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Goshen Dining Days 2016: Kaizen serves up traditional California roll with a spicy twist

Sushi. You either love it or you hate it. Luckily for me, my husband loves it just as much as I do.

Any time we travel — even to landlocked states like Minnesota — we make it a point to splurge on a sushi dinner, often paired with a sake bomb or two.

But also luckily for me, we don’t need to travel far to get our sushi fix. In the past few years, a few great Asian restaurants have popped up in or around Goshen, Kaizen Hibachi Grill Sushi & Bar is one of our go-to stops for a roll of sushi to split or for celebrating a birthday with hibachi (entertainment included in the price of the meal).

The restaurant, located at 2820 Elkhart Road, is offering two specials for Goshen Dining Days, which runs through Saturday:

  • A Cherry Blossom roll, which is a California roll topped with fresh tuna and spicy kani (crab), for $15.
  • Snow crab legs for $25.

My husband and I arrived at Kaizen just 10 minutes after the restaurant opened at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, so we essentially had the restaurant to ourselves. We knew we would be spending our afternoon at Goshen College’s Recreation-Fitness Center, so we wanted a light meal that wouldn’t leave us feeling stuffed and bloated.

We ordered the Cherry Blossom roll, a California roll (cucumber, crab meat and avocado) and a Philadelphia roll (smoked salmon, cream cheese and cucumber).

The service was fast and pleasant, and we had our sushi rolls at the table within 15 minutes of ordering. I know from past visits that weekend nights at Kaizen can be busy, especially when you’re hoping for a spot at the hibachi grill, but the food has been worth the wait every time.

We truly enjoyed the Cherry Blossom roll. Usually we spring for a fried special roll (Kaizen’s Dragon Roll is melt-in-your-mouth goodness), but the Cherry Blossom roll was satisfying and fresh. Although the raw fish part of sushi turns a lot of people off, I think the fresh tuna layered on top of the rice is really what makes the roll. My husband was a fan of the spicy kani sprinkled on top of the tuna.

In the words of my husband (a true food critic): “I like the crunchy stuff on top.”

And of course, anytime there is spicy mayonnaise on top of our sushi roll (the orange sauce in the picture), it’s a hit in our books.

The California and Philadelphia rolls were good, but I wish we would have tried the snow crab legs instead. Perhaps we’ll be back at Kaizen before the week is over.

Follow reporter Michelle Sokol on Twitter at @michelle_sokol.

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