Fish Out of Water
I'm a sucker for fish, which I like watching (tank), catching (fly) and eating (raw). But I don't eat what I catch, nor do I enjoy seeing fish that I'll soon be served being taken out of a tank. As with beef — I don't adopt the cows I'll later consume as steaks — I prefer to dine on more anonymous swimmers, no matter what the folks at PETA say. But there's an exception to this rule, and it's sushi, where the mastery of the chef's knife skills combines with the beauty of the fish's flesh to create a culinary art form. Still, sushi restaurants rarely display cocktail creativity to match the artistry of the sushi bar, which is why Sushi Hai is such a great catch. My favorite drink here is the Fish Out of Water ($7), made with Effen Black Cherry vodka, Momokawa Pearl Nigori sake and lemon-lime soda, which has all the weird, fermented banana undertones of a pearl sake combined with black cherry. I'm also hooked on the Sake-Rita ($7), made with Gekkeikan sake, fresh lime juice and orange liqueur; it's reminiscent of a margarita, but still meshes well with raw fish — especially the sashimi made Japanese-carpaccio style, with cilantro, jalapeño and citrus-soy emulsion. As we say in fly-fishing: tight lines.
Get the Dining Newsletter
The week's top local food news and events, plus interviews with chefs and restaurant owners, dining tips, and a peek at our print review.