A blog about food
Sushi on Second
Last weekend I stepped out of my comfort zone. Forgoing the usual Mexican or pizza that we enjoy on Friday nights, Peter and I decided to shake things up and go out for sushi. After seeing an ad for summer specials (advertising works!) at Sushi on Second (260 Second Ave. Ketchum), we sealed the deal and made reservations.
We were seated at the busy sushi bar, where two sushi chefs were hard at work making beautiful rice and fish creations for a captive audience and busy restaurant. We ordered Japanese beer to start things off— Sapporo for me and Asahi (both were $6.50 for a 22 oz bottle) for Peter. After scanning the appetizer list with items like Popcorn Shrimp ($7) and Crispy Trout (also $7) we decided on Potstickers ($10). I’d been craving them for weeks and was excited to indulge myself.
The ambience of Sushi on Second is very Japanese (go figure). Bright red walls with black booths and chairs adorn the open restaurant. The sushi bar is horseshoe-shaped and as the focal point of the room, has the best seats in the house. On the wall behind the sushi chefs are little wooden boxes with people’s names written on them. We pondered for a bit what they could be, and eventually surmised that they were chopsticks—for BIG-time regulars. (Think of the Lefty’s mugs hanging from the ceiling.)
Our Potsickers soon arrived. We had an assortment of chicken, pork and vegetarian. Pork was my favorite, with chicken and veggie tied for second. We ordered them fried, and they were wonderful, but next time I’ll try them steamed just to keep things interesting.
Cuyler Swindley is the head sushi chef at Sushi on Second. He’s been rolling sushi here for six years and is a master in my book. He asked what kind of sushi we liked and helped us make some choices. The Hailey Roll ($6) included: yellow tail, avocado, cucumber and tobikko. The Under the Rainbow Roll ($6) included: ahi tuna, salmon, avocado and wasabi tobikko, and he recommended a special roll with crab, tempura asparagus and avocado, rolled with basil. It’s a special and doesn’t have a name yet, so he dubbed it the “Julie Roll” for the night. Who needs a street when she has raw crustaceans named for her?! We were in heaven. Shortly thereafter, Cuyler brought out a special sauce for my special roll that kitchen staffer John Rust had cooked up. It’s a habeñero devil sauce and he quickly cautioned us as to its red hot temperature. We dipped carefully—it was HOT and I LOVED it.
There is one thing about sushi that I was definitely wrong about. I always believed I might leave a bit hungry and wanting. NOT so. Peter finished the four remaining rolls when I could not possibly eat another bite. After dining at Sushi at Second, I now have a new appreciation for sushi and its complexities. I know I’m late to the game on this one, but who cares? I’ve arrived and am happy to be here!
Cheers to Sushi on Second for cranking out fabulous fish for the last 17 years and here’s to many more years to come. Who knew that I’d eat the best sushi I’ve ever tasted right smack dab in the middle of Idaho.
Julie "Scooter" Molema is Sun Valley Magazine's production director, although her favorite thing to do is go out to lunch and dinner. Read more of her yum! blogs about her favorite restaurants in town here.