Saturday, January 7, 2012


Happy New Year readers!!! It's been awhile....I know you are terribly heart-broken that I failed to post any of my wonderful "Holiday" platters. I sincerely apologize. Time was not on my side last month. Allow me to start the new year off right by sharing a subject that is near and dear to my heart. Sushi!!! There are a lot of great spots for Sushi in Louisville, especially in the Highlands. That area just can't seem to get enough of it. I like Sapporo. I like Wild Ginger. I even like Oishii. But when it comes to love, I've gotta give it to my Maido. 

Located on Frankfort Avenue in the Clifton Area, this sushi spot is unique because it doesn't have an actual sushi bar like the other restaurants around town. The sushi at Maido is made back in the kitchen. It's considered an "Izakaya" or Sake Pub, known in Osaka, Japan to be popular with business people. And in the 'Ville it's known to have the very best sake in town.

Shame on me for never having tried their sake. I've dined here about a billion times and my drink choice is always the same, the Kasteel Rouge - a Belgian brown ale. It's super sweet cherry flavor calls out to me as soon as I enter the door. I'm not sure how I started the tradition of ordering the Kasteel with my Maido sushi. It doesn't make much sense because I normally don't go for sweet beer or wine and I've never ordered a Kasteel anywhere else. I guess it's just one of my weird dining quirks, kind of similar to when I was a kid at the movies, I would always order a Cherry Coke with my popcorn, but never with anything else.

Anyway, when it comes to the eats, an Izakaya style restaurant is similiar to Spanish tapas, serving up small affordable plates for everyone to share. Sharing is caring, and I always care to try as many dishes as possible. Maido knows what's up. In fact, the name Maido actually means "What's Up?!" I have been happy to share many apps with friends here, notably the Shumai - a dumpling filled with either pork or crab, gouda and mozzarella cheese wontons - deep fried to perfection and smothered in wasabi honey, a yummy oyster mushroom with sinfully sauteed spinach, asparagus, and garlic.
This past Summer my pal Jules and I enjoyed a few plates outside on the spacious front patio. We shared the delightfully simple Bagel Roll with garlic and salmon and then splurged on the insanely delicious Buike Monster - white tuna with avocado, scallions, garlic, and chili sauce. Yum. Some other fun rolls I've shared include: the Nemo's Revenge - red snapper and octupus along with garlic (of course) , the Citrus Heat -a unique combo of red tuna with jalepenos and shaved lime, the Serendipity - spicy crab.. need I say more? and the Nirvana...this roll is drizzled with truffle oil for God's sake!!

The atmosphere at Maido can't be beat. It's a low-key establishment that is comfortable and cool, with funky art decor that is subtle in the dimmed lighting. Housed in an old shot-gun style building, it has a wooden bar near the front entrance, with black and white tiles leading to ample table seating. My experience with the service has always been excellent. I am convinced that being cool and having at least one visible tattoo is a requirement to work here.

So remember, the next time you want to take some shots of sake and share some sushi, gimme a call. I will share an Izakaya platter with you all night long! Until next time, live to eat Japanese.

MAIDO UPDATE: I had the great pleasure of dining at Maido last night and thought I should mention here that they are now taking reservations for their digital karaoke party room. My friend works there and introduced me to looks awesome!

I also had the pleasure of trying a tofu roll this time around. I normally don't go for tofu with anything but decided to give it a whirl and was blown away. The Tofu Katsu Roll includes deep fried and breaded tofu topped with slices of avocado and was served with a thick brown sauce (can't remember the name) that enhanced the roll with a bit of a ginger and cinnamon flavor. My lovely dining companion strangely thought it brought out a chipoltle taste, whatever the ingredients... you should know that we devoured it!!! That's all.

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