Waterlogged sushi at Sono Sushi
Three strikes and they're banned from the Swank household! (Even if the wait is an hour at Toraya.) We ordered takeout from Sono for the third time. Menu reads really well; tons of sushi selections, teriyaki, and so forth. However: Their sushi tastes--watery! Like tuna from a can wedged into rice! I don't understand it. Ordered two spicy scallop rolls and a tuna roll, and each piece of fish tasted like wet wadded-up Kleenex. Flavorless and drippy. I'm so sad. Their menu LOOKS terrific. And it's quite convenient to our Lexington-Belmont-Arlington corner of the world. But alas, it's back to Toraya for us, even if it means planning takeout at least two hours in advance! Boo-hoo!!
Was the fish previously frozen? When I think of watery fish, I think of the TJ's frozen salmon, which is perfectly fine for cooking at home in a pinch.
I remain a fan and supporter of Sono - with the following caveats:
1. We always dine in
2. We only sit at the sushi bar
3. We go only when Tom is behind it preparing (or at least overseeing the preparation of our food)
4. We don't compare it to (our beloved) Toraya - this is a Chinese-owned, Asian fusion place vs. a Japanese chef-owned spot - for us, they are two totally different dining experiences
We were disappointed by both of our two takeout orders (one included a designer scallop roll that was much too mayo-gloppy), the Chinese style dishes (e.g., lettuce wrap app, money bags, etc.), and the "fancy makis". The tomago is sweet and rubbery - not a repeat.
So what do we really like? Hamachi kama (if you can get it - often sold out), salmon sushi, sushi specials (e.g., "black seabass"), amaebi, basic maki and the raw tuna apps like the Cajun Tatar.
Finally, I thought most if not all sushi around here comes from previously-flash frozen fish based on food safety requirements - is this untrue? What are the exceptions in terms of fish and places that serve it?
Well said! Like you I have also loved Toraya and Sushi Island when it was in Wakefield because I have found that Japanese restaurants that are owned and operated by someone who is Japanese are more authentic to what you would experience in Japan. Sono, as you said, is an Asian fusion place but in my opinion the are a lot better than any similar places around the Boston area. They offer an extensive menu but sticking with the things you mention have always been top rate. As far as frozen fish goes, if you have ever had the opportunity to visit the famous Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo and witnessed the tuna auction you will notice that just about every fish has been flash frozen due to the fact that they arrive in Japan from all over the world.
Had sashimi for lunch there this week... Fish was great. Didn't try a spicy roll, but how do you get the fish taste when it's masked by all the mayo?