The hunt for great sushi can be daunting in New Orleans, unless, writes food-scribbling ninja Ian McNulty, you happen to find yourself in the CBD. Then all you have to do for "warmly toasty" pieces of seaweed or "rich and velvety" monkfish liver is visit Horinoya. The superlative sushi establishment has been run by sushi chef Komei Horimoto and his wife Mie since 2001, and, according to McNulty, is not to be missed if you want to experience both traditional Japanese cuisine and some more adventurous menu items that will definitely command your attention:
Sometimes these are striking, like orange-colored pads of ankimo, or monkfish liver, which is rich and velvety, like foie gras, but also has a marine-tinged creaminess. Other times the revelations are subtle but fundamental, especially concerning the sushi. Seaweed tastes warmly toasty. Rice is packed loosely so individual grains seem to dissolve in the mouth. And between the fridge and your table, Horimoto takes care to temper the fish, so, like fine cheese, the proper texture and flavor comes across.
Forewarned, however, is forearmed?if you order the maguro yamakake, which involves grating a Japanese yam into "gooey, frothy, sour porridge" which coats chunks of raw tuna "like a white film," you'll probably have to slurp it all down from a bowl in front of the proprietors. How embarrassing.
· Review: Horinoya [Gambit]
Outside Horinoya. [Photo: Arts New Orleans]