Thursday, March 19, 2009

Review: Bamboo Sushi

By Joshua Ryan

Kristofer Lofgren is not your average 20-something Berkeley graduate and restaurateur. You see, Lofgren’s degree in Environmental Studies aligns with Bamboo Sushi’s (310 SE 28th Ave, unique stance as the first certified, sustainable sushi restaurant in the country.

Over-harvesting species and overnight shipping of fresh fish have made sushi aficionados some of the most environmentally damaging diners on the planet, and Lofgren wants to change that. The menu at Bamboo Sushi excludes blue fin tuna, octopus and freshwater eel—all overfished species—and his “do good” commitment has resulted in deals with fish purveyors so he gets high quality product while minimizing his carbon footprint. While all that is great, for sushi lovers the bottom line question remains the same: does Bamboo Sushi taste good?

Gladly, the answer is yes. Try the usuzukiri, a delicately-sliced whitefish with finely chopped jalapenos, ponzu and sesame seeds which dazzles with taste—a definite winner. Hamachi carpaccio melds yellowtail, house-smoked cipollini, shitake mushrooms, chervil and sea salts for a scrumptious, sweet taste followed by a salty treat. The Hoki Poke box features sushi with red crab, layers of tuna, avocado, togarashi and poke sauce, and is perhaps the most delectable sushi that this writer has ever consumed.

For non-raw diners, try their black cod with smoked soy and roasted garlic served in a deep, white ceramic dish with a black teriyaki-like sauce. Like many of their entrees, this dish is both unexpected and delicious.

Bamboo Sushi is an exceptional neighborhood eatery. Enjoy this winner and when you taste the good food, remember that it came to the table in a way that also does good. Gochisōsama!

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