Dining

Bite Now: Salmon Lover

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Photo: Erin Ryan

The Details

I Love Sushi
11041 S. Eastern Ave. # 117, 990-4055.
Daily, 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m.

It’s all about the onion. Well, maybe not all about the onion, as this is a “roll” that glorifies the beauty of my favorite fish without the distraction of rice, nori or a heart-disease-beckoning soy sauce dunk. And I can’t tell you how refreshing it is to find sushi that isn’t deep-fried and doing the backstroke in heavy mayo sauce. It has its place, but not when we’re talking about slabs of fresh, smoky, raw salmon.

And we are. The Salmon Lover ($10) is by far my favorite thing at I Love Sushi, a never-fail Henderson restaurant that offers a formal tatami-room experience right next to the central bar, where the chefs are often bombing sake at the request of their loyal patrons. I usually go alone, at lunch, and sit in front of Eddie. Not because he’s the cutest (he is), but because he dices the onion just right.

The roll starts with ripe avocado, cut thick and wrapped in sashimi-style pieces of salmon dressed with cilantro pesto and garnished with neat piles of purple onion. The creamy avocado and pillow-y fish combine for a mouth-feel that’s all silk, and the sauce—pulverized cilantro, rice vinegar and a little sugar—stays in that vein. Without the onion, the flavor couldn’t carry the one-note texture, and some of the chefs dice it too fine. Eddie doesn’t, so when you bite into the slivers of acidic bulb, you get the fresh crunch. And not a fleck of tempura in sight.

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