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Stay Smokin,
Co-Founder / Pittsburgh Underground

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Eat Me: Sushi Kim Review

Hungry…? Lost…? Trust issues…? Can’t stuff another flavorless hamburger into yer bored gob…? Relax... The gang from good ol' PU has you covered! In addition to having a fetish for bringing you all the 'other' important news both international and around the 'Burgh, it should come as no surprise to anyone who knows us that we here at PU really like to EAT. Starting today, your favorite gang of misfits provides our professional advice on the best places to fill your pie hole! Everything from all the best soup to nuts in Pittsburgh will now be featured in our articles section (over in the left column) lovingly entitled 'Eat Me'.

With all that said, research has shown that there are two kinds of people in the world; those that eat sushi and those that don’t. For those that don’t, you are looked upon with great pity and saddness from those of us who have more evolved tastebuds... Here at PU, WE LOVE SUSHI and we love Sushi Kim with all our heart!

Do You Love Sushi Like We Love Sushi?

(Click Below To Continue...)

Your old Uncle Chops has personally sampled fare from 3 continents. Asia (by god) started me off in what can only be called my humble beginings in trying to systematically rid the sea clean of all those tasty fishies!  I have eaten sushi in Bangkok, Los Angeles, Toronto, Santa Fe, Sydney (although technically, the octopus was deep fried - that’s another delicious tale), and of course, our beloved city of bridges - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

What may surprise you is that the very BEST sushi I've eaten is right here in our own backyard. Sushi Kim, located on 1241 Penn ave. Pittsburgh, PA15222 (412-281-9956) is for those adventurous souls who truly enjoy a memorable experience, an authentic atmosphere, and an abundance of exotic flavors.

If you love the crowded streets of Pittsburgh's Southside, Station Square, or the Strip District then their are a multitude of eateries to choose from in this catagory. If you want to have an intimate evening of two, be recognized by friendly faces that you can talk to as they prepare your food, have a great conversation with friends over sushi and sake, then Sushi Kim should be your first choice when craving this culinary experience brought to you by our friends from the East.

Located at the foot of the Strip District, Sushi Kim is about a block down the street from Eides Comics (there's great parking across the street from Eides for those of you who worry about where your ride resides while you chow down - onstreet parking for the rest of you).  Remember kids - for the full-on experience, make sure you sit at the SUSHI BAR to order and eat your sushi! Seriously! Don’t sit at a table like a schmuck! Take the plunge! Watch it made in front of you! Ask questions! Learn a little something from another culture in the tastiest (ok, second tastiest) way possible…its like a Pooka at Xmas!

In our experience, the good ol' gang from PU has run the gamut of oceanic choices. Toddy swears by the invertebrates (his favorite being the Salmon Eggs wrapped in seaweed - Ikura) and Inari (rice and fried tofu).

Salmon Eggs, Rice, Seaweed (Ikura) & Fried Tofu Pouches (Inari)

Moder has a profound weakness for tenticles... mmm...octopus (Tako).

Octopus (Tako)

I myself generally stick to anything swimming, but as it turns out, I have a thing for the crabs (Kani) or more specifically, the spider roll (which tops my list everytime).

Crab X2 - Kani (on left) and Mmm... Spider Roll (right)

I'm a spider roll specialist. No matter where I eat my sushi, I must ALWAYS start with a spider roll (mmm... always spicey if you please). You might think that all spider rolls are created equally, but the truth be told, some are most definitely better than others. An odd critique coming from someone who generally avoided the spineless when he had the choice, but the spider roll was always the exception. By and far - Sushi Kim has the best!

Oh fishy, fishy, fish, fish! We worry that you will become scarce soon - what with all our eating and all the problems in the gulf! That doesn't stop me from ordering another favorite - the tuna (Sake, not to be confused with the rice wine of the same name) - the rawer the better (you're old uncky Chops likes a little life in his food!). Right off the fish and onto the plate (if you've ever had smoked salmon, the sushi salmon is essentially the same thing - just with rice)!

Salmon Sushi (Sake)

Another special treat to ask for are the wasabi-infused Tobiko (flying fish eggs) when available (they pop in your mouth with that distinct zing of green horseradish we all love).

Wasabi Infused Flying Fish Eggs (Tobiko)

However, that's really getting into specifics (sorry, we knows what we loves). For first timers, go in a group and order one of Sushi Kim's spectacular sushi boats that contain a nice variety of seafood delights. Remember! Sushi as actually a combination of both rice and fish, most times raw, but many times cooked as the case when ordering freshwater eel (Unagi).

Freshwater Eel (Unagi)

When eating sushi, it is customary to eat a little wasabi (that green Japanese horseradish - intitally used to stave off food poioning in ancient times, now used as a condiment to accompany the fish) with each bit of fish consumed (some like to put a little wasabi in their soy sauce as they dip their fish, others like a pinch right on the fish itself). After each fishy is consumed, pickled ginger is consumed to cleanse the pallet. Stick to these rules along with ordering a large hot sake (Japanese rice wine) and maybe a Sapporo to boot (very well known Japanese beer) and you'll look like an expert in front of all your friends and possibly impress your sushi chef - Either Michael or Mr. Kim (both great hosts in their own right)  in the process.

Fresh Wasabi & Pickled Ginger

Another great perk of Sushi Kim is that it's not just any sushi bar - they also specialize in Korean barbecue (so amazing that it must be reviewed in a separate article) and other culinary delights of the region. Trust becomes paramount when choosing your sushi chef and Sushi Kim delivers. For those who are truly adventurous,  don't be afraid to ask your sushi chef what his favorite dish is and if they will prepare it for you - you will not be sorry. The gang and I recently asked sushi chef, Michael, to do this very thing and were delighted with a mixture of sashimi (raw fish) and fresh vegetables marinated in a spicy red sauce (the dish is called Hoi Moo Chim and it was DELICIOUS!!!).

Prices at Sushi Kim vary, but are completely reasonable for the experience (roughly between $17.00 for the 12 piece platter to $34.00 for the 34 piece platter). You can also go ala kart like in most sushi bars and pick what you like from the list to be made fresh right in front of you. Also, don't forget the ice cream after your meal - green tea and red (Azuki) bean (which tastes a little chocolatey and a little fruity at the same time) are favorites and highly recommended.

Green Tea & Azuki (Red Bean) Ice Cream

Sushi Kim is open most days (Mondays are sushi night only as the main kitchen is closed then) and the barbecue buffet is only open Friday and Saturdays from 5 to 10pm (check their Facebook Page for more details).

So whether you're a seasoned sushi eater, a noob, or just want to try a culinary delights from Asia, Sushi Kim delivers on all taste buds and is completely worth a visit. Who knows, you may even see the gang from PU sitting at the bar talking comics, movies, and of course food!

Eat Me Rating: 5 out of 5 Forked Tongues

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