What’s in a name?
When it comes to restaurant menus, there’s certainly no guarantee a dish’s name will ensure that what you order will be the most sensational thing you’ve ever eaten. But, sometimes, it’s not a bad place to start.
So as we settled in to a cozy table at Wasabi in Palm Springs — a charming bamboo partition, with a little thatched roof, lantern, and sakura flowers, separated us from our fellow diners — our eyes were immediately drawn to a large selection of rolls with monikers such as Sexy Lady, Monster, and Japanese Burrito.
We started our meal with miso soup, but soon moved on to that Sexy Lady and its enticing combination of shrimp tempura and spicy crab with avocado and jalapeño in a spicy sauce. The Japanese Burrito had a little kick of its own courtesy of an eel sauce and spicy mayo that were artfully drizzled around a roll with tuna, salmon, crab, avocado, and cucumber with soy paper.
These two dishes are among a number of other very generous size rolls that were recently added to the list of specialties created by master chef Hiro Kim.
You’ll also want to check out the Tropicana — it has spicy tuna and avocado on the inside, salmon, mango, and miso dressing on the outside. And if you’re in the mood for something a little different, order the deep-fried Yobo made with baked salmon, jalapeño, avocado, and crab.
The Santa Maria roll may not be new to the menu, but it is one of the most popular choices among Wasabi regulars. And it’s easy to see why: A hint of spice adds a tangy note to shrimp tempura and tuna topped off with crab, and bits of fried tempura batter.
Whether you order one of Wasabi’s new rolls, or one of their customers’ long-time favorites, the allure of their names might draw you in, but it will be their fresh and unique flavors that keep you coming back for more.
Wasabi Sushi Bar & Authentic Japanese Cuisine, 333 S. Indian Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, 760-416-7788.