I have lived blocks from this place and only recently become a regular. I am happy to have this spot close by. Niwana has a family style diner vibe but serves Japanese and Korean fare. With all the new apartments and low dollar restaurants, I hope this little gem manages to stick around. It’s kind of tucked into the corner and easy to miss.
Just like I say in every one of my posts, I chose a spot at the bar – only this time the sushi bar. Whenever, I am super hungry in an Asian restaurant, I always want the dumplings. We tried the Yaki Mandu – Korean inspired grilled beef filled dumplings that are fried until crispy.
I love sushi and maki and most sashimi; it definitely ranks upon some of my favorite foods. These guys have your classic rolls with some specialty rolls combining lots of flavors. I get a little overwhelmed with a ginormous menu and so far have stuck mostly to the sushi. My favorite maki roll is a salmon and avocado. I am not sure why this simple one always calls my name when I sit down to a meal with chopsticks.
Our other go to bites are usually Unagi and Saba sushi. The unagi (eel) was tasty – but slathered a little heavily with the sticky sweet eel sauce. I believe the saba (mackerel) was cured or smoked; it had a distinct salty and rice vinegar flavor.
I prefer sushi that is not covered in mayo or spicy mayo or whatever sauce a place considers their specialty. I still like to try a few specialty rolls to get a feel for what the sushi chef has in mind. I liked the flavors of the Niwana Roll, but would certainly ask chef to go a little lighter on the mayo. The roll is topped with their house crab salad. I know it is a Japanese style dish, but I was hoping for real, not imitation crab in the salad.
My only complaint is that service can be a little slow.. It’s great if you want to have a casually paced meal and conversation. But, don’t dine in if your in a hurry.