Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Shoobies will do anything for sushi

Shoobies will do anything for sushi

It sounds like She Sells Seashells by the Seashore, but it's true. Shoobies will do anything for sushi. I watched last weekend from a sidewalk table outside the great neighborhood sushi joint Yama in Ventnor as patrons emerged from inside the darkened restaurant, where power had been cut off to the kitchen and most of the dining room, but the sushi chefs persevered. No air conditioning, and a bit packed in the dark, but the sushi was being made, and nobody was going anywhere. Seemed a wee bit desperate, but, also, realistic. Where else to go on a typically overrun Friday night on the island? Some people emerged calling it romantic, others looked a little, well, shell shocked, and the snobby shoobies poked their heads inside and fled. From the outdoor table (no room inside), it seemed a little surreal. I liked how the waitiress took our entire order, then said, matter of factly, "There's no power in the kitchen." No tofu teriyaki for you! And no wonder the kitchen chef seemed on extended break out the side door. But they are pros at Yama and we had an excellent dinner for 10, lots of sushi, and, somehow, shumai. If it's Friday in summer, restaurants are going to make due no matter what. Bravo to Yama, which is mentioned favorably in Craig Laban's annual restaurant roundup at the shore, in relation to its newest neighbor Kitaro, which oddly served us little cups of balsamic vinegar with our takeout sushi the week before. Laban liked their cooked dishes the most, leaving Yama the sultans of seaside sushi. In any case, I'm sorry Craig never got to Isabella's at Night, the excellent and authentic Mexican place on Portland Avenue in Ventnor which I humbly recommend, but I've already snagged my Labor Day weekend reservations at Luke Palladino's in Northfield.

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