Thursday, November 15, 2012


I told you I was on a breakfast and sushi kick, and here’s the next sushi venture. I met my friend @IndyFoodSwap for lunch at isushi in Carmel the other day—she and I have enjoyed our share of sushi together and are pretty compatible in what we like (for instance, we are both big fans of the Crazy Ho at H2O—possibly one of my favorite rolls ever).  The menu at isushi is quite large as far as rolls go and there are some interesting combos that I haven’t seen before.  Quite a few of them involve krab stick and/or cream cheese though which are generally non starters for me.

Suzanne had the salad to start and I had miso soup.  The ginger dressing on the salad was your standard Japanese restaurant version—leaning more toward the tangy gingery side than the creamier type that you sometimes see (and which Suzanne is now spoiled for from Sushi Bar). It was basic iceberg and dressing. The miso soup was pretty standard too. Honestly, I don’t think you can vary it that much and pretty much all of them taste similar to me. It tasted good though because it was warm and the restaurant was chilly.

Tampa (left), Mikimoto and Graduation Rolls

Emperor Roll

We ordered three different rolls, and ended up getting one that wasn’t what we ordered, so we actually ended up trying 4.  My favorite was the Tampa roll ($5).  It was stuffed with tempura fried red snapper and chives and then topped with spicy mayo.  I like snapper and this was a fun way to eat it in a sushi roll—we both love chives which was one of the things that drew us both to it.  The tempura was nice and crunchy and the roll itself was nice and bite-sized.  It was straight forward, but had the crunch I like and the little extra kick from the mayo.

I also liked the Mikimoto roll ($12.59) which was filled with shrimp tempura and avocado and topped with eel and eel sauce.  This roll was wrapped in soy paper.  The rolls were getting progressively larger though and this one was borderline too big.  The other thing I noticed, particularly about the larger rolls was they weren’t rolled very tightly and had a tendency to kind of fall apart while you were eating them.  The eel on top was pretty big pieces as well. The flavor of the fillings and topping were good on this one—the shrimp with the requisite crunch, and I always like avocado in my rolls.

So the roll that we actually ordered, but which we didn’t get until we pointed out the mistake, was the Emperor roll ($12.75).  I did not care for this one and probably should have taken it as a sign when they didn’t bring it the first time.  It was filled with salmon and avocado and topped with tuna, yellowtail and seaweed salad.  Oof, I am not sure what it was about this one, or if it was just a combination of a lot of things, but I could barely stomach it. First of all, it was huge and really hard to eat.  The fish that was layered on top was cut in very thick pieces and was so cold it was almost like it had just been taken out of a freezer not long before.  The seaweed seemed quite cold as well.  I mean, obviously you want your raw fish cold, but this was too cold, and the roll was totally unmanageable and falling apart—and the fish pieces were so big they were hard to chew (and made the fish completely dominate the flavor). Maybe some of the problems came because they made it really fast after giving us the wrong thing, but I would take a skip on this one.

Actually, the roll that they brought us that wasn’t what we ordered, was probably better than the one we did order, even though it contained both cream cheese AND krab stick (they kindly left it for us after they realized the mistake). It was the graduation roll ($12.75) and was stuffed with krab stick, cucumber, avocado and cream cheese and was topped with scallop, salmon, spicy krab stick and spicy mayo.  There was a lot going on in this roll and it was hard to kind of differentiate the flavors, but the fish on top was slightly more thinly sliced at least, even though it was still challenging to eat. It isn’t something I would order again either.

I appreciated that the service was very attentive and they were right on top of it when they realized they had made a mistake and brought us the new roll quickly (possibly too quickly though).  The restaurant itself opens directly into the outside though making it very chilly on a cold day, although they were doing a pretty good business at lunch.  Once the rolls got past pretty simple though, they fell apart (literally and figuratively).  Sushi often seems so artful in the way it is made and this just lacked that quality.

820 East 116th Street
Carmel, 46032

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  1. As someone famous must have said at some point, nothing says true friendship like a mutual love of Crazy Hos!