I will have to say, I am quite a blessed girl with an amazing support system all around me! I have an amazing husband who loves me and does everything he can to make sure I am comfortable and well taken care of and he’s an amazing daddy (even for just having been one for 11 days!). I have an amazing mom who has been helping take care of me and baby and hubby and apartment and everything else while I recover. I have amazing friends and extended family, in-laws included. I say all of this to kind of brag that I got to go out on my first date post-baby just a week and a half after he was born. I realize how extremely lucky I am because there are couples who go many many months before they can even think about going out together minus the cute baby. My mom insisted and my husband knew exactly how to win my heart over.
For the past 9 months, there were some dietary restrictions, of course, that I had to follow. I wasn’t happy about a few of them. Sunny-side up eggs or just soft egg yolks in general was a no no and I was so sad because I love me a fried egg on top of so many dishes. Another was raw fish… I couldn’t have sushi (I know I know, the Japanese women argument… I’ve heard it before). I looooooove sushi! Lots and lots and lots. But I needed to keep myself healthy and away from potential food borne harm, so I stayed away and behaved myself. Enter in my shining knight of a husband once the baby came and he took me out to get sushi for our first date post baby!
We like two places here in the Phoenix area for sushi: RA and Blue Wasabi. Yum yum! But we felt like trying something a bit different just to shake things up. So the hubs looked up other sushi places here in the area and stumbled upon Shimogamo. Usually I stray away from using Yelp to look up anything (as a chef, I roll my eyes at many a review on that site) but I can’t get my husband to stop so we end up at some interesting places from time to time. This place, though, was an exception.
On Yelp, it was said that this place was located in “an unassuming plaza” in Chandler. It was definitely unassuming for sure but there was a quaint charm to the outside once we got closer to the door. We walked inside and I began to like the place already; right up front was a sushi bar that you could sit at and chit chat with the sushi chefs which I always think is a great touch; to see the food bar right up front instead of tucked away in a dark corner of the restaurant. We opted to sit at a table though and were brought to a nice private table in the back of the dining room and enjoyed the minimalistic approach to décor. We were given the menu to look over and decide what would be the roll that would break my long absence from the world of sushi! The dinner menu itself looked intriguing with captivating sides and starters, entrees and noodle bowls.
As we were mulling over which rolls to choose from, our tummies reminded us that we were hungry to begin with and we ought to order a starter. The one we chose… the Squid Salad. This was something we had never seen before and was the obvious choice for us! The flavor of star anise and ginger within this dish was incredible and the texture of the marinated squid was something that would make your taste buds soar. For $4, this dish was worth every penny!
Once we had some squid in our bellies, we were able to finally make a decision as to what rolls we needed to try. We opted for the Spider and Crazy rolls! Neither of us have ever had soft shell crab (found in the spider roll) and the fact that it was fried, sealed the deal for us. The Crazy Roll was another easy choice, once we narrowed it down, because of the shrimp tempura and spicy tuna!
Here’s what came in the Spider Roll:
Soft shell crab, Masago (roe of a fish called Capelin… that’s right, a type of caviar in this roll), cucumber, avocado, and miso mayo. I’ll just leave this here for you to mull over.
The Crazy Roll went a little something like this:
Shrimp tempura, spicy tuna, avocado, cucumber wrapped in soy paper. Confession: I’m not a huge fan of the seaweed that sushi is usually wrapped in… Reminds me too much of being a saltwater fish. This seaweed paper that they had hear, though, not too shabby… I appreciated that some rolls came with soy paper wrappings. Go Shimogamo!
We really enjoyed our rolls and the squid salad… Hello! How could you not?!
While I love RA and Blue Wasabi as my two favorite places to go to for sushi, I found Shimogamo’s “unassuming” nature to be endearing and I appreciated the non-club feeling. I could come to a quiet place and enjoy some delicious sushi with some real authentic Japanese flair!
If you are ever in the mood for some low-key, sushi eating, this is your place! Check it out and let me know what you think! Happy eating everyone.