By STEFAN MODRICH
Once upon a time, I was hesitant to try sushi for reasons only the hypermetabolic version of myself could explain — I never found it filling or satisfying enough during the peak of my high school growth spurts or even ill-advised late night cravings of my college days.
Despite consistent prodding from friends, it took a big group outing to a local sushi joint near my apartment in Downtown Phoenix to finally get over my aversion to raw fish.
That introduction helped me understand why eating sushi is such an important event, and even though teaching me to use chopsticks seems like a futile, hopeless endeavor, I’ll absolutely continue to seek out places like Aki Steak and Sushi in Sugar Land. Not only did my trip there evoke memories of good times, perhaps more so for most of you than for me, a sushi novice, but it is an important culinary base to cover in an area with so many different renditions and interpretations of one of the most socially friendly foods.
My server was very friendly and helpful in breaking down the vast cornucopia of sushi choices.
From the lunch menu, I ordered the Maki A ($14.75), which includes your choice of soup (for me, Wonton) and up to three types of sushi rolls. I decided on the Tiger Eye Roll (Smoked salmon, cream cheese, masago and jalapeno wrapped in soy paper), the Spider Roll (Soft shell crab, masago, avocado, kaiware and cucumber topped with eel sauce) and the classic Avocado Roll.
As is common, Wasabi (Japanese horseradish) and pickled ginger are included on the side, as a condiment and palate cleanser, respectively.
I strategically chose the Avocado Roll as a failsafe, but the Spider Roll and its deep fried soft shell crab emerged as the clear favorite. The combination of salmon, cream, cheese and jalapeno in the Tiger Eye Roll also packed a great punch.
If sushi doesn’t excite you, a gallery of beautifully plated floral raw seafood dishes will at the very least catch your eye, like Sashimi B ($25.95) or Chirashi ($21) a bowl of sushi rice covered with an assortment of raw fish.
You can also try a Bento Box served with your choice of protein — chicken, beef, shrimp, grilled salmon, sushi, sashimi — and vegetable tempura, California roll, spring roll, steamed rice and Miso Soup or salad, ranging from $11.95-$17.25.
Check out the Sumo Steak ($24), or if you’re ordering for a family with diverging tastes, there’s an entire menu of Chinese entrees, like Mongolian Beef ($12) or Orange Chicken ($11.)
Wear a mask inside and enjoy responsibly.
Aki Steak and Sushi
Address: 510 Highway 6 Suite #180, Sugar Land
Hours: 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday
Dining Options: Dine-in, online order (for pick-up or delivery), delivery via Postmates, Grubhub, or Favor.
Entrée prices: $9.25-$22.50
Senior discount: No
Healthy options: Vegetarian
Star of the show: Sushi