Food: So good, so naked

Naked Fish Japanese Bistro in Downtown at 67 West 100 South is Salt Lake Magazine’s Japanese Restaurant of 2010. And there is little question why.

Naked Fish is undoubtedly my new favorite place for sushi in the City of Salt. It started when Manfriend, Ava, Erin and I walked through the doors into the beautifully decorated space. The website says the concept of Naked Fish is to serve contemporary Japanese cuisine in a swanky Downtown location. They definitely hit the mark.

The place feels very modern, comfortable and clean. The bathrooms are AWESOME! I want to take the sink, floors and walls and move them to my apartment. Seriously if there was a shower I would move in.

We didn’t make a reservation so we missed out on the private omakase rooms, but our table was still comfortable.

We started off with some drinks. Ava and I ordered some cocktails. My Cosmo with champagne was a touch too sugary for it to be my favorite drink, but it was well made and yummy. Erin had a glass of wine that paired well with the sushi. And Manfriend tried a Japanese beer for the first time. Not surprisingly, the beer went best with the sushi, but that’s not keeping me from more cocktails at Naked Fish in the future.

The sushi rolls are between $7 and $12. One roll was plenty for me–so Naked Fish can be done cheaply. But it was Ava’s birthday so we splurged.

These were hands down the best sushi rolls I have eaten. Ava ordered the caterpillar roll and loved it. I don’t remember what roll Erin ordered, but I believe it was the tekka maki roll. It was also outstanding. I ordered a stand-by favorite of mine, the Wasatch roll. I was very impressed with the freshness of the ingredients, the solid construction and the great mix of flavors. Manfriend ordered the Mexi roll, while the flavor was great it was too hot for me, and I barely made it through one piece with a glass of water.

At this point, I had deiced Naked Fish is the BEST. JAPANESE. BISTRO. EVER. Manfriend disagreed. He insisted the mark of a good Japanese restaurant is in the vegetable tempura. He disagreed with Ava and said Tsunami was better. So of course, I had to take him up on the challenge. And I promptly ordered the vegetable tempura.

Oh.My.God. It was amazing! The asparagus, bell peppers, onions, mushrooms and Japanese squash were all cooked perfectly. The tempura batter itself was crisp, light and delicious. The sauce on the side was also wonderful and went fantastic with each vegetable. Although I can’t even begin to guess what was in it.

After the vegetable tempura, Manfriend acquiesced and agreed Naked Fish is the best Japanese restaurant in Salt Lake City. And that was before the ice cream.

The waitress suggested mochi ice cream for dessert. We had the plum and green tea ice cream rolled in mochi. (I’m not sure what mochi is, but I think it’s a red bean paste.) I love, love green tea ice cream. It was the perfect dessert to end such a wonderful meal.

I can’t wait to return to Naked Fish. And this time I’m making a reservation.

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About kristamaesmith

I'm a writer based in Salt Lake City, Utah where I cheer for the Jazz, walk my dog, and spend too much money in local restaurants. I work in marketing for higher education and blog about food, travel, film, and whatever shiny moment catches my fancy.
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4 Responses to Food: So good, so naked

  1. Erin Carr says:

    It was a fantastic night. I loved that ice cream. I could have eatten the whole thing muself it was so good. lol I can't remember what I ordered either. The only think I I remember is there was lemon; and that it was amazing. So fresh, crisp, and clean.The wine I ordered was fantastic, I believe it was from Chile, I don't even remember the type but it was also crisp and clean, nice and dry. Thank you Ava for making a lovly choice for your birthday, and letting us all share a great evening with you.

  2. Ava says:

    I loved The Naked Fish, the food was amazing, the cocktails/beer/wine were delicious the atmosphere was very nice and the company was amazing. It was an awesome birthday dinner to make up for a crappy birthday day. I'm glad my friends are such awesome people. P.S. Here's your Japanese food lesson for the day. (You totally knew this was comming.) Mochi is actually a rice cake. It is made by pounding on rice until it turns into a kind of sticky paste.Mochi ice cream is just ice cream wrapped in mochi (rice that's been turned into a paste/almost rice flour thing).Red bean paste is called An or Anko. I think you confused what we had with Daifuku, which is when a mochi is filled with something sweet, usually anko.

  3. Krista says:

    Erin, I'm glad you had a good time. I know I did. Thanks for the Japanese food lesson, Ava. I knew you would be able to tell me what was going on with the ice cream. I'm glad you had a good birthday dinner, even if the day wasn't so awesome. Love you, ladies!

  4. Jenni says:

    so yummy! did you try the tamari balls?? funny name but so good!

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