Monday, March 30, 2009

raw knox : nama west

So I ate at Nama out west last Thursday, located on the corner of Mohican and Kingston Pike and had a marvelous dining experience. We sat down at 5:57, so I didn't even try to ask our server what specials they had for happy hour, which ends at 6.

photo credit: Glenn Reynolds

Instead, to my delight, she ran through all the happy hour specials on drinks and sushi to make sure we ordered in time (so nice) I got a $2 pint of blue moon a half price avocado maki roll. My dining companion ordered the eel maki. All te maki (hand rolls) and maki (basically seaweed paper, rice, and one filler) are half off before 6.

As we waited for our food, I noted the differences between this Nama and the one downtown. Of course the one downtown has it's small-restaurant-in-a-big-city-feel, and I do love it for its uniqueness, but Nama West is so nice and roomy, which omits feelings of claustrophobia one may feel at the downtown location. I've had bad experiences with Gay street Nama hostesses, so it was nice to be welcomed with a smile and some enthusiasm. Our server Sarah was very nice and informative. She knew her fish.

So we got our maki rolls and ordered the orange roll and some warm shrimp and crab dip (side note: that dip is delicious, but be careful of the red sauce. It'll bite ya. Also another good starter is the edamame. I prefer it hot, but you can get it cold. Divine!)

The orange roll was very good. Definitely the first time I've experienced sweet potatoes in my sushi. The funny thing that dawned on us was that the orange roll consists of salmon, tempura sweet potatoes, carrots, topped with orange fish eggs, wrapped in a white soy paper. We're in Knoxville, Big Orange Country- Nama has a Big Orange Roll! Which was funny... and slightly disappointing. (Just kidding) Go Vols!

So needless to say, I like Nama. I always have. It's about the only place I go to eat sushi, so I can't really compare it to other places. It's got a swanky feel, and I like that, because I like feeling swanky from time to time.

Also, maybe I'm not supposed to say this (I might get my head chopped off by a sushi chef, which would be beautiful work, I'm sure), but they have a secret menu, and I finally saw it for the first time. There's a lot on there, but we didn't order anything (the prices were also a secret, which tends to scare me) But yeah, ask for it the next time you go, if for nothing else, than just to feel special. (because you are special)

So that's it. It's only Monday, folks, so come back for more sushi talk all this week. And considering I'm a slacker, hopefully others will have taken pictures.

We're on a roll, Knoxville... (ba-dum-ching!)


ck said...

luckily instapundit had a cool pic of the place. looking forward to our own hand-crafted wigshop photos from max!

Anonymous said...

The Soy-Joy(sp?) is really good from the special menu.

Anonymous said...

The Thai stick and the Stuffed Tomato are my favorites from the off-the-menu menu. Usually those rolls are all 14 to 16 dollars.

courtney said...

I've been to Nama in Bearden, and it was delicious. My only complaint was that the outside seating was ... less than scenic -- it's not very well landscaped, so I kind of felt like I was sitting in a back alley. But still, the food was excellent.

PaintingChef said...

So... it may not count what with being on the Blount Co. side of things but Lemongrass in Maryville has FANTASTIC sushi... if you feel like a short trip...

The Modern Gal said...

Secret menu? How insider of you!

Half-priced sushi night is the way to go!