Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Wasabiya: New Sushi on Baxter

I'm not a restaurant reviewer (not really sure what I am sometimes), so take this with a grain of salt. Or soy sauce. But I've been happy dancing every time I've passed the "Coming Soon: Sushi" sign hanging over the oft-turned-over restaurant/bar next to Chase Bank where Bardstown meets Baxter.

Every once in a while, when a storefront goes empty within a few blocks of Casa Lou, Roommate and I make wishlists of what we need in the neighborhood. Once upon a time it was Mexican (for Roommate)-- and then we got Tequila Factory, which is serviceable, though not great. I've long longed for sushi, and last year we got Dragon King's Daughter, which is pretty damned good, but doesn't quite hit the run-of-the-mill sushi cravings that I have.

Then came Wasabiya, which opened last week.

Roommate won't be home for another week, and I just couldn't hold out any longer, so I visited Wasabiya tonight.

It's very pretty inside with lovely IKEA lanterns and that still-hip warehousey feel. The menu is almost exclusively sushi with a couple of cooked entrees. But the first thing you notice about the menu is that the sushi rolls-- mostly the more elaborate rolls which make up most of the menu-- are pretty pricey.

I spent a little over $30 for just myself, though I overindulged on sake (meaning I ordered a large when most people would probably order a small). I had a fantastic appetizer. And I can't remember the name (is it the sake's fault), but it was a fried avocado half (a first for me), over some lovely raw veggies and draped with a few pieces of cooked crab. At $6 or so, this was by far the highlight of the meal and the best bargain. I ordered two rolls and took home 6-pieces of roll, so at least I have a part of tomorrow's dinner covered. The Alaskan roll was very good at around $5. Lots of meaty salmon. The Yum Yum roll was spicy and kind of dry and paled in comparison to Oishii Sushi's Yum Yum roll, which is one of my favorite things to eat in all of Louisville.

There was more wait staff than they needed. The place is pretty big and it was really empty-- most people crowding at the sushi bar. And my waitstaffdude was very nice but a little hover-y at first.

I know nothing about this place except what I experienced tonight. I'm betting that the super fancy rolls ($8 up to $16 or so) are worth trying at some point. But that's a bit out of my everyday budget. The appetizer was worth a trip, and I can see me going back there some afternoon for just that and some sake for lunch.

But on my budget, I need bang for my buck, and it just wasn't there. Maybe they'll Maido/Dragon King's Daughter up and run some fantastic happy hour specials. I'd be all over their fancy rolls at half price.

Would love to hear other impressions of the place. As it stands now, my usual sushi restaurants shouldn't fear losing my patronage.


♥LandOfLaLa♥ said...

That sounds like a great place to go! Have you tried oiishi sushi on bardstown? They have great bang for your buck. I love the fish to sushi ratio on their nigiri rolls. If you've been to oiishi, how does it compare to dragon kings daughter and maido? Thanks for the review haha. I love to try new places :D We just moved to Louisville from Chicago about a year ago, so we're still trying out all kinds of places<3

M said...

Hi LaLa,

Thanks for your comment, and welcome to our lovely city!!

Oiishi is my favorite, hands down. Both for quality and price. Their Yum Yum roll, as I mentioned in my review of Wasabiya, is out of this world.

Dragon King's Daughter is fabulous but very non traditional. Think sashimi pizza and sushi tacos. But darned good and they have a great post-10pm happy hour.

Maido is owned by the same folks as DKD and is also less traditional than Oiishi. But they have the best happy hour in the city. A special menu from 4-6p and another that last til 7p M-F and other times on weekends.

I haven't found a place that beats Oiishi for price and quality, but DKD and Maido will get you STUFFED on really good sushi-type stuff for not much money at all. When I crave sushi sushi, I hit Oiishi. But I'm in love with all three places.

Hope this helps! Go go go!

Anonymous said...

We tried out Wasabiya last Sunday night, and all I can say is that it was GREAT! The quality was exceptional and I didn't really find the prices objectionable. The atmosphere was really comfortable and our server was very focused. The music was nice and not so loud that you couldn't think. It is so nice to have a good sushi bar in this part of the Highlands We will be going back often.

Peggy said...

Personally... I think Osaka on Frankfort is the best in town... But after trying wasabiya tonight... Osaka has some competition!