Wednesday, January 12, 2011Orient yourself south for eastern fare. By Mary Tutwiler
Some folks, years later, still think sushi is outlandish. “I don’t eat that weird stuff,” is a comment I hear from people who have just polished off a tray full of boiled mudbugs or softshell crabs, which resemble nothing so much as a plate of fried tarantulas. But lots of Cajuns eat their seafood in a multitude of modes — fried, boiled, smothered, barbecued, broiled, simmered, sauced and clearly, raw. This is evidenced by the plethora of successful sushi restaurants in the Hub City: Bonsai, Chung King, Dozo, Oishi, Osaka, Sakura, Samuri, Shangri-La, Shinto, Tokyo Live, Tsubaki and Tsunami, to name a dozen, and of course lots of the big Chinese buffets now include sushi along with the kung-po chicken and moo-shu pork.
For restaurants which mostly offer the same items, raw fish over rice balls, or rolls which combine fish with crab, shrimp, oysters, vegetables and either eel sauce or a chili-spiked mayonnaise, to have enough of a following in this city of 120,000 souls, and I’m including kids here, who tend to love sushi’s sweet notes given half a chance, speaks loudly to the popularity of sushi. Or look at it this way, there’s a sushi restaurant for every 10,00 people in Lafayette. I’m not sure I can count that many Cajun restaurants in town. It makes sense too, as a news story written about a decade ago when sushi first took off stated: “What’s not for Cajuns to like about sushi? It’s what they eat already, rice and fish.” (Wish I’d coined that, but it was another witty local writer.)
But while sushi is quite popular here in the populous center of the parish, you had to come to town to eat Japanese. Until now.
|Photo by Robin May|
Over the course of the past year, three sushi restaurants have opened within the corporate limits of Broussard. Samurai Sushi Bar Two and Saketini Sushi are located along Albertson Parkway, and Sushi Roxx is right off Hwy. 90 at the Morgan Street intersection. Why Broussard? The obvious answer is that’s where the population is going. South Lafayette Parish’s population has exploded over the last decade, as we’ll see when those census numbers come out next month.
Broussard Mayor Charlie Langlinais takes incidental credit for the restaurants as part of his long range plans for growing Broussard. “We always have urged blue collar job creation. Now that we’ve succeeded in that, the next step is retail, and the last step is to promote more new upscale residential.” Plans for the southward migration are on the table at Broussard City Hall. Langlinais says there are five new subdivisions in the planning stage, all to be built in 2011. That’s a lot of hungry mouths to feed.
As for why so many sushi restaurants, Langlinais’ analysis is the rise in ethnic diversity in the town named for Beausoleil Broussard, insurgent hero of the Acadian people who fought the British in Nova Scotia until 1762, before leading a group of Acadians toward Louisiana, where, on April 8, 1765, he was appointed militia captain and commander of the Acadians of the Attakapas.
The other demographic is youth. The Broussard mayor, who says he doesn’t eat sushi (“I don’t eat that raw sh*t”), thinks Japanese cuisine is the parvenue of the young and trendy.
I’m not so sure I agree with him. At each of the three new restaurants, there was the typical mixed age group you’d find at any restaurant on a Saturday night: families, older diners and young couples all enjoying themselves.
If there is a distinguishing factor in the clientele, I’d say Sushi Roxx, with its proximity to Michael’s men’s club, does draw the cowboy-boot crowd, a little loud, a little lit, hungry for raw flesh.
While all three restaurants are located in strip malls, Samurai Two garners the most authentic environment, with soshi screens dividing the restaurant into intimate spaces, and quiet music. Sakitini is clearly trending toward the cocktail crowd. As far as raw fish goes, the catch is to always ask what is freshest that day. That’s all you need to know.
201 Albertson Pkwy., Broussard, 839-0073
817 Albertson Pkwy., Broussard, 839-0044
4016 Highway 90 E., Broussard, 330-2147
Local and state agents Thursday night raided The Keg, the popular college bar located in the area known as The Strip, leading to the (at least) temporary closure of the venue.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday, April 18, 2014:
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
Time and time again, the Lafayette Parish School Board shows an overwhelming tendency toward idiocy, but Wednesday night’s contentious discussion over Northside High School’s teen mother program tops the list of dumb discussions.
“The accomplishment of this goal within the next ten years is not only critical for the region to effectively compete with other regions for residents and businesses, but also to provide an amenity for everyone in Acadiana to enjoy.”
Education Superintendent John White says a continued push to try to keep Louisiana from using tests associated with the Common Core education standards are creating "a state of chaos" for public school teachers.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's plan to use $210 million in surplus and one-time money to help balance next year's budget received the backing Thursday of the State Bond Commission, support that was needed for the maneuver to work.
State wildlife and fisheries agents have arrested a 39-year-old man accused of stealing crawfish.
An East Feliciana Parish lawmaker has jettisoned his proposal to make it harder for a condemned prisoner to appeal a death sentence.
Senators advanced a proposal Wednesday that would let the governor remove New Orleans-area levee board members for violating what he considers to be public policy, despite concerns it would introduce political meddling into state flood protection.
The Lafayette City-Parish Council on Tuesday will vote on a resolution that if approved would clear the way for a December ballot proposition asking voters to approve a 1-cent sales tax parishwide to help fund the construction of a new terminal at Lafayette Regional Airport.
Just days before the fourth anniversary of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster and oil spill, the Coast Guard has moved cleanup of Louisiana's coast to a new phase, allowing BP to end its "active" efforts in the area.
Legislators still must leave their guns at the door of the Louisiana Capitol.
Sen. Fred Mills may have an "R" behind his name, but his actions in the Louisiana Legislature transcend the established boundaries of his party.
The Louisiana House overwhelmingly rejected a repeal of the state's unconstitutional anti-sodomy law Tuesday.
The Louisiana Senate sided with Gov. Bobby Jindal and the oil industry Tuesday, agreeing to void a lawsuit that a south Louisiana flood board filed against more than 90 oil and gas companies for coastal damage.
Acadian rep notifies would-be supporters that an April 25 fundraiser for the embattled U.S. rep won’t go on as planned.
While it isn’t all too unusual for public bodies to have hired security present during meetings, the LPSB’s push to do so is arguably a response to the antics of one board member.
“I’m running. Why would I be raising all this money? Just to have to return it to people?”
With incumbent U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu watching from afar, and with a united Democratic Party in her corner, the fight to get the GOP officially behind Congressman Bill Cassidy is gaining just as much momentum as it is hushed controversy.
15th Judicial District Judge Durwood Conque has announced that he will not seek re-election after 27 years on the bench.
The controversial standardized tests are set to be used in third-grade through eighth-grade public school classrooms next year.
The Louisiana Senate has agreed to prohibit unmanned aircraft from flying over chemical plants, water treatment systems, telecommunications networks and other items considered "critical infrastructure" in Louisiana.
It didn’t take long for KATC TV 3 to jump all over the news of a dead body found in Girard Park, but in its rush to produce headlines, the local TV station got sloppy.
An unholy trinity of civil-society upheavalers whose first names are not Conner, Tanner or Logan are facing charges in Eunice.