528 Sushi & Asian Cuisine – Albuquerque, New Mexico (CLOSED)

“No lady likes to snuggle and dine accompanied by a porcupine.” “He lit a match to check gas tank. They call him skinless Frank.” “A man, a miss, a car, a curve. He kissed the miss and missed the curve.” “Within this vale of toil and sin, your head goes bald but not your chin.” “Henry the Eighth sure had trouble. Short-term wives, long-term stubble.” Some of the more seasoned among us might remember that one of the best ways…

Nori Ramen & Sushi Bar – Rio Rancho, New Mexico

From our home in northeast Rio Rancho, it’s about thirteen miles to the Nori Ramen & Sushi Bar on Southern Boulevard. It would have been safer to run with the bulls at Pampalona than it was driving the half hour it took me to get to Nori. In those thirty minutes, an impatient tailgater blasted her horn at me for having the audacity to come to a complete stop at a stop sign in our subdivision. As she roared passed…

Fareast Fuzion – Albuquerque, New Mexico

A Journal of Consumer Research study published in 2012 revealed that consumers equate eating meat with their concept of masculinity. To the dismay of spinach-lovers like Popeye, respondents indicated meat has a more masculine quality than vegetables. Study participants considered male carnivores to be more masculine than their vegetarian counterparts (ostensibly Bill Clinton was more masculine when he scarfed up Big Macs than he is now that he’s a vegetarian). “To the strong, traditional, macho, bicep-flexing, all-American male, red meat…

Ohana Hut – Albuquerque, New Mexico

In horse racing, the Triple Crown signifies winning all three of the sport’s most challenging thoroughbred horse races—The Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes. This is considered the greatest achieved in thoroughbred racing, a feat accomplished only twelve times. The thespian community considers as its Triple Crown, winning a competitive Academy Award, an Emmy Award and a Tony Award in acting categories. Only twenty-two actors or actresses have earned this rare distinction. What makes winning a Triple Crown in…

Amerasia & Sumo Sushi – Albuquerque, New Mexico

Carpe Diem Sum–“seize the dim sum” at AmerAsia, the Alibi’s perennial selection for best dim sum in the city honors (diem sum, as spelled on AmerAsia’s menu is also a correct spelling). Dim sum, a Cantonese word that can be translated to “a little bit of heart,” “point of heart” and “touch the heart” has its genesis in the Chinese tea houses of the Silk Road. Weary sojourners would stop at tea houses for tea and a light snack (ergo,…

Sakura Sushi Thai & Laos Cuisine – Albuquerque, New Mexico

Opinions vary as to what the next “hot” cuisine in America will be. As an independent observer of the New Mexico culinary condition, I’m more interested in how long it will take for that heat to make its way to the Land of Enchantment…and whether its sizzle will wow Duke City diners or pass us by. In 2005, Bon Appetit declared Peruvian the next hot cuisine. Apparently Albuquerque didn’t think it was so hot because Perumex, the city’s first and…

Magokoro Japanese Restaurant – Albuquerque, New Mexico

Emeril Lagasse, the jovial master of the culinary catchphrase, has been known to exhort his studio audience to “feel the love” as he adds a dash or two of something special to a dish. Indeed, love is that extra ingredient many chefs say they add to make everything they prepare taste better. To these chefs, cooking with love is not a labor of love because the gratification they receive is as intrinsically nourishing and pleasing as their cuisine is pleasurable…

Loving Vegan – Albuquerque, New Mexico (CLOSED)

My adovada adoring amigo Ruben likened the irony to an episode of Seinfeld. Two weeks into his experiment with an ostensibly healthier vegan diet, he was craving sushi and needed his sushi-specific pangs of hunger sated. No sooner had we finished a very satisfying sushi soiree at Albuquerque’s only vegan sushi restaurant than our waitress apprised us the restaurant would be closing for good two days later. “Serenity now,” we cried, mimicking Frank Costanza when faced with a stressful situation.…

Nagomi Japanese Restaurant – Albuquerque, New Mexico

Everyman philosopher Homer Simpson once posed the profound existential question “Donuts. Is there anything they can’t do?” One thing at which donuts seem especially adept is ensnaring the hearts and affections of youth—and not just American youth. The Huffington Post reported recently that in Japan, “the younger generation is increasingly eating Krispy Kreme doughnuts and McDonald’s, not rice.” Fast food chains such as the aforementioned Krispy Kreme and McDonald’s as well as Kentucky Fried Chicken, Domino’s Pizza and others have…

Ichiban – Albuquerque, New Mexico

In an episode of Friends, Joey Tribbiani starred in a commercial released only in Japan for Ichiban men’s lipstic. His friend Chandler’s response upon viewing the commercial: “he really is a chameleon.” In Japanese, the word “ichiban” means “number one” or “the best” and can be used either as a superlative (as in the highest of quality or the very best choice) or to denote precedence or numerical order. The fictional Chinese-American detective Charlie Chan, for example, called his eldest…

Gen Kai Japanese Restaurant – Albuquerque, New Mexico

In Japan, ramen is so revered that diners line up, sometimes for hours, at ramen houses for homemade noodles tangled with such ingredients as dried fish, pork and chicken. Connoisseurs make pilgrimages to a popular ramen museum in Yokohama, not the only museum dedicated to ramen, by the way. If you’re wondering how the ramen noodle product you purchased as a collegiate at the rate of ten bricks for ten dollars warrants such reverence and respect, you’re in the right…

Ahh! Sushi – Rio Rancho, New Mexico (CLOSED: 2015)

The year was 1997. Recently thawed from a thirty year cryogenic state, Dr. Evil addressed the United Nations about his diabolical scheme to hold the world ransom: “ In a little while you’ll notice that the Kreplachistani warhead has gone missing. If you want it back, you’re going to have to pay me…one million dollars.” After the United Nations officials erupted in laughter, Dr. Evil quickly corrected himself “sorry…one hundred billion dollars.” When our mere pittance of a bill arrived…

Clancy’s Pub – Farmington, New Mexico

Characterized by writer Tom Wolfe as the “Me Decade” and derided by cynics as the “Disco Era,” the 1970s witnessed an explosion of copycat fast food chain restaurants and the birth of innovative fusion cuisine in many contemporary restaurants. Fusion cuisine is the inventive combination of diverse, sometimes disparate culinary traditions, techniques and ingredients to form an entirely new genre. In large metropolitan areas, particularly throughout California, the fusion of different cuisines became commonplace. Restaurants featuring the melding of French…

Sushiya Asian Fusion Cuisine – Albuquerque, New Mexico

“I don’t eat anything that a dog won’t eat. Like sushi. Ever see a dog eat sushi? He just sniffs it and says, “I don’t think so.” And this is an animal that licks between its legs and sniffs fire hydrants.”.“ – Billiam Coronel Sushi has come a long way in America.  There was a time–and not very long ago–that many Americans would have agreed with comedian Billiam Coronel’s assessment of sushi.  Fellow funny-man George Carlin certainly did: “I never…

Sushi Xuan Asian Grill – Albuquerque, New Mexico

Nay-saying economic analysts who perpetuate the notion that even neighborhood monopolies would take advantage of a captive market don’t know Carter, chef-owner of Sushi Xuan Asian Grill. Rather than taking an oligopolous stance as owner of the only restaurant in the entire West Mesa to serve sushi, Carter knows he’s serving his friends and neighbors. As a West Mesa area resident for more than ten years, he wants to serve them only the very best and would never remotely conceive…