New fish in a hidden pond
by Rob McKeown
Things seldom change at the Chinatown Eatery. This ramshackle second-floor food
court is like a secret ventricle in the heart of Chinatown, invisibly
supporting the area's culinary life. So when one of its counter-service food
stalls changed hands, it was big news. One day there was a Thai place, the next
an immaculate Japanese sushi depot named JJ Sushi.
JJ Sushi sticks out because it's by far the brightest, most orderly-looking
counter of the bunch. Slabs of tuna, shrimp, and even tofu are arranged with
soldierly precision under a see-through shield. Dry-erase boards list around 80
variations on raw fish, from the basic (California roll) to the veggie
(Japanese pickle roll) to the prized (sea urchin).
The chef-owner offers only three things that aren't sushi: two salads and the
obligatory miso soup. By keeping his focus tight, he manages to turn out an
impressive array of sushi at cut-rate prices, with just enough creativity and
spark to warrant attention. A basic sashimi platter ($7.95) delivers six
luscious slabs of salmon, hamachi, mackerel, and maguro. A Dallas roll ($4.50)
wraps seasoned rice around a spicy tangle of salmon, mayo, and shrimp. Ebisu
($4.50) consists of several butterfly shrimp sprinkled with sesame seeds and
spritzed with a sweet and vinegary sauce. Miso soup ($1.25) is comfort food:
bland, but in a good way. So do the math: lack of pretense plus commendable
sushi at low prices equals frequent visits. May change come slowly.
JJ Sushi , located at 44-46 Beach Street in Boston's Chinatown Eatery, is
open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Call (617) 542-7204.
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