I've heard fantastic things about the sushi restaurant Kawasaki on North Charles St. in Baltimore. A few questions -- what are the prices like? Are the quality and prices the same at its offshoot in Fell's Point? And any opinions on how it compares to the also lauded Nichiban in Baltimore? Thanks!
I've not been to the Charles Street location, but Fells Point is nice especially in the summer since they have four or five outdoor tables on the water. What they do is pretty good, but I don't think Kawasaki is close to the good sushi places in D.C.
One other word--don't get the Gyoza. You can buy them in an Asian Supermarket for about $5.00 for a bag of 30.
For some strange reason, I actually prefer the Fells Point location. Better atmosphere, friendlier staff... and they have a few more things on the menu than they do on Charles - for example, avacado salad (an avacado on a plate - PERFECT!). When I go for sushi, I tend to order in several different batches - the staff at Fells Point are down with that while those at Charles Street sometimes act confused by this practice - or are just eager to get you out of the door. Also, one of the women who works at the Charles Street location scares the living hell out of me. She weighs about 40 lbs. and has a weird face.... and just never fails to totally freak me out.
I love Kawasaki, and I prefer the Charles Street location to the Fell's Point location. Only went to the FP one once, and I found it difficult to communicate with staff and their menu listed the various roll names but no clear definition as to what they contained.
The one on Charles Street is older and more authentic. There are three tables in the front window that are traditional style, where you take your shoes off and sit on pillows. They also have a "wall of fame" so to speak where you can leave your own chopsticks to use when you come. I don't know how it works, but have often sat next to a table which requests their own chopsticks.
Very friendly, appropriately priced (I can't imagine it's more or less than the one in FP) and an easy location.
As for Nichiban, love that too. Just depends on where I want to be that evening, as it's in Federal Hill.
Really, I have to say that those are two of my favorite places to eat suchi in Baltimore (and also the Cross Street Market).
I really like the Kawasaki in Fells Point, but I also haven't been to the one on Charles yet, so I can't say if it's better. I have been to Matsuri (sp? I think that's right...) on Charles St. and it was excellent (better that Kawasaki).
I don't find it hard to communicate with the Fells Point Kawasaki staff at all, and I do find it quite similar to what I have had in Japan- esp. the nigiri and yakatori.
Did you know that the FP Kawasaki has a "customer roll" menu (ask for it) that includes rolls that they have made especially for their customers. You can basically tell them what you want in it and they will make it for you. Now, that's what I call service!
All in all, it's one of my favorite places to eat in Fells Point. Good food, atmosphere, and prices. Friendly and attentive staff.