

“right” way to eat sushi. Apply a small amount of wasabi and use your

fingers to dip the rice cake into soy sauce. Or, stir the wasabi into

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the soy sauce. True connoisseurs eat the sushi upside down, so the

seafood is first to touch the tongue. Pickled ginger is used as a

palate cleanser between bites.

OK, now here’s my way. Apply a mini-dollop of wasabi, sprinkle

liberally with soy sauce, lay ginger on top (heresy!) and pop the

whole thing into your mouth.

I’m also a big fan of the California roll -- cooked crab, avocado

and cucumber rolled in seaweed and rice. Sushi Dake has elevated

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sushi rolls into an art form, offering several original recipes. The

Dake roll combines four kinds of fish with avocado, cucumber and a

special sauce. The Philadelphia roll features salmon, cream cheese

and asparagus. Now that’s different. I also like their tempura rolls.

The lobster tempura roll sports a generous portion of tempura-fried

lobster with asparagus.

If you’re dining with a devoted non-sushi eater, the restaurant

offers teriyaki, tempura and noodle dishes. The teriyaki -- beef,

salmon, chicken -- is sweet and mild. The seafood and vegetable

tempura is lightly battered and fried crisp, without being greasy and

is very good. Whether you’re a true sushi connoisseur or an innocent

like me, you can satisfy your yearning for sushi with the riches of

the sea at Sushi Dake.

* BILL SCOLLON is a Burbank resident and president of Scollon

Media Arts. You can reach him at ewscollonhotmail.com.


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