Sushi Bon

It was a dark and very, very stormy night.

The Mister and I had just graciously left a bargain book store we had thoughtlessly run into to dry off -- okay, we were kicked out after I dripped all over a stack of Penguin remainders -- either way, we were in a soggy mood.

We had agreed earlier that this was the night we would check out Sushi Bon , one of the newest additions to the College Street resto glut. Soaked as I was, I felt positively cannibalistic at the idea of eating some fruits de mer, but we stayed our course and were rewarded like Odysseus, I say.

Our chilly souls welcomed the generous and steaming bowls of miso soup brought to our table -- the mister had ordered one right away, and I am assuming that one look at my soaked exterior convinced our attentive and friendly waitress to make it a double. The soup is served in a slightly larger bowl than the usual sushi joint would produce (which has the double bonus of more soup and soup that stays hot longer) , and has about three times as much stuff in it (little melt in your mouth tofu cubes and strips of dark seaweed.)

Next comes my order of Seaweed and Tofu Salad. I was expecting this salad to be tiny, as sushi restaurant salads will tend to be, but was pleasantly surprised by how substantial it was. Crisp iceberg lettuce (yes, iceberg does have its place -- right here), pin-thin noodle-like seaweed shreds and soft neutral tasting (not too tofu-y) tofu cubes

come together wonderfully under a perfect amount of homemade ginger, carrot and sesame dressing. No Kraft bottled gunk here -- I've always thought one of the best things about Japanese restaurants are the amazing salad dressings that manage to make iceberg rock, and this one does not disappoint. Other appy options include Yam Tempura, Seafood Sunomono Salad and the I'm-not-brave-enough-but-maybe-you-are Squid Intestines (!).

The menu at Sushi Bon is big and there are many paths to choose from (sushi, Japanese meat or noodle based mains, boxes, even fun make your own sushi kits for one or a group) -- we decide to go for maki and hand rolls. The vegetarian Mister picks his sushi mainstay, the Avocado Maki Roll, and wanders into the weird world of the Spicy Brocolli Handroll. I pick a Spicy Salmon Handroll and an Eel Cucumber Maki Roll.

The Avocado Roll and Spicy Salmon Rolls arrive first. Right away we are impressed -- the sushi looks beautiful and bountiful.

The Avocado Roll is the best one I have ever had. The rice is so fluffy and the hunks of avocado so ripe and generous that eating it is like having a real live cloud in my mouth.

The Spicy Salmon Roll was amazing, too. Perfect bite sized chunks of great salmon are lined up down a big nori handroll full of said extremely fluffy rice, matchstick cucumber, spicy mayo and, best of all, tiny tempura curls. Delicious.

Next arrive the Eel and Cucumber Maki and the Spicy Brocolli Handroll. I dove into the Eel and Cuke Roll right away. Another home-run. More matchstick slices of cucumber (I so prefer for cucumber to be served this way in sushi -- please no big monolithic chunks of the stuff) are embraced by a righteously rich and tender slice of BBQ eel and wrapped in rice and nori. So simple and so good.

The last thing on our plate was the Spicy Brocolli Rol. Like little kids might have, we left this one until last. I think we had both expected the brocolli to have been somehow concealed or dressed up, after all, brocolli is -- brocolli. This handroll consists of a stalk of brocolli dressed like the Spicy Salkmon Handroll -- spicy mayo, cucumber, tempura bits in a nori cone -- I let the picky Mister try it first After taking a hesitant bite off the end, he simply looked at me full of surrender and said "you're going to like this."

And now I like brocolli. And mayo (I usually don't touch the stuff, spicy or non.)

And now I LOVE Sushi Bon.

We finished our meal off with a romantic two-spoon-one-dish green tea ice cream (also available in red bean or vanilla.) I found out the hard way that the sprig of parsley (?) served on top is just for show -- I won't hold it against them.

New kid Sushi Bon isn't licesnced yet, by the way, but they are working on it. In the meantime, the very good green tea is flowing and other soft drinks, juices, etc. are in supply. (For now you can get your drinks after dinner at one of the million swish watering holes within steps of the restaurant.) You can get some apps, sushi and ice cream for about twenty dollars a person. Average maki roll is about $4.50.

See you at the Bon!

Sushi Bon

695 College Street

(416) 516-8688

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