On my first visit to Sushi & Sushi (3337 Fairbanks St.) I was grouchy, cold, tired and covered in snow. The location housed the first incarnation of Peter's Sushi and is now owned by a former Peter's manager, Chong Wick.
The atmosphere inside is shaped by warm colors, paper umbrellas and a huge floor-to-ceiling mirror near the restrooms. The space feels elegant and simple.
Three sushi chefs worked behind the bar and huge cuts of raw, fresh fish and octopus were stacked in front of them.
Alone and not feeling adventurous, I ordered the oyako don ($11.95) and the attention began.
"Would you like some tea?"
"No thank you."
"You need some tea."
"No thank you."
"Here is your tea."
Turns out, I did need the tea. Steaming and light, it warmed my sour mood and heated my cold fingers. I was never even charged for it.
My food arrived shortly after and I wish this review was scratch and sniff. My dish smelled of chicken and onions followed by sweet and spicy carrots.
Everything was sliced into long thin strips and placed over a bed of white rice with a sweet brown sauce. A partially cooked egg topped the plate.
I found the chicken a little too chewy and fatty, but loved the sweetness of the onions, carrots and egg. I'd prefer white meat next time or maybe tofu instead of chicken.
On my second trip my friend Veronica came along. She's a huge sushi lover and I wanted suggestions and someone with a hearty appetite to split dishes with.
We scanned the menu and saw several sushi rolls with American names. The chef told us if customers create a sushi roll and it becomes popular, they name it after them.
We decided to split the Miyako, ($12.95) and Penelonpe, ($11.95) rolls (yes, that's how it's spelled on the menu). We also got a mixed tempura plate ($7.95).
After we ordered we were given hot towels, edamame and miso soup.
The Miyako roll was the knock-my-socks off favorite. It had spicy tuna, sticky rice, shrimp tempura, crab, a sweet glaze and chili mayo tangled into a tight, 50 cent-sized roll.
The Penelonpe roll had deep-fried salmon, avocado, cucumber, spicy mayo and tempura flakes. A sweet, almost black sauce was drizzled on top. With the golden tempura crust it was crunchy and delicious.
The tempura plate was wonderful, but paled when compared to the sushi rolls. It came with three very large pieces of shrimp, zucchini, yam and a sweet potato. Veronica and I had one of those, "Oh no, you take the last piece of shrimp," moments when what we were really both thinking was, "Give me the shrimp." Encased in a light, golden brown batter, it was divine.
You might be thinking we couldn't possibly have had more room for more -- but we made room. It wasn't on the menu, but we asked for agedashi tofu ($6.95) and the chefs were more than happy to make it.
The four large cubes of tofu fried with potato starch and sprinkled with sauce were barely plated and rushed out of the kitchen before they were in front of us. I burned my tongue on the juice that squirted from the soft pillows of tofu.
We finished with green tea ice cream. The small scoop was light tasting, with just a hint of the tea's flavor. It was a refreshing close -- an after-diner mint on ice.
Throughout our meal waitresses constantly shuffled between us clearing plates and filling glasses of water. They were never overbearing, always friendly.
When new customers came in the entire staff erupted into a chorus of greetings. The restaurant will be expanding into the space next door in early 2010 with more seating for private parties. I'll come back with friends, we're sure to be spoiled.
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By Rebecca Palsha
Daily News correspondent