Sushi is, for me at least, a summer food.
My reasoning for this is simple: cold, raw fish does not appeal to me when there is ice on the ground.
That was, until The Crunch Roll.
It started as a meal of convenience. The floors are currently being ripped up in our kitchen, leaving a path filled with upturned nails, all leading to the nook where the fridge used to be. So that nixed the option of a home-cooked meal (though I was desperately craving the Hot Brown Casserole found here).
Factor in that our driveway and surrounding roads looked like the Iceberg Skating Palace in Sochi, and it was obvious that we wouldn’t be traveling far. Thus, my family and I ended up at Masa Japanese Bistro and Sushi Bar in Middletown.
I’ve been here a few times before, and the thing that always strikes me is the juxtaposition between the décor and the music. Visually, you have a consistent classic Japanese theme—complete with samurai swords, koi fish and minimalistic furnishings. Then you realize as you’re scanning the menu that you’ve heard back-to-back Miley Cyrus tracks (I could insert some comment about it “wrecking” my appetite, but I’ll resist), and that you are partway into some random smooth jazz that seems ubiquitous at most sushi establishments. But all in all, I can’t say that I mind.
Then I saw it on the menu—shrimp, salmon, avocado, rice, seaweed, crunchy tempura, all topped with sweet mango sauce. My brother and I ordered a roll to split, with a side of fried rice and some piping hot Hibachi soup. Absolute perfection.
Sweet, salty, cool, crunchy, smooth, savory. It was everything I wanted packed into a single roll that left me feeling completely satisfied, even while watching the sleet slither down the windshields of all the cars in the parking lot.
Masa Japanese Bistro and Sushi Bar
12336 Shelbyville Rd.