• Restaurant Review: Usushi

    March 19, 2024
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    Restaurant Review: Usushi

    Japanese and Thai Cuisine
    108 Marlboro Avenue
    Easton, MD 21601

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    One of the good things about Talbot County is that amid the charm of Eastern Shore-living are a variety
    of restaurants, ranging from local fare to exotic foreign cuisine. As many of us experienced, one of the
    inconveniences of the COVID pandemic was the complete shutting down of restaurants for what seemed
    an endless age. Some restaurants did not fully reopen right away. My friend and I had become used to
    frequenting our favorite sushi restaurant, Usushi, in Easton about once a week but during the pandemic
    we fell out of the habit of going there. So when I visited there with my daughter this past weekend it was
    almost like discovering the place for the first time. When the restaurant first opened the owner told us that he went to Baltimore Harbor every morning at 4 am to buy the latest catch. I could tell from the freshness of the fish that his practice had not changed.

    The atmosphere of the restaurant had not altered, with the black slate floors and ceilings enhancing the
    serenity of the Japanese minimalist chic, with silk lanterns and silk tapestries on the walls. The wait staff
    was as efficient as ever, easy to reach when the need arose and fully acquainted with the diverse menu.
    There was hardly any wait between courses.

    I began dinner with a hearty glass of the most delicate plum wine, which was neither too sweet nor too
    tart, but complimented the repast which was to follow. My daughter enjoyed one of the Japanese sodas
    which come in a variety of flavors. As an appetizer I had the Thai crispy squid, as delicious as I had
    remembered. The dish looked like onion rings but tasted like calamari, accompanied by a sweet and sour
    sauce. Meanwhile my daughter was served a huge bowl of the house seafood soup, really a meal in itself,
    containing generous chunks of lobster and shrimp.

    As an entrée I had been torn between the salmon hand roll and one of the sushi specials. For the
    purposes of this review I chose both. The salmon was tasty, light and fresh with the crispy eel skin
    wrapping. As for the main course, the Fuji Roll which was one of the specials of the day; I do not recall
    seeing it before or having it before. I had been used to coming to Usushi for lunch when they have buy-
    one-get-one-half-price but the dinner specials are exceedingly reasonable considering the quality and
    quantity of food. The Fuji Roll had a slight crispness amid the rice and the variety of seafood. It was
    around this time in the course of the meal when a lady at a neighboring table began to converse with me
    and so I was distracted from analyzing the meal to the extent I had planned on. It was however superb,
    although the crab meat was tricky to eat with chopsticks. Meanwhile my daughter was having the Osaka
    Box Roll which was unlike anything I had ever had there. It had three kinds of tuna and was quite tasty.
    We sampled each other’s entrées; each dish was a new experience.

    For the end of the meal, I highly recommend the tea, exquisitely flowery yet strong, needing only a little
    sugar. My daughter indulged in the fried green tea ice cream with the hot crunchy tempura shell. It was
    the kind of meal that only an expert chef can create; the deliciousness of the cuisine surpassed the cost. We left feeling refreshed and energized rather than drowsy and glutted as is so often the case after dining out.

    Usushi provides carry-out for those who prefer to eat at home, although I enjoy the ambiance of the
    restaurant as part of the dining experience. After the upheavals of the pandemic, Usushi has held its own
    and remains one of our all-time favorite restaurants.



    Mary-Eileen Russell

    Mary-Eileen Russell grew up in the countryside outside of Frederick, Maryland, "fair as the garden of the Lord" as the poet Whittier said of it. She graduated in 1984 from Hood College in Frederick with a BA in Psychology, and in 1985 from the State University of New York at Albany with an MA in Modern European History. She is the author of six books under the pen name of "Elena Maria Vidal." She lives in Talbot County, MD with her family.
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