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Hoover, AL — Pacific Rim

Categories: Alabama
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Published on: December 6, 2012
Pacific Rim Sushi & Grill
3076 John Hawkins Pkwy
Hoover, AL
520-326-4700
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When I think of Alabama, I rarely think of sushi. But this week, I am in Birmingham, Alabama and tonight, I wanted sushi. Some colleagues suggested Pacific Rim. It was close to my hotel so I decided to go there in the evening. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that they were open until 10:00pm on weeknights. I like to eat dinner pretty late when I am on the road.

Pacific Rim is modern looking restaurant located just outside of a large mall. The restaurant is not exactly on the mall pad, it is located next to a small rock outcropping just below the mall parking lot. When I entered the place looked smart and modern, I choose to sit at a table and my waiter brought me menu.

Pacific Rim has an interesting menu. There are a few cooked dinners but the majority of the menu is sushi and sashimi. There were a number of very interesting looking rolls. I noticed immediately that the prices were expensive. There were a number of rolls over $15 and even some over $20!

In the end, I ordered, Tempura Sweet Potatoes, a deluxe sashimi combo and a bowl of steamed rice. The tempura sweet potatoes were a bit artless, the pieces were huge, I would have preferred them cut into small pieces.

The sashimi combo was very good. All of the fish was fresh and tasty. The combo consisted of tuna, salmon, red snapper, yellowtail, albacore, sea bass and toro.

Pacific Rim had good food and a very innovative menu. The only negative was price. My order of hot tea, sweet potato tempura, rice and a deluxe sushi combo came to $44 before tip.

Pacific Rim is worth a visit, just be prepared to pay.

Pacific Rim Sushi & Grill 4 rice bowls * * * * -

Montgomery, AL — Kabuki Japanese Steak House

Categories: Alabama
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Published on: November 30, 2006
Kabuki Japanese Steak House
7834 Vaughn Rd
Montgomery, AL
334.273.8885 
map

My first foray with Alabama sushi did not go well. Therefore, I was naturally apprehensive about visiting Kabuki. Even so, Kabuki was highly recommended so I gave it a try. Kabuki was easy to find, located in a storefront next to a Winn Dixie store.

As the name suggests, Kabuki has Teppanaki tables. They also have a sushi bar, Tatami room and dining room separate from the Teppanaki tables. I was reading a book so I wanted to sit at a table. The hostess took me into a nicely paneled dining room with a faux wood floor.

From the beginning, I knew that this would be a good experience. My waitress brought me a hot towel. Only a few of the sushi restaurants I visit do this but it is a very nice touch. I don’t know the Japanese word for amuse-bouche but the sushi chef apparently did — a small dish with some noodles in vinegar appeared on my table. Awesome.

I ordered my normal meal, gyoza, an Alaska roll and the sashimi combo with a Miso soup. The gyoza was good and the sauce just a bit spicy, The wrapper was cooked just enough, it was still delicate and did not detract from either the sauce or the filling.

My Alaska roll (smoked salmon, cucumber and mayonnaise) was perfect. The pieces were evenly sized and the roll was delicious. My sashimi order arrived and while it looked good, the plate on which it was served was too large. The presentation was only average. The fish however was perfect. Nicely sized pieces of tuna, salmon, octopus, white tuna, mackerel and yellowtail. The pieces were so tasty, I wanted to hold them in my mouth and just savor them rather than swallow.

The service at Kabuki was excellent, whenever my drink reached about 40%, a waitress would appear and ask to refresh it. Kabuki even surprised me at the end of my meal. Before brining my check, my waitress brought out a plat with half an orange and some pineapple wedges — just what the doctor ordered.

A little nicer presentation and Kabuki could have been a 5. Kabuki is an excellent sushi restaurant, definitely worth a rip.

Kabuki Japanese Steak House: 4 rice bowls * * * * -

Montgomery, AL — Kobe Jade Palace

Categories: Alabama
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Published on: November 29, 2006
Kobe Jade Palace
6050 Atlanta Hwy
Montgomery, AL
334.270.3288 
map

Alabama is not known for its sushi. But over the years, I have managed to find some gems in unlikely places. Unfortunately, Kobe Jade Palace is not one of them. Kobe is one of those restaurants that tries to do too many things at once. It has a Chinese, Korean and Sushi menu as well as Teppanaki.

I stopped in for lunch looking for some sashimi. The restaurant was not very crowded but it still took too long to get service. The menu had many choices both sushi and non-sushi items. I ordered a sushi-sashimi combo and a Bagel Roll (Kobe’s version of a Philadelphia roll). It was a bad sign when I noticed that there was no sushi chef. The waitress was behind the bar making my sushi order. This could not be good.

When the sushi arrived my fears were realized. All of the nigiri were different sizes, even the two pieces of mackerel. The crab stick was huge in comparison to the rice. There was no sense of harmony to the pieces. The sashimi looked like it had been cut with a dull knife. The pieces were especially thin and arranged rather artlessly.

When I ate the nigiri, the fish kept falling off the rice. I guess that was OK because the rice balls were all different sizes anyway. The Bagel roll was no better, the pieces were cut unevenly and the scallions were sprinkled haphazardly over the rolls.

I would have given Kobe a 1 rating except the quality if the fish was pretty good. The fish tasted good, it was just prepared poorly.

Kobe Jade Palace: 2 rice bowls * * - - -
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