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Restaurant Review: Kamei Sushi

May 25, 2011

Moose and I tried the new sushi restaurant in town today. We were not impressed.

I should probably start by admitting that I’m a bit of a sushi snob. I’ve had sushi all over the country, from expensive rooftop bars to little noodle houses turned into fast food sushi joints. And while I won’t say that my experience with Kamei Sushi was the worst of those, it was definitely down there. It is not that the sushi was bad. In fact, the rolls we ordered were fairly decent. It’s that when a restaurant has a certain price point, you tend to expect a certain quality. Kamei simply did not deliver that service.

To start with, there is not much on their menu that is truly original. The most original item on the sushi menu is a roll called the Sweet Tango, which includes roasted sweet pecans. Had our first experience with this restaurant been better, I might have been interested in going back to try it. As it is, I am reluctant to give this place a second chance when there are so many other places in town which would offer a more solid experience.

We ordered the tuna roll and the salmon roll has our “plain” rolls. In both cases, the cut of the meat was uneven, resulting in several cuts being almost completely lacking any fish, and in the case of the tuna, one end piece seemed to contain all of the fish in the entire roll. For our “fancy” rolls, we had the California Roll and the Rainbow roll, both basic staples of a sushi experience. The California roll was about average, and though the Rainbow Roll was quite well done, it was still nothing special.

The true disappointment, however, was the salmon skin roll. I like to order a salmon skin roll as a true test of the quality of a sushi restaurant. I tend to feel that they are much like a good egg. Easy to make well, difficult to make truly great. This salmon skin roll was far from great. It was too loosely wrapped, falling apart when I tried to pick it up. And the skin itself wasn’t cooked well, making the scales sharp and unpleasant to eat.

Kamei Sushi is not a bad place to eat sushi. But Moose and I both walked away feeling as if we had paid nice restaurant prices for fast food sushi. And frankly, if I’m going to go anywhere in this town for fast food sushi, I’ll go to Kyoto.

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