Richmond VA Sushi - Niwanno Mana
After a day in the sterile and pedestrian central MD area (BelAir and Forest Hill), I was glad that the final leg of my business trip found me briefly in Richmond VA.
First off and sorry if I come off a bit negative, I would kill myself if I lived in the above area - there is nothing, I repeat, nothing culinarily that is of remote interest, and nothing that I was aware of. Coming from NJ (where one can find vg Italian in every other strip mall, find good pizza (MD doesn't know pizza whatsoever) - I was thankful that I headed out of MD on Monday nite. Chains and auto dealers abound on Rte. 1 as I headed south after missing an almost non existent 95 sign. Ate in some red neck bar on #1 (not a problem for this writer) but, again, pedestrian.
After a brief meeting in Richmond, I was not pointing the car north until I got some semblance of a decent meal. Now, I'm sure what puts Richmond on the food map is Southern food, BBQ etc, but it is enough of a cosmopolitan city that avails at least one (1) restaurant of the more poplular ethnic restaurants that one will find in urban settings (Cuban, Viet, Thai, Morrocan etc).
I opted for sushi (which was taking a chance), and I stopped into Niwanno Mana on Cleary St.(after much deliberation and scouting around the area). Nice neighborhood, many restaurants to chosse from. Most definitely a very servicable and enjoyable sushi to be found at this little storefront. While not packed, looking at the diners supporting yesterday's lunch - gave me a pretty good 'feel' that it would not dissapoint. The Naruta Roll, wrapped in thin cucumber was nice. Sushi, fresh, clean and delicious.
And I do love the city. Historical, beautiful, and has character
Made up for the rest of the trip's culinary shortfall.