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A Little Bit About a Lot of Things

A lifestyle blog with a focus on my food adventures

Gari

I would say that sushi, and anything raw or undercooked, just scares me. It’s usually something about the texture or the fact that I could become violently ill from eating it. However, due to the new year and trying new things, I decided I would be more open minded about what I eat.

Trying new sushi places are scary. Either because the price alone scares you, or sushi ‘sales/specials’ just creep you out. So I think that it’s best to try new places when someone else has tried it first and has lived to tell about the tale. My boss is still alive and kicking so I felt like this place was safe. He told me about it last year, I tried it, and I’m there twice a month if not more.

I almost don’t want to blog about this place for fear that it will become wildly popular and every time I go, there won’t be any tables. Gari is a tiny place in Coolidge Corner that you could easily miss if driving by. I certainly have. It’s about a block from the Coolidge Corner T-stop and there are meters on Harvard St. The place might have about 10 tables and a sushi bar that you can sit at. Depending on when you go, it can be empty or packed. This last time I went on a Thursday night and there were two other tables there. We went on a Saturday afternoon and it was so packed we had to wait to get a seat at the sushi bar. There isn’t much decor. The windows let in a bunch of light and on some afternoons it’s blinding. There is a big flower mural on the wall but that’s about it for ambiance. What totally sells this place for me is the food, prices and service.

They have some great weekend specials. On Sundays they offer ‘maki madness’ which is $4.50 per roll with 28 choices but make note that this deal is CASH ONLY with a minimum of $15. The rolls seem smaller than the regular rolls but for $4.50…who cares you can get twice as much. They also have this deal where you give them $15 cash and they give you a voucher for $30 worth of food and booze to be used on Tuesday or Wednesday nights. I like it. Nothing sketchy about that!

I’m not very adventurous when it comes to ordering at restaurants. I know what I like and usually stick with it. I don’t want to try something new, end up hating it AND leaving hungry. So here, I get the spicy shrimp and mango and the shrimp tempura maki (yes-it isn’t ‘real’ sushi…I know). The spicy shrimp is wonderful, they put this spicy mayo on it that really gives you a zing. The mango is sweet and balances off the spice. The shrimp tempura is just wonderful. I could eat it all day-it has such a wonderful crunch to it. I also get the edamame. It’s perfectly steamed every time, crunchy, salty and delicious.

The service is consistently good. The waiter just seems to know how much attention you need. If you want to order right away, its like the sneaky butler in Mr. Deed’s who just appears. If you are there catching up with an old friend and want to gab, they give you space. What I’m saying is that the service is just right!

The last time I was there, last week, I ventured out of my comfort zone and tried a few new things. I think that it depends on who you are wish and how they like to eat sushi. I usually just order the two rolls that I like and eat those while the other people eat whatever they ordered. This time, my dining companion wanted to just order a bunch of rolls and share them. After taking a deep breath, I agreed. We ordered my two standby choices as well as the spicy tuna and the soft shell crab. So the sushi comes out and I am stunned at the soft shell grab. There are two or three large rolls and then the end pieces have basically all the legs hanging out of them. I would like to digress for a minute, but it’s related I promise. The first time I ever had sushi was probably 5 years ago. My boss took me out for lunch and just ordered a few things for me to try. I chose the tempura or something to be safe. So he never tells me what the spider roll is and I take a bite…and something in my mouth goes ‘squish’. Trying hard to hold back a)spitting it out and b)throwing up in my mouth, I swallow and ask what I just ate. He tells me soft shell crab and that as an after thought I probably would have liked one of the end pieces that wasn’t so…’squishy’. You tell me that now, after I’ve eaten it. It sort of reminded me of that bubble yum gum with the liquid filling inside. Ick. So I vowed that I would never have the spider roll again, that was…until last week. So back to my review. I try a piece of the soft shell crab and it’s actually more solid than I remember it being, perhaps because I took an outside piece or maybe that it was sliced a bit thinner. Since I have the mental maturity of a 12 year old at times (I blame that on having two brothers) I dare my dining companion to stick the whole end piece of sushi, legs and all, in to her mouth all at once for $20. Thinking I had this one in the bag, she surprised me by winning the bet even though it took her 20 minutes to chew everything in there while trying hard not to choke. I should have taken a picture. So I end up paying for dinner which is totally affordable. I think we left there at about $20 a person and full, which is the most important part.

This is one of my favorite places to eat!

Gari Sushi

www.garifusion.com

187 Harvard Street Brookline, MA (across the street from the Mobil station) 617-277-2999

You can order takeout online at www.allmenus.com You have to sign up for an account, you can pay before or when you pick up your food, and if you order ‘x’ amount of sushi you get a roll for free. If you sign up for Gari’s newsletter they send you a 15% off coupon in an email. They deliver.

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