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Akebono Fusion Sushi review

Vietnamese shrimp summer rolls with hoisin dipping sauce

Vietnamese shrimp summer rolls with hoisin dipping sauce are light and fresh at Akebono Fusion Sushi in Greenlawn. Credit: Yvonne Albinowski

At Akebono Fusion Sushi, a friendly little house of Asian fare, you get a warm greeting the first time you go, a hearty "welcome back" the second.

While the place is neat and clean, the decor looks a bit dated. That, however, doesn't seem to phase the family at a nearby wooden booth as they make fast work of some colorful maki rolls; overhead, a bright blue fish plaque on the wall.

One dinner kicks off with two shared rolls -- the sunshine, featuring eel, salmon and avocado, and the fantasy, with spicy tuna, salmon and yellowtail; it's mellowed by avocado, jolted by fresh jalapeño. Both rolls are well crafted by sushi chef David Li, who serves fish and rice at proper room temperature.

Another night, Vietnamese shrimp summer rolls made at the sushi bar turn out to be light, fresh, cool and herbal, a hoisin dipping sauce served alongside.

But it's a surfeit of sauce, along with rubbery texture, that mars an appetizer of BBQ squid. And Thai tom yum soup, while spicy, doesn't taste the least bit Thai. Nor does a Thai red curry with chicken, the poultry nearly drowning in sauce. A heavy hand with Chinese BBQ sauce also undermines the flavorsome Sa-Cha chicken.

Shrimp tempura, on the other hand, is pitch-perfect, a crunchy filigree batter overlaying the sweet shellfish. And shrimp teriyaki is nicely cooked, possessed of far more appeal than vegetable teriyaki, a broccoli-dominated mix that includes canned baby corn. The same ho-hum factor informs vegetable lo mein featuring noodles cooked to near mush.

What really rings true is a simple, pristine sushi entree featuring finfish over ovals of rice. Sashimi, ordered as part of a bento box, is also a treat. The bento box option may be one of the best deals going, because it includes two entrees, as well as fried shu mai, rice, a California roll plus soup and salad.

Most finales originate in the fry basket: fried banana, fried ice cream and fried cheesecake. But there's also mochi, little balls of ice cream coated with Japanese rice cake. Here's a choice that's simple and light -- exactly the kind of ending you want from this hospitable newcomer.

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