I’ve been wanting to write about Nao ever since I started this blog. WHY? because it’s an authentic Japanese restaurant and as of now, it’s my favorite place to go for sushi. Having gone to Japan this summer, I could really compare the sushi from Nao, to the ones I had in overseas, and no kidding, it’s pretty comparable. Since I’ve been wanting to revisit for so long, Grayson and I made a visit this past weekend. It can be a little difficult to find road side parking from time to time so you might want to be careful if you’re going during the peak lunch or dinner hours. Oh, and you might want to make reservations if you’re going with a bigger party since they are a little tight on seating too! I got smart this time and made reservations beforehand. hurray!
I usually order sushi when I’m here, but I felt like being different and I’ve been wanting zaru soba ($5.95) ever since…Japan…which was forever ago. The zaru soba still had a chewy texture to it, which was nice. I thought that the portion size was decent and the dipping sauce wasn’t overpowering in soy sauce flavor. Grayson thought it was odd that I ordered this because I never order just plain noodles. He actually gave me the “you’re ordering THAAATT?! it’s full of carbs though…you never do that” look. So, I had to educate him a little bit about the magic of buckwheat (pardon my nutritional lesson of a tangent here). Buckwheat is actually a seed that’s related to the vegetable rhubarb. It helps improve your cardiovascular health and helps regulate your blood sugar levels better than other wheat-like products. Basically, it’s a superfood, if you’ve never encountered it before, TRY IT when you do. Speaking of which, Grayson had never tried this before so he had some of mine. He thought it was surprisingly refreshing (well, it is a cold noodle afterall) and would probably order it himself sometime.
Moving on, Grayson ordered the sssr roll ($3.50), alaska roll ($3.95?) and spicy tuna roll ($3.50). SSSR roll is a smoked salmon shrimp roll with cucumber, and he thought it was delicious. The smoked salmon was nice and fresh which made the roll even more enjoyable. The alaska roll was basically a california roll with salmon inside instead of imitation crab…which isn’t what he’s normally used to since it was made differently than the ones they serve at sushi garden/town. The spicy tuna roll had big pieces of fresh tuna inside with cucumber along with just the right amount of heat to compliment it. yummmm….
Here’s a few things I’ve tried during my earlier visits…
vegetable kamameshi ($8.95), this was something I’ve never seen anywhere else before. It was like a vegetable rice hot pot; under a blanket of steamed vegetables that had been cooked in their broth, I found a bed of rice. The rice was moist from the broth but it wasn’t enough to make it mushy or unappetizing. The salad it came with was a standard japanese salad with vinaigrette. If you’re feeling adventurous give it a try, but make sure you’re not starvingly hungry or impatient when you do because it DOES take 20 minutes to make.
Lobster sashimi set ($25) was an interesting experience. This sashimi boat came with octopus, tuna, salmon, hokkagai, and lobster sashimi. I’ve never tried this before either, and I felt like I’ve been missing out! Well, as usual the sashimi pieces were big and fresh. The lobster was crisp and had a clean refreshing taste to it.