edible adventures from the centre of the universe

22 October 2006

Review: Asa Sushi

Since we moved to Toronto, Dave and I have been searching for a great sushi restaurant in our neighborhood. There are plenty of kickass, inexpensive sushi joints downtown, like our favourite HoSu Bistro, but we just couldn't find a clear-cut winner in our neck of the woods. That is, until one of Dave's coworkers suggested Asa Sushi at Jane and Bloor (18 Jane Street).

Asa Sushi occupies a clean, bright space with light wood screens dividing most of the tables -- you get a lot of privacy from fellow diners. The open sushi bar is manned by a stern-looking fellow in traditional garb (presumably the owner) and the adorable, super-friendly waitresses are quick to greet you when you enter.

The menu at Asa includes teriyaki and soup/noodles, but we're all about the sushi and maki when we visit. The maki selection is huge, with a lot of really creative rolls. There's a large selection of vegetarian maki, as well as some non-traditional deep-fried rolls. In addition, there's the usual tempting nigri-sushi offerings. It's really difficult to choose what to order!

One of our favourite dishes has been the 12-piece tempura, which is crispy and light and includes some unusual items such as salmon and asparagus along with the more standard prawns and vegetables (all for only $4.95!). I am also a huge fan of the vegetable tempura maki, which is at least 2 inches in diameter, and is stuffed with tasty vegetable and onion tempura. The yam tempura maki is similarly huge, with big chunks of yam tempura rolled up inside-out style and sprinkled with nutty toasted sesame seeds. Delicious. On our most recent visit, a ninja roll was ordered ("Ninja Roll!" exclaimed our devestatingly cute server), and it came drizzled with both a sweet teriyaki-style sauce as well as a very spicy cream sauce, making for a great, interesting contrast of flavours.

Prices at Asa Sushi are low, and the servings are large. Complimentary green tea is refilled frequently, and every meal is started with a green salad in Japanese orange dressing (which I find is more bland at Asa than at other places I've been). The combination of great value, friendly service, and maki variety found at Asa make it a winner in my book, and I'm ecstatic that we finally found ourselves a go-to neighborhood sushi joint.



Anonymous Aoife said...

Sounds good. How many cowboy hats?

9:15 PM

Blogger Alana said...

I had trouble deciding! I'll say:

8 cowgirl boots out of 10

10:21 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love this place, I'm going tonight. The owner is super nice though, you just have to get him talking.

I suggest the Crazy Boy Rolls.

8:01 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have dined here a couple of times and have ordered take out MANY times. I love this place. Good food. Unbelievable prices. The people there are very friendly and courteous. I get off at work late at night and take the subway home, and I always seem to find myself heading across the street from Jane Station for take out at ASA. I definitly recommend the Crazy Boy Roll.

1:51 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh and thanks for the tip, I'll try the vegetable tempura maki on my next visit. I almost forgot...I also recommend their Crunchy California Roll (which is on a separate menu, so you're just going to have ask for it) It is a normal California Roll, with fresh crab (not that imitation crap), avocado, cucumber, but they also add this outer crunchy layer that tastes heavenly. And its only $4.25-4.75 for 8 pcs. I do not remember its exact price because I get it so often, so that hopefuly is a good sign. :)

2:01 AM

Blogger Alana said...

Thanks Anonymous! I'll definitely check that out.

8:38 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

i love this place to no end, my friends and i go here constantly because of the extremely friendly atmosphere

12:01 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

ASA Sushi is AMAZING! The Crazy Boy Roll is to die for and their spicy rolls are actually spicy. I always get the Crazy Boy with two order of sashimi, which by the way is incredibly fresh and generous, even at closing! And it's the cheapest sushi place around. If you want to spend little money but get great taste and large portions this is the place!

7:22 PM

Anonymous Zech-a-doodle-dandy said...

The best sushi ever. Well, to me at least. I agree with the Ninja Rolls and you should try the over the top Dragon Rolls.

7:01 PM


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