Sushi is close to Italian at the top of my favorite foods list. This past Friday, I found my new sushi hangout on the south side of Ensenada.
Nigori Sushi de Autor and Chef Cesar Dario Cruz opened in June 2009. The dining room is efficient, clean and will likely seat about 70. I prefer restaurants with capacity less than 100 as they usually provide better service from both the kitchen and the service staff.
The menu is a long read. That is usually a warning signal that the chefs are spreading their cooking talents thinly. The variety of rolls, sashimi and cooked foods(for you squeamish whimps) will take me a few years to try all. But, I’m looking forward to that challenge.
My friends agreed to dine at the sushi bar during my first visit. Front row seating is my preferred location for sushi. Munch on some fish, sip your favorite adult beverage, chat with some friends and marvel at the artistry of the performance.
The tuna, albacore and temaki were rolling within 10 minutes. I watched, snapped a few photos and sipped on Sapporos.
I was about to order a dragon roll, but, switched to the Nigori Especial sashimi platter. 7 different varieties are heaped upon a bed of cucumber noodles. I likely took an hour to finish this dish, as I wanted to savor every bit of flavor.
I don’t chew sushi. I don’t flush it down quickly. Really good sushi deserves a thoughtful tongue massage. The textures, flavors, sweetness of ginger and spice of wasabi all make me very happy. The occasional wasabi nasal fire that causes me to cry is a fun pleasure/pain threshold. “Una mas Sapporo, por favor!”.
After almost 2 hours, my friends and I were full, but, still open to more creations. “S” asked, “what is your favorite creation?” of Chef Cesar. I highly recommend this (“sorpréndame”) kind of ordering if you enjoy adventure. Cesar(bottom left photo) put together a creation of tuna, salmon and soft-shelled crab(upper right photo) that wowed us.
Prices start at about 80 pesos and my sashimi dish was 280(about $24USD). As you can see by the size and quality of the rolls, Nigori emphasizes quality and value. If you want a $5 roll of tasteless shoe leather and rice, there are a thousands of other sushi shops willing to help.
Service was attentive. Suggestions were offered. And we did bring a bottle of wine, but, were not charged a corkage fee(“screwage” in this case). They likely let us slide, due to our menu indulgences throughout the evening. Will verify corkage fee upon my next visit.
Did notice that they were doing a brisk take-out(comida para llevar) business this Friday. Dining room didn’t begin to fill in until after 8PM. Only slight downside that I could find is limited seating at the sushi bar. Looks like 6 is the max that can hang there.
This restaurant deserves our prestigious 5 KANPAI (5 maximum)award. If you love sushi, head to Nigori.
Location is #284 Blvd Zertuche, Valle Dorado, Ensenada[west side of street; click map below] (646)176-6107, 1pm-10pm Lunes a Sabado