We love sushi. It’s one of the highest expressions of seafood artistry and flavor. Asahi is fairly new to Westcott St., and we really liked their sushi!
The urbane sushi merry-go-round thing is just so hip and great fun – the choices move past you on a conveyor belt for your viewing pleasure, and if one looks good, you simply take it. Each item has a color-coded dish to indicate the price. Very right-brained, and I find it a fun alternative to a regular menu. Some elementary math is required if you don’t want to over-spend. Still, this particular time we ordered off the menu instead.
The modern decor is really tasteful, with a color scheme that’s pleasingly relaxing, nice use of track lighting, and a quality wood floor. Many restaurants in Syracuse fall short in the decor department, but Asahi made a significant effort, and it shows. The service was very friendly and helpful.
Before our meal we received a free small edamame appetizer, a nice touch. We love Gyoza (delicious pork dumplings), so we shared them for an appetizer, and theirs may have been the best we’ve ever had. Our dishes included a yellowtail roll and a salmon avocado roll. The first was a touch spicy (and identified as such) and really delicious. The salmon roll had a pleasing, gentle flavor. Everything was very nice, and we managed to have dinner for under $20, no mean feat for a meal of this quality!
They are also working on getting a liquor license, which is a byzantine and snail-speed process in New York state, so at some point I hope we can enjoy some sake there. We would ding them on having a huge TV on with some audible sound. This seems to be common amongst sushi restaurants, and it may not bother TV addicts, but we find that it distorts the dining atmosphere, especially in a classy place. Sushi Merry-go-round restaurants often have music playing, and I don’t mind some J-pop, which fits the hip vibe, but here they had some non-Japanese music competing with the TV sound. Slightly lame, but not a deal-breaker.
At this writing, Asahi is open until 11PM every night(!), which delights us, because we sometimes want to dine at a Spain-like dinner hour. We will definitely be going back! Try them out! Here’s how to find it.
Metro, right across the street, has offered sushi for years. Asahi’s arrival must have felt like a shot across their bow. Asahi clearly has the advantage in the sushi realm, although Metro has a nice bar scene, and could continue to thrive with their theme nights. I found Metro’s sushi to be OK, but not at Asahi’s level, and their other food was perplexing, almost as if someone were randomly surfing the net to plan dishes. The Metro table service was also not too good.
As an aside, I’m a professional web developer, so I took a look at the Asahi site. They dutifully got a website made by a firm that specializes in restaurant sites. It looks decent, and you can order online. But the interface is very 1997, and I don’t think ordering on a phone or tablet will be much fun here. Oops! Oh, wait a minute – here’s something I’ve never seen before: they seemingly have many websites. Which one is the real one? This, or this, or this? They all seem to work OK, and one is simply a connection to GrubHub. So I hope they’re happy that I’m publicizing the daylights out of them! Maybe they’ll give me free stuff, just like corrupt food reviewers get, yay! We did see a professional-looking guy taking photos when we were there, so maybe there will be another prettier site soon, and they’ll be on their way to a world record!
These sushi photos are not from Asahi, in case you were wondering. Sometimes I just want to eat when I’m at a restaurant. Weird, eh?