Okay, I’ll admit it. I had my doubts that new Elmwood Park sushi joint Inari would offer much to write home about. The busy stretch of North Avenue it’s tucked into is mind-numbingly adorable for a Sunday supper with the kids, but to be honest, the surrounding food (aside from Italian beef at Johnnie’s and decent gelato at Massa) is the definition of mediocre.
And let’s move beyond the crowd (glittery bebe tops, Jersey hair and deep tans) to the real deal: Inari offers creative and tasty food at good prices. Straightforward sushi isn’t top-tier, but it’s definitely fresh, firm-fleshed and arrives in generous-sized cuts. But the real gems are found in original dishes such as steamed Manila clams swimming in soy-spiked broth with bits of bok choy and rice at the bottom of the bowl to soak up every last drop. Just as good is the togarashi -dusted crispy calamari with addictive honey-wasabi sauce and the thinly sliced red snapper drizzled with ponzu and topped with radish, fresh lemon and red grapes. Maki fans should keep things interesting with the Oni-Moriwase, a salmon tartare roll done four ways: wrapped in cucumber with sweet shrimp and mango; wrapped in daikon with octopus and a sort of pico de gallo; combined with spicy tuna in soy paper and topped with tempura; and with spicy scallop balanced by sweet unagi sauce. Just one of those four options would likely induce eye-rolling from the sushi-snob city slickers, but take a cue from the Vegas-ish crowd—what happens in Elmwood Park stays in Elmwood Park.
|Venue name:||Inari Sushi||Contact:|
7428 W North Ave
|Cross street:||Elmwood Park|
|Opening hours:||Lunch (Mon–Fri), dinner|
|Transport:||Bus: 72, 90, 307, 318.|
|Price:||Average nigiri: $7|
|Do you own this business?|