Reviewing usually requires repeat tastings - something of a lost art in this provincial netherregion of North Boston. So with only one taste of Miyake, a place that's been open barely a month, I'm not apt to critique the new Spring Street joint. But, given that its only preview
came from a vegan, I went for some raw fish. That was not the only reason.
Masa Miyake serves an astringent green tea ice cream - sweet, creamy and pea green. Unlike some sushi places where the rolls are sticky and sugary, this is simply the sweetest menu item - as it should be. Desserts do not provide reason enough to go to Miyake.
Masa Miyake worked for 10 years at high-end New York restaurants – at Oceana and with Daniel Boulud – before deciding to call his own shots with his wife and one wholesome waiter in Portland. This, too, is not reason enough to go to Miyake.
Miyake's fish comes from True World
, also known as the Moonies, who own a worldwide sushi empire
. This could be like serving a lobster roll on the Maine coast with Nova Scotia crustacean. Miyake trucks his Massachusetts seafood to Portland, Northern Massachusetts, which itself is awfully close to Maine, a place where life is the way it should be and fresh fish are caught on the beautiful, rugged coast, shipped to Japan and then sent back to Boston. But Miyake is not a lobster shack. He does not traffic in illusions. He admits his albacore is global fish
. He'll tell you he should be buying a $5,000 local, line-caught bluefin. Good intentions, though, are not reason to go to Miyake.
Go to Miyake because it is a neighborhood sushi joint
, with only a couple of plastic chairs, a Pepsi fridge full of roe, a place where you can ask for what you want from the chef and get his interpretation of that. It's a place where you can bring your own bottle of sake, New Zealand white or California pinot grigio. Go for the $9 lunch special. Get it to go. And tell Masa he should have chopsticks on hand for regular customers.
Go to eat nigiri with your hands
. Go because Masa will fire up his torch for that mayonaisey specialty roll with seared yellowtail ($12) that he insists you try. Go because his broken English is more endearing than karaoke, late night Bjork videos and that marmy dude in sandals wearing a kimono. If those are not reasons enough to Miyake, then you're probably better off with a vegan California roll from Whole Foods.
Labels: Lobster, Miyake, Reviews, Seafood, WhoFooMa