Uptown has a sushi bar. It's called Agami, on Broadway south of Lawrence, and we went there last night. The decor is fun and sort of surreal - curving walls in red and blue, bright green floors, big-screens showing what one reviewer called "aquarium porn." There are a variety of seating areas: a long curving bar (empty at the moment, as they don't yet have their liquor license), tables in front of the bar that look out onto Broadway, a sushi bar, a general seating area of tables, and a few cozy booths behind the sushi bar, which is where we sat. From this vantage point we got to see all the secrets of sushi prep (the dividing wall is plexiglass) - including the large bottle of Sriracha hot sauce (used quite often).
The menu is large and ambitious - there are "sushi bar appetizers," "kitchen appetizers," nigiri, "signature" nigiri, maki, "signature" maki, and entrees. I may have missed one or two categories.
We ordered two kitchen appetizers (which are cooked dishes): the giant scallops in a soy-based sauce, sort of a take on the Scallops batta-yaki found elsewhere, and the beef and scallion rolls - a sort of negimaki, but with the addition of a plum sauce. While good, these were nothing special.
We then ordered a selection of nigirizushi - some regular, some "signature." The latter consist of sushi to which the chef has added a topping of some sort (diced stuff, fish roe, etc). Some of them worked better than others. The menu says they come with a special dipping sauce, but our waiter failed to bring it (and we didn't notice at first that it was supposed to come with). The sushi was quite good, slim, elegant slices of very fresh fish - the mackeral (topped with red onion) was especially tasty. Noting has it's Japanese name here, so it's "mackeral," not "saba."
We then ordered one of the "signature" makimono - the "Agami Roll." This had a lot of stuff in it - I can't remember it all - and it was huge, dribbled with spicy mayo. It worked, though. Somehow it held together (each piece required two bites), and tasted delicious.
We finished up with more signature nigiri for my husband, and a sushi bar appetizer for me: the rice crispy tuna bars: about eight small rectangles of rice cracker topped with a spicy mash of chopped tuna and other stuff, topped with spicy mayo and sliced jalapena. The spiciness overwhelmed the tuna, but it tasted good, and it was a texture thing, anyway. My husband's choices of 3 special nigiri were not as successful as the first ones we got, but this time we asked for the special dipping sauce. Our waiter confessed that he'd seen that on the menu, but thought it referred to the way they were prepared. However, he did bring it, and it turned out to be soy sauce with dashi in it - heavy on the katsuoboshi, so that it tasted very smokey. We thought it was an unnecessary distraction from the pure taste of the sushi.
We took home a dessert, which we ordered of a card of photos. The desserts in general seemed to be the sort of thing you see advertised in restaunt trade magazines, and the one we got (a mousee pyramid with caramel sauce) was disappointing.
Agami is still BYOB, so we brought our own beer and sake (keeping the cost down considerably). Service is friendly, if amatuerish, and the music, though loud, wasn't too bad where we sat, so all in all, we really enjoyed the place, and would certainly go back.
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