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Monday, December 31, 2007

Little Tokyo

salmon roll

Considering that Alaskan seafood is the best in the world, it is no wonder that sashimi at Sitka’s only sushi restaurant is some of the best in the world. Much of the menu is meant for tourists, of course, who swarm into the tiny town three times a week, standing in the middle of the road like sheep waiting to be herded. They probably only order the beef teriyaki or chicken yakisoba. Maybe they are the ones who order the fried sushi specials, which look lurid on Little Toko’s menu. However, if you know what to order, you can find fantastic sashimi and sushi at this little restaurant on {Main} Street.

Twice, I have ordered the sashimi platter, with beautiful slices of fresh salmon, so creamy and perfectly melting on the tongue that several members of my party moaned upon eating it. Tony, the b-boy dancer from Philadelphia, just kept shaking his head in time with the rhythm of his exclamations of “No salmon tastes like this in Philly!” He eschewed the octopus I offered him, which left me happily munching on it by myself. Mostly, though, it was the tuna, so thin it was almost translucent, and a flavor as vivid as its bright-red color. Curled around my tongue, that tuna made me miss the Chef just a little less for a minute.

Twice, I have walked into town after classes, and stopped at the Harry Race Pharmacy for a blackberry shake (oh goodness — that’s a place to go as well, with its old-fashioned soda fountain and twelve different flavors), then walked to Little Tokyo for a Philadelphia roll. Now, I have to say, I’m not a big fan of cream cheese in sushi. It just feels so damned American. But when Tony ordered this roll, I eyed it enviously, because of the beautiful thick slices of salmon rolled around the rice. He was kind enough to let me have a piece, and I was convinced. And so, two evenings this week, I have walked across the bridge, looking at Sitka harbor on one side of me, dozens of tiny green-treed islands to the other side of me, sipping from the blackberry shake in one hand, and gobbling pieces of avocado-asparagus-cream cheese-and-salmon sushi, happy as the eagles soaring above my head.

Little Tokyo

315 Lincoln Street
Sitka, Alaska 99835



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