Sugano Japanese ResturantSeptember 9, 2011 by: Cavan
Ever since I moved to Lexington in 2000 the quality of sushi found around town has never ceased to amaze me. Seki Resturant will always be near and dear to Whitney and me, but ever since Mr. & Mrs. Seki died our go-to has been Osaka on Boston Rd. That was until I heard about this little joint off New Circle (behind where the Continental Inn used to be) that served fried shrimp heads. If you’ve never had fried shrimp heads–just imagine shrimp but times 10. They’re one of my favorite off the menu foods and having fried shrimp heads (and good ones at that) bumped Sugano to the top of my personal favorite Lexington sushi restaurants even before we placed our sushi order.
I spent some time in Japan during my stint in the US Navy and this place feels just like every sushi resturant I visited in the Honch. Not exactly pristine, somewhat cramped, casual, but very good. When we walked in and I noticed 75% of the clientele were Japanese I knew we were in for a treat. The sushi chef–didn’t get his name– reminded me of Mr. Seki. He spoke mostly Japanese, took his time making each order, and served it the way he knew it would taste best.
Our sushi order came in rounds. Our first “course” was the tuna and salmon. As expected, both of the fish were very flavorful and exactly what I was hoping for. I’m actually going to crave it until we visit Sugano again. I still don’t know where or how these Lexington sushi chefs get such high grade fish–considering we’re not a port town–but they definitely have the “hook-up”. I guess that comes with having a Toyota factory near-by.
Our next round was the Yellowfin Tuna, Amberjack, spicy tuna rull, and red snapper. The chef hand delivered this one with personal instructions, “I put salt and lemon on the snapper. You NO use soy sauce on it. OK?” I really appreciate when a chef has that kind of vision and we followed his instructions. WOW… What spectacular flavor! You know those old Batman captions when he would fight a villain? “BAM” “POW” “WAMMO”. Well, that’s about all you need to know about that.
Our last and final round was a Salmon Roe wrap, which is a favorite of Whitney’s. The smell was that of the ocean. Not a harbor or port town, but of the sea. The roe were firm and salty. Quite frankly….Perfect.
We will most definitely be returning to Sugano and I predict it is going to be our new go-to. We’ll take out of town guest there for a sushi experience that I’m sure they won’t expect and will be pleasantly surprised to find in Lexington, KY.