The newspaper coupon was tantalizing. Half price sushi on Monday and Tuesday nights at a spot that was new to us, Fuji, a Japanese restaurant at 485 Georges Road. We never ever go to Dayton but since Spouse eats sushi at least twice a week, we figured the bargain would be worth the 20-minute drive. It was.
Turns out that Fuji has been there for a year and is a neighborhood kind of place, with its neighborhood including the Princeton Technology Center, IBM’s former complex that is occupied now by AT&T. Polaroid snapshots of people partying at the hibachis line the entrance hall. Early on a Tuesday night, the cavernous hibachi room was nearly empty, but two chefs were serving patrons at the sushi bar and one of the booths was occupied by someone we knew. "Oh yes, I come every Tuesday – I work just around the corner," she said.
We knew we were at a serious sushi place when we saw delicacies like toro (fatty tuna) and uno (sea urchin) on the menu. Spouse once warned me that uno was an "acquired" taste, but I ordered it anyway. He was right: It tasted like the bottom of an aquarium. Then at a classyrestaurant in New York, Picholine, I tried it as an appetizer. Surely a fancy chef could make uno taste better, I thought. I was wrong.
Uno no longer tempts me, but plenty of selections did. We gorged ourselves. Nine pieces of sushi apiece plus two maki rolls (vegetarian rolled sushi), plus soup and tea was $35 plus tip. Spouse pronounced the quality and freshness just fine. Had we gone on any other night, we could have had a "regular" sushi dinner for about the same price, but this way we could eat a little more and choose the more unusual varieties, like flying fish roe, scallop, and white tuna. The squash maki, with tempura batter, was yummily crunchy.
As for the atmosphere in this strip mall place, it was pleasant – high ceilings, wood paneling, and big windows. The little robin’s egg blue dish was the prettiest container for soy sauce I’ve seen.
And we didn’t need the coupon after all, because Fuji’s Monday/Tuesday sushi special works every week, from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m., for eat in or take-out. As we were leaving, the retirement village crowd was moving in.