508 Madison Ave.
A new concept opened in downtown Covington, Kentucky, just across the river from Cincinnati, Wabi Sabi is a well-groomed little neighborhood shop that specializes in sushi creations. The food you try here is designed to be inexpensive, a little adventurous, and overall the kind of sushi that gets people who don’t like sushi to have an appreciation for the food. Eschewing the traditional fine dining feel of most sushi restaurants in favor of a casual concept that feels more comfortable, you’ll probably first set foot in this place for its frequent offer of half-price sushi. But then that sushi will keep you coming back.
- Airforce Roll: Spicy crab and shrimp tempura form the heart of this delicious roll, with a bit of cream cheese to add flavor. Topping it off is salmon and a one-two-three punch of spicy mayo, wasabi sauce and dark, savory eel sauce. Then it’s all fried. By no means a healthy sushi roll, but this one is absolutely delightful.
- Wasbi Sabi Roll: Inside this roll are spicy crab and asparagus as a simple base, then it’s topped with two kinds of tuna and an eel sauce and spicy mayo. The roll has a very slight heat — not one that is going to distract the taste buds, but it’s still amazing.
- Spicy Tuna Roll: This one is very simple. A bit of spiced tuna on a bed of rice and wrapped in seaweed. It’s none too complicated, but the beauty of the smaller rolls at Wabi Sabi is that they offset the larger, flavor-packed ones but are healthier and fill you with simple ingredients.
- Dynamite roll: Avocado, crab stick and cucumber inside, what makes it best is the torched spicy tuna on top. Smoky and delicious and topped with eel sauce and spicy mayo.
- Wild Summer roll: Spicy tuna, lettuce and shrimp tempura inside, two sauces on top. This is a heavier roll and definitely one to share with two.
- Yellowtail roll: A simple roll, the yellowtail speaks for itself, good between larger rolls.
- Avocado roll: Another of the basic rolls filled simply with a guacamole-like avocado mash, this one is a great palette cleanser for those larger rolls.
- Shrimp tempura: The crunchy shrimp tempura inside the roll, combined with a dark sweet sauce on top, make this roll one to really enjoy.
- Spring rolls: Topped with a nice spicy sauce, these rolls are very crispy, chopped into halves to be served up by the threes.
The atmosphere of the place feels very casual, though the sushi restaurant pushes a little more upscale a decor. This isn’t the typical sushi house that demands a dressier night and commands heavier prices, instead the spot is one you go to for casual fare.
That said, though, it’s really easy to like the place, for the inexpensive and adventurous plates of sushi it offers. The love of sushi has meant a lot of great new restaurant concepts popping up, this is one that is worth your time.
- The half price sushi specials here on weekdays make the spot very popular, so keep those specials in mind.
- Go for a few of the “special rolls” which are much bigger, and offset them with a few of the smaller rolls.
- Parking is street, so expect the evenings on weeknights to be a much easier time to try this spot.