'Nu-Asian kitchen' goes well beyond fish and rice

From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20080320/OPINION03/803200432#ixzz1yIeMwHzA

Named for the salty green Japanese soybeans that pop out of their pods like peanuts, Edamame Sushi -- an appealing spot seating just 47 in a clean, contemporary setting -- gives a new twist to the sushi bar experience.

Proprietors Eddie Bautista and Noel Cabrera, fresh from years as colleagues at Little Tree Sushi Bar and adjoining Katana Nu-Asian Steakhouse in Royal Oak, struck out on their own to put Edamame together in a nicely refurbished space in a modest Madison Heights strip mall.

Among the differences here: a menu of Filipino rice and Japanese noodle dishes in addition to the list of sushi and sashimi choices, and an opportunity for patrons to create their own sushi combinations.

Create-your-own does not mean that people literally roll their own bundles of rice and fish. Rather, they can choose from two to five ingredients and have the chef prepare the custom rolls from such ingredients as tuna, salmon and mackerel.

Cabrera is usually behind the small sushi bar, while Eddie is in the adjacent open kitchen dealing with the noodle and fried rice dishes.

This is an ideal destination for groups in which one or two balk at sushi, because there are some delicious alternatives.

An array of garlic fried rice dishes come with two fried eggs and a choice of such accompaniments as barbecue-style marinated pork, chicken or beef teriyaki, Filipino-style sausage and, no surprise to anyone who's visited Hawaii, Spam. (Hawaii consumes more Spam, says Bautista, who has an extended family there, than any other area.)

These are brimming plates at a price ranging from $5.50 for the Hawaiian variety to $7 or $7.50 for the others.

Bento boxes with sushi, sashimi and either tempura or teriyaki accompaniments are $9, including miso soup and steamed rice.

The small space has been used efficiently. The proprietors completely gutted the venue and started fresh, with everything new from the flooring to the furnishings and light fixtures.

The modest price structure is certainly one of the notable elements at Edamame, particularly in relation to the years of experience of the proprietors.

This is by no means an amateur production, and it's one I think a lot of people are going to appreciate.

You can reach Molly Abraham at (313) 222-1475 or abraham67@comcast.net">abraham67@comcast.net.

From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20080320/OPINION03/803200432#ixzz1yIeBsKAd 

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