Monday, July 21, 2014
Loverly Rolls at Pink Nori
After a long week, I was looking forward to some R&R with good friends in a chill setting. Strolling along 30th Avenue last Friday, my friend Andrea and I had a hankering for some sushi and chose Pink Nori as our destination. Relaxing, enjoyable and filled with good eats, we walked out happy and full, with plenty of leftovers for later.
Even though Pink Nori is in the middle of the action on 30th Avenue, it's easy to miss, since the signage is unassuming and also because it's right next to the busy Antika Pizzeria. The interior is simple and slightly devoid of character, as it lacks charming touches and feels slightly generic with its minimalist approach. The most welcoming factor is the bar area, set in the front of the house, decked with colorful tiles and a backlit wall, displaying sake and wooden sushi boat containers.
Slightly overwhelmed by the menu, there was an immense amount of choice in the sushi rolls, sashimi and various Japanese specialties. In the end, both Andrea and I combined a specialty roll with a simple sushi roll as our main course and shared Pink Nori's signature sushi pizza as our starter.
Sushi Pizza - Ever since Meg and Emily tried this dish when we got Pink Nori take-out, I've had food envy. Consisting of a homemade scallion pancake that seemed to be layered, it was topped with a thin layer of guacamole and seafood goodness such as yellowtail, salmon and tuna. Looking like an abstract painting on a plate, I'm happy to say that it tasted as colorful as it looked.
Hamachi Lover Roll + Salmon Roll - Attracted to this specialty roll because of the spice factor, it consisted of spicy yellowtail (my favorite), scallions, panko crunchies and a little sliver of jalapeno on top. While the heat was distinctive in this roll, it wasn't overpowering and dissipated after a few seconds.
The salmon roll provided a great complement to the Hamachi, mainly because it was simple and clean with a little bit of crunch as well for texture.
Pink Nori Roll + Tuna Roll - Andrea went with the namesake Pink Nori Roll, which looked beautiful as well, with seared salmon, cooked shrimp, avocado and tempura flakes. There was a lot going on in one bite, and while I appreciated its complexity, I think it lacked cohesion and would've been better with fewer ingredients.
The tuna roll was standard and simple and because it was wrapped in brown rice, I thought it to be a tad dry.
Service and Cost:
Impressed by the efficiency of the service, we were always paid attention to and never felt that we had to wait too long for anything. Despite our severs being quick, we didn't feel that we had to rush out and were comfortable to stick around and chat.
Costs are moderate setting us back about $37 each including tax and tip.
Pink Nori - 36-06 30th Avenue, Astoria NY 11103
N/Q Train to 30th Avenue