In Pursuit of Sashimi


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With all the Homecoming festivities, a plain meal may not be in your cards. Eat when you can, but when you finally meet up with your friends, make sure to pick an environment conducive to conversation.

Ideally, the food would be an important component, too. So, I’ll give you a heads up.

After a few recommendations and warnings, I thought I would go to Formosa, 221 E. College St. Located on the Pedestrian Mall, this venue is self-proclaimed as one of the top Asian-sushi fusion restaurants in the Midwest.

Bold claim, but is it deserved?

Before I get into the food, my social sphere has had a large rift on people’s feelings about Formosa.
My younger group of friends, the freshman to juniors, have as a majority been proponents of this particular restaurant. Anything older than that have been a strong voice of opposition, preferring one of the other local sushi establishments.

That being said, most of the opinions were from couples. This has been a very popular romantic destination for some time, and that may have had an effect on their opinions.

But enough of others; here is my report.

The environment

There are two options here for you. For that once in a month, perfect weather of an evening, the outside patio is a good option. Not much of a view, but the “fresh” air is never something to complain about.

For the other 353 days a year, the dimly lit inside is segmented between the sushi bar and the dining area. The division is nice, with the hallway taking me directly to the dining area.

The only separation within the tables is the space between. Luckily, I went on a calmer night, but I could see this place getting loud, fast.

The menu

I was mostly focused on the sushi portion, but as an Asian-sushi fusion restaurant, it has a number of other entrées. Maybe this is where the complaints from my friends came from, but I came here for seaweed wrap, rice, and the delectable combinations  that can be found inside.

I went for the specialty rolls, because the regular sushi rolls seemed too boring. One or two ingredients just didn’t sound adventurous enough for this top-tier location.

So here’s what I picked out:

Hurricane Roll — tuna, cream cheese, and mango topped with tuna, avocado, eel, and spicy sauce. The mango and cream cheese cool down the spicy sauce quickly; it hosts a very vibrant combination of flavors but unfortunately, it doesn’t last very long on the palette.

Cancún — tuna, cucumber, jalapeño, scallions, topped with spicy tuna, limes, sriracha, and spicy mayo.

Wow. The jalapeño is an explosive combination with wasabi — spice wimps be careful. The spice factor overpowers the other flavors, but delicious either way. Makes spicy wings look like dumplings.

Las Vegas Roll — crab meat, cream cheese, and Japanese sweet potato tempura fried, topped with spicy tuna and crab mix, spicy eel sauce, and tempura flakes. Easily one of the most decorative sushi plates I’ve ever seen. Despite its expansive list of ingredients, this was one of the most agreeable rolls I’ve had. Crunch on the outside with a chewy inside, an odd texture for sushi but enjoyable nonetheless. The one I’d suggest for sushi explorers.

Overall, the experience I had was very pleasant. The perks of sushi restaurants is that they offer unique rolls, and although I would not call this the best in the Midwest, it is still a must-try for food connoisseurs.

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