The Best Food Ever: Sushi Pizza
First let's start off with the place, Sakana Oriental in Woodbury Heights, NJ. It's conveniently located right on Route 45, across from the Hollywood Diner. From the outside, it looks like an old diner. On the outside it looks industrial like cold metal. Inside it is extremely welcoming, however.
When I was a kid it was a Chinese Buffet. It's changed hands and names a couple times but has always relatively stayed with Asian cuisine. It's not fancy, that's why I love it. I also love it because it's BYOB. When you walk in your greeted by fish, and I'd have to assume those pretty fish are not on the menu. You are also greeted by whom I assume is the manager or owner because he is always there. Sometimes this place is super busy, think of any place that serves fish on a Friday during Lent. There is also a lot of foot traffic from the take out orders, which seem to be really popular here.
The seating is also like an old diner. There are old, big, comfy booths that line the walls of the restaurant. I like this because I feel like the enclosed booths offer more privacy, so you can talk shit on anyone you want without your neighbors hearing. Although I love the BYOB restaraunts in Collingswood, they are over crowded and congested so hearing your dinner party can be difficult. I don't feel that way at all at Sakana. I feel like you'd be welcomed in sweatpants and a 6 pack of beer, as well as in a dress with a $50 bottle of wine.
They also have Thai and Chinese food, which I feel like is par for the course for any kind of Asian restaurant these days. So really you can bring someone who doesn't eat sushi because there is something for them to eat there. Like Zachary, who used to be obsessed with sushi until he threw up one time all night long, and he hasn't eaten it since. Which, can be heartbreaking. Sushi is my first love. And I can't share my first love with my second love anymore. Now I am stuck with god damn wings, believe me that's all I hear about. Wings, wings, wings. Anyway enough about my heartbreak, this place also starts you off with Edamame, which is definitely lighter then the usual Chinese fried chips which I can eat 3,000 of.
Onto the sushi pizza. I literally cannot say enough good things. Its fresh, creamy, and filling. The smell that wafts off this little disc of happiness is amazing. It just smells fresh.
It's from the appetizer menu, but you could definitely make it into a meal with a seaweed salad or soup. I've always gone with another person and split it as an app, but it is filling. One warning for you is do not go starving and expect it to be on your table in under 3 minutes. I have not been there one time where it arrived before 15 minutes had passed. It appears perfection takes time, and this blogger is willing to wait for this little circular heaven.
The menu states that it's basically Spicy Tuna over a crispy tortilla. I don't know who the hell wrote that description, but it does the food no justice. It's so much more than that. First the crust, or the crispy tortilla as they say, is not really crispy at all. If you've ever had a Chinese pizza or as some places call it a Scallion Pancak, then this will make sense. It's thin like that, but not deep fried so it's not crunchy. It also does not have any scallions in it either, which I am happy about because we don't need any of that takin away from the decadent fresh sushi. The crust is soft but yet firm and holds the whole thing together well. The crust is thick, so it's gotta be at least eight of these pancakes squished together to make this perfect crust.
On top of that thick crust is a healthy portion of fresh tuna tartarki. I had to google that last word, because I had no idea what tartarki means. To me it means "get in my belly", but to the Japanese it means pounded or hit into pieces. The tuna is spicy, but not soo much that it can't handle a little soy sauce with wasabi. It is awesome dipped into some of that, just like a sushi roll.
It's got so much tuna on it, that the price of $11.95 seems like an absolute steal. You should eat it quickly, before they figure out if they are charging too little for this 6 slice amazeballs thing. Yes, I said it, 6 slices. So each person get's 3 if you are splitting it with you and another person. If you are splitting it with 3 people, order 2. Not because you physically need 2 to feel full, because, because. That's why. It will be the highlight of your day. Don't short change yourself with only having two slices.
The fish is fresh, and you know it's fresh because you smell every other aspect of the food-- but you don't smell anything fishy. The fish is then topped with avocado which you can smell. It's separated with all these fancy orange slices so you can slide each slice out easily. If you ask me, Chinese restaurants LOVE giving out orange slices. I feel like they have stock in Florida Oranges or something. They come with everything. It's also sprinkled with a little bit of sesame seeds, another staple in Japanese food.
I am urging you to go to Sakana Oriental this Friday, because ya know you aint supposed to eat meat. Let me tell you how many times I've followed through with that rule...