A few weeks ago, Sada/Tokkuri Tei/Maguro-ya/probably more I don’t know of sushi guy Evan stopped by the bar to let me know he was making sushi at his friend Garrett’s place in the Samsung Plaza. This was exciting to me for 3 reasons.
First, Evan is super nice. Sushi tastes better when it’s made by a super nice guy. Second, Garrett is a perfectionist. Sushi tastes better when it’s made by, or at least in the presence of, a perfectionist. Go ahead & quote me on that. And third, my friend Jimmy had just mentioned going out for sushi the week before & then never called me so I had worked up a nice unrequited craving in the last few days.
The place was called Sushi Ii. /sooshee-ee-ee/ It was already fun to pronounce. A good sign.
The first time we went I didn’t take pictures of anything. I, uh, I forgot. But it was so good we went again 2 weeks later (last night), & I took pictures. For you, Logan. Enjoy.
This is what I started off with because I had been dreaming of it for 2 weeks. Hirame is my favorite sashimi. Whenever I try to describe it I end up saying “sweet,” but everyone knows I don’t like sweet. Anyway, just look at it.
My friend Jimmy went omakase, which is the way to go when your sushi guy is as nice as Evan. We both did this on our first visit, but to be honest I don’t like sushi rice (bad experience when I was little — that’s another story), & last night I just wanted sashimi.
Omakase means you are leaving the sushi selection up to your sushi guy. This isn’t necessarily as daring as some would think, because your sushi guy is 1) generally smart enough to know or make good guesses at what you would like, & 2) he’s doing the choosing, & he knows what’s good. Unless your sushi guy is a total dick (or maybe you’re a total dick), he’s going to make sure that you have the best possible sushi dinner. After all, some of the best stuff isn’t on the menu.
There were also items we ordered from the kitchen – butter garlic pan fried mirugai with fresh lemon (not on the menu — Jimmy just felt like it so requested it), prosciutto wrapped scallops, & abalone karaage, although they were out of the last item. At our first visit we had ordered hamachi kama, which was humongous, definitely enough for 4 people, & it was super flaky & fatty all the way through. They were out of the hamachi kama last night, but had king salmon kama as well as kampachi kama. It turned out that I was the only kama enthusiast though, so we just got the scallops.
Sushi Ii is BYOB, &, as Garrett informed me, BYOY (Bring Your Own Yamaimo). I hadn’t brought any yamaimo with me (next time!!) but our other dinner companion, Terrence, was kind enough to pick up some Miller Lite. Ah, another one of my favorite things.
This was my main course. Evan didn’t get too exotic on me other than the shima aji (my request). The mirugai was probably the best part of this set, which is saying a lot, because everything was awesome. Well, except the maguro. I don’t appreciate maguro as much as I should.
Sushi Ii is a small place; the sushi bar seats around 10 & there are a few tables, all of which were empty. The sushi bar, however, was full. Garrett asked one of the young patrons how they had heard of this place & the boy said that his mother & her boyfriend had eaten there & told them about it. I considered, briefly, not telling you guys about it. But in the end I decided to, because I want Garrett to stay in business. You’re welcome.
Get a load of this. I couldn’t bring myself to size it down.
Jimmy also had an assortment of 3 different types of raw oyster in ponzu, which smelled like heaven. If I wasn’t already pretty stuffed by that point (imagine – stuffed on sashimi! But I was! Or maybe it was Miller Lite.) I might have asked for another order. I think I will definitely be having oysters on our next visit.
Below is a video of Evan very graciously identifying the oysters for me because I knew I wouldn’t be able to remember. If anyone can tell me what the “Ben Cove” sounding one is, I’d appreciate it. It sounded like he was saying “Ben Cove” but I dunno.
Garrett picks up fresh fish daily, which means he has to get up pretty early. But then he’s a perfectionist. It also means that Sushi Ii has good, fresh stuff, some of it somewhat obscure, like the shima aji (Evan described it as “Japan papio.”), which they want to serve fresh right away.
It’s a small place & reservations are recommended.
Hours: Lunch 11am-2pm, Dinner 5pm-10:30pm
Closed Monday & Tuesday
Phone number: 942-5350