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NY eats: Kodama Sushi

January 5, 2009

The discovery of this little (well, actually huge on the inside) sushi joint was entirely by accident, and a blessing it was indeed!
(Doesn’t it look like it says Obama Sushi?)
My half-sister Nina and I had just come from Equus. We nearly missed it because 1) we hadn’t had dinner and 2) I got struck with one of my terrible stomach-aches. Both of us frequently get terrible stomach pains that are impossible to explain… think heartburn meets acid reflux meets appendicitis– basically a lot of stabbing, tingling pains. It was so bad that I was in tears!
Either way, it lasted about an hour, so that by the time we got out of the taxi (in the middle of traffic), I was able to SPRINT to the theater. We were literally dodging people and screaming “ALMOST THERE!” It was around 6:59 and the play started at 7:00.
One little kid said “Mommy, why are those people running?”
Luckily, we literally sat down in our seats as the lights were dimming… whew, close call!
AND WHAT AN AMAZING PLAY! My friend Kaitlyn had told me that it was really strange and that Daniel Radcliffe was really short, but I loved it! I loved the minimal set, the way they portrayed the horses, and the acting was great! The show was bizarre, and very different from Amadeus, also by Peter Schaffer. HOWEVER, I’m really glad I ended up going with my sister and not my dad. I knew there was a full on nude scene, but was NOT aware of the context. Talk about x-rated!
Anyways, I had packed a peanut butter roll and a banana, but my stomach hurt too much to eat it, so I didn’t eat dinner till after the play. Nina had scarfed down a smoked salmon sandwich beforehand, so she wasn’t as hungry, but we decided to go find a place to eat. Earlier we had been craving sushi, but there hadn’t been enough time. I spotted a place called Kodama Sushi a block away from the theater, looked inside the window, and started to walk away in disappointment, because it looked as though it was a takeout joint with only prepackaged sushi.
Nina was more observant than me and said “Look, there’s a door in the back!” Sure enough, once you got past the tiny cashier area that sold t-shirts and maki to go, there was a door that led into an enormous space with a winding hallway.
*They had a Spring Awakening poster on the wall!
The second we set foot in there, I knew we had really stumbled upon an authentic place. First of all, the menu was in both English and Japanese, and second of all, I could see tons of Japanese people in there. Also, I saw lots of dishes on the menu that you wouldn’t see at your ordinary sushi restaurant.
The problem was that with such a huge menu, it was nearly impossible to decide what to get. Despite all the exotic sounding small plates, I was really in need of some plain, comforting, teriyaki salmon… it was just too cold to get all sushi or sashimi!
Because Nina wasn’t that hungry, we also ordered a rainbow roll. I don’t always order rainbow rolls on purple! It’s just that I’m stingy, and those usually get you the most fish. In this case, they claimed that their rainbow roll had 7 kinds of fish! Of those 7, i saw salmon, tuna, some kind of whitefish, cooked shrimp, mackeral, yellowtail, and some kind of pickled anchovy-like thing… hey, that was 7! I didn’t look at the photo or anything… I must say my memory impresses me every now and then.

The roll was decent– fresh fish, fun to eat. I would probably come here for nigiri, though, given its authenticity.
What I found hilarious was that my salmon came with completely Western-style vegetables: corn on the cob, boiled carrots, and boiled broccoli. Luckily, the sauce was salty enough that thir blandness was welcome. I also think that this once again proves how authentic the place was, since Western food has been highly integrated into Japanese culture. I think oftentimes when you go to an “ethnic” restaurant, what they claim are authentic dishes have actually been adapted to fit the American palette.
The salmon was a perfect portion, and perfectly flaky and not overcooked, just the way I like it. There was also tempura (shrimp, eggplant, zucchini), which I shared with Nina. I also ate nearly the whole bowl of rice.

We also got miso soup.

Meanwhile, we also ended up getting hit on by this Asian guy who ended up being from some small ethnic minority in Russia! It was bizarre… he looked Chinese but spoke with a Russian accent. Just thought I’d throw that in there. He also mentioned that this was a really great place to meet people, and like I said, authentic.
The series of blurry Nina photos: you can totally see the guy in the corner.

301 W 45th St, New York 10036
Btwn 8th & 9th Ave

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