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VOL. 14 #5 -- Feb. 22 - Mar. 6, 2008
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Sushi House in New York Plaza

First of all, I love sushi. Love, not like. And one of the problems I have had since moving to Panamá City several years ago was finding an establishment that served good sushi AND one where you didn’t have to take out a second mortgage in order to frequent it more than once a month. Then Sushi House opened its newest restaurant in New York Plaza in Marbella and I found a second home. Unlike almost every other local restaurant that claims to serve sushi, Sushi House actually makes it correctly...the correct rice, real rice vinegar to give the rice that special flavor and texture and, most importantly, quality ingredients. All at an affordable price.

Perhaps the best item on the menu is not one you would expect to find....and that is the two Carpachito dishes....Tuna ($6.00) and Smoked Salmon ($5.00)..plates decoratively arranged with paper-thin slices of your fish of choice, sprinkled with sesame oil, sesame seeds and finely chopped green shallots. My favorite, the salmon, is delicate and pungent at the same time and incredibly delicious. The dish, while small, is rich enough that it makes a perfect appetizer for two. And what Asian meal would be complete without a large bowl of Edamame or soy beans ($2.25), steaming hot and sprinkled with sea salt? Hungry for Gyoza, the Japanese steamed dumpling? Sushi House has them ($3.00-$3.80) with three different flavors, the best of which is the beef. Soups, including a traditional and very delicious Miso, are available ($3.00-$3-50), as are salads; Crab ($4.00) and Beef ($6.00).

Numerous other dishes are available... Kuchiage Breaded Skewers, Yakatori, Rice Bowls and Tempura... but the sushi is the main attraction.

Sushi House offers more than 50 varieties of sushi, including unusual house creations like Plátano, Chicken Maki, and Chicken Peking for example, and almost all include cream cheese in the ingredients. As I tend to lean more toward the traditional sushi I always request the cream cheese be omitted. And the idea of plátano or chicken sushi tends to make my toes curl. But many patrons like these items, so kudos to owner and sushi creator Pilar De Janón for offering as wide a variety as possible. "Give the customers what they want" is a sure fire recipe for success, and if the packed seats I saw on my recent visit are any indication, Sushi House is right on track.

My favorite sushi includes the Unagi Especial ($7.50), a large, appetite-supressing roll filled with fresh smoked eel, breaded shrimp, avacado, surrounded by the savory rice, sprinkled with the house sweet sauce (cream cheese omitted), then sliced into 8 to 10 individual pieces. The various ingredients and textures blend to form one delicious flavor that shouldn’t be missed. And if you are timid about a "strong fish taste", don’t be. Sushi, if made right, features only the freshest ingredients, thus no telltale over-riding flavor. And Sushi House excels at freshness.


Plaza Albrook, Albook
New York Plaza, Marbella
Prices: Low to Moderate


Very Good

Another favorite is the Honey Roll ($4.50), offering a combination of flavors featuring avacado, breaded shrimp, cream cheese (on just this one!), surrounded by breaded rice and sprinkled with honey sauce. One bite and the resulting burst of flavor will turn you into a fan. If you prefer things on the spicy side, order a Spicy Tuna Roll ($3.75) which features the traditional rice filled with minced raw tuna mixed with hot sauce. Truly a great sushi roll, especially when dipped into the already spicy soy sauce that you have mixed with potent wasabi. They are most happy to amend any item to your taste.

There are also several combo dishes that feature sushi and a drink, and range in price from ($4.99 to 15.00), as well as a variety of Sashimi.

My only disappointment at Sushi House has been the Tempura dishes. I prefer light and fluffy tempura, where the thin, delicatly crisp batter permits the vegetable or sea food flavor to dominate. The Sushi House version is heavier. But then, I don’t go to Sushi House for tempura...I go for the sushi.


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