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
San Fran wins the World Series; Sistine Chapel improvements; Kurds moving toward Syria and more national and international news for Thursday, October 30, 2014.
Thursday's Blogs from the Bog!
Paper cites the former ADA's "experience as a prosecutor, his demonstrated integrity, and his ideas for reshaping the [DA's] office" in urging voters to support Keith Stutes Nov. 4.
Louisiana officials have sent a letter to the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene un-inviting members of the group who have recently been to ebola-affected West African countries from attending the group’s annual conference in New Orleans next week.
Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints have to find a way to win on the road if they plan to take over first place in the NFC South.
"It is obvious that Louisiana economic performance has not outperformed the South or the United States as a whole and, in fact, has substantially underperformed..."
A state district judge said he will rule Friday on a preliminary injunction to keep some charter schools from receiving $60 million through Louisiana's public school financing formula.
Saints fans were to gather, make merry, eat/drink compliments of a new Downtown group and watch the Saints beat Carolina and claim 1st place in the NFC South. But...
New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram doesn't see his dramatic spike in production as any sort of validation.
U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu is facing off one last time with her two main Republican challengers before next week's election.
He’s pulling for Knezek and Hidalgo on his end of the parish but issued endorsements in three other districts as well.
Off a narrow gravel road running between a handful of mostly abandoned lots near a Mississippi River levee, down past sprawling oak trees and thick weeds, a lectern framed by banana trees has been set up in front of three short rows of folding chairs.
Hillary Rodham Clinton is heading to New Orleans this weekend to stir up voter support for Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu.
Saints coach Sean Payton has spent much of his team's erratic season trying to build his players up.
The Daily Advertiser has weighed in on this year's LPSB elections with nine endorsements.
The Daily Advertiser uncovers at least two disciplinary actions against veteran sheriff’s deputy Kip Judice for driving a department vehicle after drinking alcohol.
The LPSB has named Melinda Mangham as the interim replacement for the District 7 seat recently vacated by Mark Cockerham.
Gifford Briggs, vice president of the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association, insisted that a settlement is not on the table and a consent decree in exchange for a new processing fee is highly unlikely.
Secretary of State Tom Schedler says he expects about half of Louisiana's 2.9 million registered voters to cast ballots for the Nov. 4 election.
While the Division of Administration, Treasurer John Kennedy and the legislative auditor spar over the validity of a $178.5 million surplus, and how it was calculated, some officials expect it to be up for grabs sooner or later.
For all you red-blooded, church-going Americans out there unwilling to make a deal with the devil known as Obamacare, it’s OK, there’s now an alternative health care option that doesn’t include an eternal fate of hellfire and brimstone in the fine print.
Deflated in Detroit one week. Sublime in the Superdome the next.
Republican U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy is skipping the latest TV debate in Louisiana's U.S. Senate race.
Dr. Emily Champion was found shot to death inside the Trigg County, Ky., home of her parents, who were also killed.