Sunday, June 02, 2013

Best Long Island Sushi: Kotobuki, Babylon, NY

When JB and I first moved from NYC to the East End of Long Island, good sushi was hard to find.   We asked friends, neighbors, strangers for recommendations and we always got the same answer: Kotobuki in Babylon.  It wasn't exactly next door, but we craved good sushi, so we made the worthwhile journey. And worthwhile it was - fresh and inventive, it soon became our fave.  We hadn't been in awhile, and were lucky enough to pay them a visit last night.

Right on the main street in Babylon village, Kotobuki is an unassuming sushi den (not like its Pan-Asian neighbor, Monsoon, that is larger than life with a smoking hot hostess trying to lure in diners).  At 6:30 on a summer Saturday, there were still a few tables but the sushi bar seemed appealing.  JB likes to watch the masters at work.  Mind you, by 8PM, there was probably a line out the door. 

We had concert tickets and were pressed for time, so we had previewed the menu on the drive.  I glanced at the menu again, while drinking my Kirin light and nibbling on their gratis spicy noodles, and was swayed by the specials.   

Atop the Specials, I was immediately (and obviously) drawn to this:


chopped tuna, rice, tempura flakes, scallion “patties” topped w/avocado, romaine hearts & spicy mayo on a rice cracker “bun”

Sushi sliders?  Yes, please!

The "Grinch Roll" also enticed us --
spicy tuna, yellowtail, crunchy, scallion roll w/ avocado & cayenne pepper on top

 And then we went with a few standards, a Crunchy Yellowtail and their standard, the Crazy Roll - where they let you choose the fish, we chose tuna, and they add it to a tobiko and avocado roll topped w/ diced fish, tempura flakes, scallions and a spicy mayo concoction.

If that wasn't enough, JB decided he needed to try their Hand Roll entree which is 5 hand rolls - 1 tuna, 1 yellowtail, 1 salmon, 1 eel and 1 california roll  (we swapped this out for another salmon) - PLUS 2 pieces of salmon roe, or as Mr. Japanese orders it, ikura. 

The food came fast, furious and delicious.  

The sliders really looked like little sushi burgers and we loved them, despite the fact that they fell apart after the first bite.  (Note to sushi chef: Bite size sliders would work better here).  Our special grinch roll was on fire, that cayenne pepper they reference in the description is not your run of the mill cayenne, but some kind of Japanese heat enhancer.  The Crazy and the Cruncy were awesome as always, however, the Crazy and the Grinch were more similar than I realized.  Next time I might opt for another kind of fish. 

JB's hand roll platter, aka an exercise of overindulgence, was a treat for him.  He usually gets 1 hand roll for "dessert", tonight he had 5.  Mind you this entree also came with miso soup and salad. 

I pronounced myself stuffed with a few pieces of sushi to go.  And before I knew it someone had finished all of the remaining sushi.

Good thing, because we had a show to catch.

Until our next Berger,

86 Deer Park Ave.
Babylon, NY

Side Dish: Good news! They have 2 other Long Island locations, Hauppauge and Roslyn.  AND, they have an NYC location in the East Village.  So there's no excuse not to try their sushi sliders.

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