New Orleans, Louisiana
In my opinion, some of the best sushi in New Orleans comes out of Ninja. I've been coming here since it was located in a little house a block over from Oak Street. It has never disappointed then and it certainly hasn't disappointed me since. I enjoy coming here with a group of friends because you get to gorge into a variety of sushi, rather than sticking with just a couple of choices.
I generally start off with some sake and miso soup. Just to warm me up before the actual feast. Neither is extraordinary but it gets the job done. Next comes the good stuff. This day, we ordered the Rainbow Roll, Rock N' Roll, Oak Street Roll, Special Eel Roll and a house special roll known as the Moriaki Roll.
The Rainbow Roll is usually a crowd favorite if they enjoy raw fish. It alternates with Tuna, Salmon and yellow tail on top, and on the inside is a spicy snow crab mix. It's then garnished with avocado and thinly sliced lemon. The spicy snow crab mix is rather deceiving as it isn't spicy at all. This roll is actually very refreshing.
The Rock N' Roll is one of my all time favorites. Inside the roll comes with tempura shrimp, snow crab and four vegetables that consist of cucumber, avocado, asparagus and radish sprout. Smelt roe is also covered on the rice. This roll is one of the heavier items on the menu because the shrimp is deep fried. But, the flavor is great, especially because it comes with a spicy mayo sauce on the side that gives it a little kick.
The Oak Street Roll was a pleasant surprise. It comes with shrimp, avocado, snow crab, smelt roe and each piece is topped with a wasabi mayonnaise. The wasabi mayo is the highlight of this roll. It comes off pretty cool in your mouth but the wasabi after burn (clearing sensation through your nose) comes out at the very end. It's a very fun roll and I personally didn't need any soy sauce for this one.
The house special, Moriaki Roll, could easily be described as a Rainbow roll, rolled into single pieces. It comes with yellowtail, fresh salmon, tuna, green onion, smelt roe, radish sprouts and avocado on the inside. It has definitely earned its spot on my ordering list from now on.
Now, the fun stuff. Two items that I absolutely love at Ninja are the Sweet Shrimp Sushi and the Mackerel Sushi, also known as "Aji." The reason why is because they come with a little bit of lagniappe on the side. After the sweet shrimp tails are removed. the heads are then stuffed and deep fried. After pieces of the Aji are sliced off the bones, those too are breaded and fried. The bones are actually so thin on this fish that they are edible after cooking them. Sadly, we had the last two orders of Aji for the day so there were no fried goodies for us left. We ordered some extra yellowtail sushi to hold us over.
The sweet shrimp, tastes nothing like your average shrimp you grab from the Gulf. There really isn't anything that tastes like it so it is pretty hard to describe. It's very light though, so light that the wasabi underneath it is almost overpowering at times.
The Aji, is probably my second favorite behind fresh yellowtail. If you can get it fresh, it really has no fishy taste on it. It comes garnished with a sesame oil and scallion garnish.
It's the way Ninja prepares their sushi that sets them aside from a lot of other places. Their portions of fish on their sushi is pretty large, and their sushi rice is light and sweet as it should be.
Ninja - 8433 Oak Street, New Orleans, Louisiana