I have been trying to get to Asaka since one of you guys recommended it as a favorite sushi place. We tried to go for lunch once but apparently they aren’t open for lunch. It’s also kind of hidden in the depths of Castleton (it’s next to Hooters, if that helps you) and it took us awhile to find it.
The day we went, we were with my son and got there around 7:00 after his last baseball game of the season. Apparently, they have some kind of sushi happy hour until 7:00 on certain weeknights, and the place was packed when we got there. We got the only empty table and it had to be cleaned. The servers were a little crazed and the service a bit slow, but eventually we got settled in and made our order (I think this maybe the largest list of sushi rolls I have seen yet). It took us a bit because there are A LOT of rolls with cream cheese on them and that is not our fave.
We went for the Asaka roll ($9.95)--I mean, you figure the namesake roll would be worth ordering right? It was good; there was yellow tail, salmon and tuna inside. The fish was good quality and fresh, even if it was almost shockingly cold. Nothing hiding the straightforward flavors in this roll. We enjoyed it, even if it didn’t turn out to be my favorite.
My favorite of the evening was probably the funky tuna ($8.95). It was a mix of spicy tuna (i.e. tuna mixed with spicy mayo) and crunchy tempura bits. It was on the inside and on the outside of the roll as well. Even though the tuna was mixed up with the spicy mayo, it still seemed to be of decent quality and in a fair amount. It was perfectly mixed with the crunchy bits giving it just the right texture variation. I liked it. I’d get it again.
Lastly, we had the spider roll (soft shell crab) ($7). It was a pretty standard spider roll—the fried soft shell crab was chopped up and mixed with a bit of mayo. I prefer my soft shell crabs whole rather than chopped up like this, even though there was a lot of the crab there. It was a bit dry though and just didn’t get me overly excited. Not bad. Not great.
The salmon nigiri was very good and very tender, and even lured my son in, who can often be tempted by any kind of pink meat, even if it's fish. (He loves his rare red meat).
My son had a chicken cutlet ($6.95 and includes a drink) off the kid’s menu and quite liked it. He ate every single bite of the chicken (other than the one piece hubby and I split) and even liked the tonkatsu sauce (sort of a Japanese style BBQ sauce with soy and Worcestershire sauce) they served on the side. The chicken was pretty darn tender.
All in all, it’s a decent option for dinner in Castleton somewhere that isn’t a chain. It’s not in my top couple of sushi places in town, but it is certainly worth a go. I am not exactly sure what the whole happy hour deal is, but it is obviously popular. And something to know—if you pay in cash, they give you a 10% discount off your bill.
6414 East 82nd Street