March 27, 2008

Ithaca Bites: Sushi O Sake

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The first time I encountered Sushi O Sake (107 N. Aurora St.) was when I was with my girlfriend in the commons; she gestured over to a bright yellow façade and suggested we try it out. I was a little hesitant, for it usually follows (at least in my head it does) that the more garish the outside of a restaurant is, the more likely it is to have mediocre food. Not so in this case. The interior seemed to be antithetical to the exterior: it was sleek, well-lit, and relatively quiet even though it was half full of people. I must admit, I was pleasantly surprised.
I always enjoy sushi, but since my girlfriend frowns upon most things uncooked, we figured it would be best to each get our own orders. There were more choices than I knew what to do with – there were two pages of appetizers and another two of sushi. From the sushi menu I ordered the Pop Up (spicy salmon with crab, avocado, cucumber, smelt roe and tempura flakes), while she ordered the Philadelphia Roll (salmon, cream cheese, cucumber and avocado). For an entrée, she chose the chicken teriyaki while I decided upon the yakiudon (stir-fried udon noodles with vegetables) with beef. Everything was wonderful. The sushi was fresh and tasty to the point where even my usually anti-sushi girlfriend enjoyed it. I didn’t even know what some of things were in the yakiudon, but I ate them regardless; the sweet and syrupy sauce made up for all the unknowns.
True, the grand total came up to around $50, but there was enough food left over for another meal. When you factor that in, the price wasn’t all that bad. The food was great and the service was good, so all in all, Sushi O Sake is highly recommended. And if you don’t want to shell out all that cash, an average lunch runs about $10 or a dinner without an appetizer is around $15. Before you leave though, make sure you get the tempura green-tea ice cream. It’s two scoops wrapped in a tempura (not as crispy as you may think) cake dough and drizzled with chocolate. It’s $5, but well worth every penny.