At the suggestion of PamR, I tried Asaka at 6414 E. 82nd Street in Indianapolis. In the past, when I've been in Indy or travelling through, I have eaten at Sakura on Meridian, so this time I thought I'd try something different. Pam suggested Asaka, and it was close to my hotel, so I tried it, and I was very happy that I did.
Pam had forwarned me in her message that the location was less than perfect. Asaka is in a shopping area right next to a Hooters, and its a little hard to see. If I hadn't received a recommendation, I might have gone back to Sakura. inside, however, the decor is light and clean, with a japanese feel (duh!). I saw 10-12 tables seating anywhere from four to six people and a sushi bar that seats 10. The first thing I noticed on the way in the door, however, was a sign advertising "Sushi Happy Hour"! Sushi Happy Hour runs from 5:00 to 7:00pm, Tuesday through Sunday. During these times, nigiri sushi off of a special menu is $1.00 per piece! While the menu is limited, it contains most of the nigiri available off of the regular menu, including my favorites, himachi, Shiro Maguro (albacore) and white tuna. This menu allows you to re-order three times.
Both the happy hour menu and the regular sushi menu offer something that I have never seen before... a choice of the amount of rice used to make the sushi! The choices were Regular (Japanese standard style), Large (American Style) and Extra Large (Big American Style). I choce regular since I'd rather fill up on fish instead of rice.
To start, I ordered some Edamame. the portion was large and the edammame was fresh, hot and salty, just how I like it!
Next I ordered an assortment of nigiri including my favorites listed above and some salmon and Tai (Red Snapper). It took a while for them to bring out the first round. There were three or four other groups in the restaurant, and apparently they had all ordered at the same time! Once the sushi arrived I was pleased at the appearance. The rice was about the size I am used to, maybe a little smaller, but the cuts of fish were very generous. the salmon in particular draped well over the ends of the rice. All of the fish was very fresh, and the white tuna was exceptional.
A second round included more himachi, white tuna and salmon and added some very good unagi. By this time it was past 7:00, so happy hour was over. this gave me a chnce to sample a roll. I ordered an Asaka Rainbow Roll (a regular Rainbow Roll was also listed at $.50 more). When the roll arrived I found my first complaint... The roll was cut into five pieces when it really should have been 8 pieces. The pieces were too large to eat in one bite comfortably. Otherwise, the roll was very good, although I'm hard-pressed to tell you what made the Asaka Rainbow Roll different from any other Rainbow Roll I've had. the inside was crab stick, avocado, cucumber and the outside was wrapped in salmon tuna and avocado. As with the sushi, the fish on the roll was very generous.
After all of this, and non-stop refills of my soft drink, I was too full to try dessert.
Overall, I think I still prefer Sakura, mostly for its selection of uniquely prepared rolls, but Asaka is very close behind. Service was good and everyone was friendly. For the most part, the clientele was asain, with me and one couple being the only non-asains in the restaurant. I will go back to Asaka whenever I can.