Hello Ladies and Gents!
You all know that I take my film reviews pretty seriously. I’ve always enjoyed the cinema, and love to review films based on artistic AND personal criteria. Recently, I decided to start reviewing OTHER things as well - most notably coffee shops (THERE IS A BLOG ABOUT TO BE LAUNCHED REGARDING THIS) and, well, food.
Food is an essential part of living, so it makes sense that we would invest a great deal of time into making it enjoyable! Reviewing food is an interesting process. For something so subjective in regards to individual palettes, it is an incredibly objective area of critique.
For the percentage of people on the planet that enjoy sushi, there are a few criteria that almost all aficionados look for - freshness, flavor, and presentation - just to name a few.
Anyway, enough babbling - now for the goods.
Nori Sushi Scottsdale (www.noriaz.com)
Nori Tempura Roll
Spicy Tuna Roll
Chocolate Lava Cake
Nori Sushi is a small, but charming sushi restaurant located in the shadow of the McDowell Mountains in Scottsdale, AZ. I had heard from multiple people that their sushi was incredible, so I came in one evening with my girlfriend Kayla to eat and review…
The staff was friendly, and we were greeted and seated as soon as we walked in. As far as ambience is concerned, Nori has a modern Asian Fusion vibe with ample sushi bar seating, as well as dimmed lighting and soft music. For those cooler evenings, there is a patio area available that features several tables and mood lighting.
I always have trouble deciding which rolls to order when I’m in a sushi restaurant so I decided to try a Spicy Tuna Roll, one of my perennial favorite “basic” sushi rolls, and Kayla chose a Philadelphia Roll. We also chose the Nori Tempura Roll, which is one of Nori’s specialities (more on it in a second).
The Spicy Tuna Roll and the Philadelphia Roll were both incredibly fresh, well prepared, and brought out quickly. The tuna and the salmon in these respective rolls were flavorful and tender, and I was pleased to note that the flavors of the individual fish were present. In too many sushi restaurants there is little to no distinction between the types of fish you order, besides color and maybe texture. Even in many of the higher-end sushi restaurants I have experienced, the sushi is just not “colorful” enough in regards to flavor.
NOT SO in regards to Nori. The spicy tuna had a distinctive kick, which paired well with the crunch and freshness of the cucumber. Both tastes were present, and the texture of the roll was softer than I’ve had in the past, allowing for the tuna to be savored. Soy sauce was present, but totally unnecessary.
The Philadelphia roll was also delicious. I generally look for the balance of cream cheese as the deciding factor in this roll. The salmon was not overpowered, but accentuated by the cream cheese and cucumber. This roll is simple, but a favorite when prepared well.
NOW TO THE MAIN EVENT! - The Nori Tempura Roll.
This roll is a specialty at Nori, and is prepared with spicy tuna and shrimp tempura, and has asparagus, yamagobo (a pickled burdock root), and jalapeño inside. It is deep fried in Panko Tempura and served with a delicious trio of sweet miso, sweet kabayaki, and sriracha sauce.
|Nori Tempura Roll|
At first I was uncertain about the presence of asparagus and jalapeño in a sushi roll, but this works. the bite of spicy tuna and jalepeno was tamed by the presence of the asparagus and yamagobo. The crisp shell was not greasy, and texturally was perfectly prepared. The sweet sauces brought the many different flavors to the forefront of my palette as I ate, and this quickly became a new favorite roll. I HIGHLY recommend.
This IS a sushi review, but I couldn’t forgive myself if I didn’t mention the delicious chocolate lava cake. Sure, it’s not exactly a Japanese dish, but isn’t that the point of Asian Fusion restaurants? The Melding of cuisines…
|Chocolate Lava Cake|
The cake was moist, chocolate rich, and the gelato topping delicious. A perfect topper to an already amazing meal.
You made it this far, so I might as well give you my final rating :-)
Food: 5 out of 5 stars
Service: 5 out of 5 stars
Ambience: 4 out of 5 stars
Well done, Nori.
Well done, Nori.