UPDATE: Zipango is once again downgraded since
I first put this review up over a year ago. The quality
of their sushi has gone downhill a bit too much, and
the service is also lacking some. Seekers of sushi
would be better off going to Osaka in Shrewsbury (review
Zipango is one of my favorite places to go for sushi in this area. It's
a fairly recent arrival, having taken over the space that Sweetheart once
occupied on Shrewsbury Street. Eating there is occasionally a surreal
experience, as I clearly remember the layout of Sweetheart - but the new
decor has completely altered the inside of the eatery.
The atmosphere is a bit odd - one would expect more of a Japanese flair
at a sushi bar, but Zipango abandons this concept utterly and instead
attempts to capture the ambiance of a trendy New York restaurant. The
music is a mix of popular and hip hop tunes, and the TVs playing sports
channels in the background emphasize the "bar" part of sushi bar.
These elements aside, I have yet to have anything less than a good dining
experience here. On the night of 3/6/2002, my friend and I were given
complimentary miso soup as soon as we sat down. The soup was very
flavorful - but not vegetarian! So veggies beware there.
The shrimp dumpling appetizer was tangy and delightful, though a bit hot
in temperature having been immediately rushed to our table after cooking.
For dinner, my friend ordered several maki, and I - feeling very hungry -
decided to order the Sushi Boat II to get a variety of fish and rolls.
Surprisingly, the sushi came to our table very quickly - it surely wasn't
a busy night as it was early in the week, but with only one sushi chef
preparing that evening, it was amazing to get the food so fast. The Sushi
Boat II is quite large, and despite overwhelming hunger I was not able to
finish all of it - even with the help of my friend. I opted to eat only
the fish and leave the rice!
Other maki we had ordered separately (we just had to have it) included the
Screaming Yellowtail and the Tiger Eye. Tiger Eye is a perennial favorite,
and can't be found in other nearby sushi restaurants.
The downside of this review is that Zipango is quite a bit pricier than it
should be - this keeps me from otherwise frequenting the restaurant.
Which is really too bad, as the quality is consistently high and the
presentation is very good. The prohibitive prices are the only thing that
keep Zipango from being a "Great" restaurant.