Monday, January 16, 2012

Wasabi Sushi & Bar in Jackson, MS

I love sushi. What's not to love about flawless, fresh morsels wrapped in chewy sweet rice? Done right, not only are the flavors incredible, but the food itself is art on a plate. When the craving for sushi hits, nothing else will satisfy. So when sushi fever hit me in the heart of the South, bastion of fried food and butter sauce, I was worried. Would I be able to get my fix in Jackson, Mississippi? With a little research, I found Wasabi Sushi & Bar, and I had to check it out.

When I arrived in the midst of the skyscrapers of downtown, I was expecting an upscale dining experience at an upscale price, but I was willing to pay. After all, we're talking sushi! I just hoped it was worth the price. I needn't have worried, however. With a selection of rolls for only $5, Wasabi is far from overpriced. Even a regional item, a spicy Crawfish roll with Japanese pepper was only $7. And as to quality, I had no complaints. It is possible to get sushi in Jackson that's every bit as good as what I'm used to in California. The old standbys, the Philadelphia Roll and the Bar-B-Q Eel Roll, were exactly as they should be, balanced and very fresh. The salmon in the Philadelphia Roll was moist and smokey. The eel wasn't too boney or too fatty. Just meaty, sweet, and perfect. But the menu at Wasabi is more that just a well done rehashing of the same old thing. Sushi is a cuisine that just begs for innovation, and the Wasabi chef is no slacker. The Chef's New Creation section boasts no less than eight never before seen delicacies ranging from the Fusion Po-Boy, the Little Mermaid, and the Yum, Yum, Yum! There's even innovation in the value portion of the menu. With a soft skin and crunchy inside, the Rice Paper Roll is a no-rice wonder drawing strong inspiration from the Vietnamese spring roll and is served with hoisin and sriracha ($5.50).

Wasabi Sushi & Bar is fast becoming a business lunch favorite in the working center of Jackson. This baby new restaurant serves up an elegant dinner as well. It's beautiful blend of the high end and great bargains, old favorites and new flavors, makes Wasabi Sushi & Bar well worth a visit.

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