First Look: Boa Sushi Café

This Downtown sushi spot is a cut above.


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Chirashi

The Boa Chirashi ($14.95).
Photos: Maria Kanai

 

Finding a mini sushi bar in the middle of Remington College was the last thing we expected when we heard about Boa Sushi Café. We’d imagined the usual downtown cheap sushi spot, with pre-packed sushi rolls and bentos in which the nori would be a little limp and the rice a bit hard. But, instead, Boa Sushi Café surprised us by having its own sit-down counter, where chef and owner Brandon Young presides, crafting high-quality, made-to-order chirashi, rolls and sashimi.

 

Boa opened this past August, and Young has a slew of sushi experience under his obi—Sansei, Tokoname and Izakaya Torae Torae to name a few. Every day, he picks out the freshest cuts of ‘ahi, hamachi, salmon and more from the auction. He says most people prefer ordering their sushi to go, especially during the downtown lunch rush hour, but, if people want a sit-down experience at the counter, he’s willing to serve them sushi, “if it’s not too busy.”

 

Brandon Young

chef and owner Brandon Young.

 

The tiny shop feels like a blend of traditional and contemporary, with orange paper lanterns, a shoji screen and reggae music blasting in the background. There are only four stools at the counter, a couch and a low table with two seats, but there’s plenty of outdoor seating.

 

The Boa Chirashi ($14.95) was a lot more generous than we expected, with thick slices of ‘ahi, salmon, hamachi and tako. And we mean thick—we’ve been at legit sushi bars that weren’t this indulgent. It includes cooked flakes of salmon, as well as a spoonful of ikura, two slices of tamago and shredded spicy ‘ahi. The ‘ahi keeps its texture by not being completely ground up and mushy. With ginger, wasabi, a lemon slice and green onions for garnish, this is a chirashi that’s fresh and worthwhile, even if it is in a plastic takeout box.

 

Hamachi

the truffle hamachi with shiso ($13.95).

 

If you’re more in the mood for rolls, Young has fun with the truffle hamachi with shiso ($13.95), which has spicy hamachi topped with yellowtail sashimi, shiso, scallion and ponzu. We’re great fans of shiso, and we love that Young experimented with a white fish sushi roll. The Lava Man ($12.95) is good too, a spicy tuna roll topped with ‘ahi sashimi, sweet soy, scallion, yuzu tobiko and truffle ponzu. Both rolls are on the pricier side for sushi takeout, but the quality is worth the splurge.

 

Lava man

The Lava Man ($12.95).

 

1111 Bishop St., Suite 4, 585-8185

 

READ MORE STORIES BY MARIA KANAI

 

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