When I’m at a week long conference, I take the opportunity to skip out for lunch. I mean, the daily monotony of chafing dish chicken masked with corn and called Mexican or olives and called Greek gets a bit much. The icing on the cake is when the next day’s soup looks surprisingly like what was on the buffet table the day before. So, when a colleague suggested we play hooky, I jumped on the opportunity to head out of the hotel for a quick bite.
I hadn’t been here for about 10 years. The last time I went the team I was on had the whole restaurant booked (which isn’t hard to do since the place only holds 20 people or so). I remember my manager, who is one of the whitest people I have ever met (he was kindly referred to as a bag of milk at the beach once), telling us all to meet at “Jap ‘n Go” at 630 for dinner. Since then, I haven’t had a chance to get back. This time, we didn’t have a reservation but arrived before noon so we were able to get promptly squeezed into the corner.
The service was quick. We ordered a mish-mash of sashimi and sushi rolls. First to arrive was the typical bowl of miso soup.
Next to arrive was the famous Japango roll ($13) and crunchy spicy tuna roll ($9). The former signature roll is a California roll with torched salmon and scallop on top. The fish was noticeably fresh and the mix of sweet and heat plus the slight char of the delicate scallop and fat of the salmon was a delightful mouthful. The crunchy roll exuded the same freshness but the heat was a little lacking.
The sashimi 2 platter ($25) arrived shortly after served with a bowl of rice. It was a diverse mix of the standards including salmon and tuna and some pleasant surprises including some sort of seared whitefish (I’m not going to pretend I know but it had the taste and texture of halibut . Once again, the freshness was evident and the presentation was simple but impressive, although it was a little tight at the table.
The final arrival was the dragon roll ($12) which is shrimp topped with eel and avocado. Once again, fresh was the word. The avocado was nicely ripened and the eel was umamic bliss.
Japango has all the makings of a great hooky destination. You can sneak in between class, have a decent lunch and get back in less than 45 minutes. While there, you are treated to fresh sushi with friendly and efficient service in small, modest quarters all at a price that I would deem “reasonable”. When I mentioned “hooky” to my daughter, she shook her head and told me to “urban dictionary it fam”. I answered I use urbanspoon, not urban dictionary. She rolled her eyes. I guess in her eyes I’m as lame as someone who calls it “Jap ‘n Go”. At least we both like sushi.