As of four weeks ago I am residing in Texas, and I have been pleasantly surprised with the variety and overall quality of food that I have found here in the Killeen area. I've tried two Vietnamese places, had sound German and Mexican food, and have been twice to the same Korean place.
We are far from salt water here, so I haven't been looking for seafood and generally don't expect much of seafood this far inland. Tonight though, I thought that I would take one for the team and find out just how bad the local sushi scene was. There is a little place called J's Sushi and More that I had noticed that happens to be just a mile from my apartment, so I headed over there.
This is an unassuming little place in a little strip of shops and my expectations were less than modest going in. When I walked in, the first thing that I noticed is that it smelled good. There were no lingering fish house smells, and tantalizing aromas of hot food made my mouth water. The interior is simple but clean.
I helped myself to a table and the itamae greeted me and called the waitress from the kitchen for me. I ordered water to drink. There were various specials posted on the wall; I ordered the “Salmon Lover's” combo comprised of three salmon nigiri, three salmon sashimi and a spicy salmon roll (yeah, I know, I know, “round eye roll).” I didn't think that that would be enough so I also ordered single nigiri of red snapper and unagi.
I was surprised to be served both a salad and miso soup. The salad was the standard iceberg, but it was crisp and refreshing with a tangy dressing of what I assume to be ponzu and miso. The miso soup was what you would expect but the soup and salad were both bonus items as far as I was concerned.
When my combo came I was surprised with not three sashimi but six pump cubes of succulent, velvety salmon. The nigiri cuts were generously draping off of the rice. The cuts of the roll were a nice size as if meant for a normal human mouth rather than the gullet of Godzilla.
That spicy roll was spicy indeed. I asked what made it spicy but the response was rather oblique. “The sauce,” she said with a gesture at the orangy red and yellow sauces on the plate.. I asked if it was sriracha (it was the right color for sriracha) but she said no, but that it was a sriracha-like sauce. The roll was very good but the heat profile was more like that of black pepper than sriracha.
The salmon was fresh and lovely in all three iterations. The red snapper was good. The unagi is still in the go-box that I got. It turned out to be more food than I really needed – I hadn't planned on soup and salad.
I wanted a beer with my sushi, but they don't serve any alcohol, and I was driving myself anyway. So I took the last yummy bits home with me and I am savoring them now with a beer.
The chunks of sashimi are velvety and voluptuous, delicate and buttery in the mouth. My lips are tingling from the spicy roll. I'm about to have a bit of unagi as my “dessert.” I feel spoiled, all for the price of $18, plus tip.