Chirashi at Benkei, Northport

Chirashi at Benkei, Northport Credit: Joan Reminick

It was three years since I’d eaten at Benkei in Northport. What made me return? A call from a friend desperate to know where to get good sushi within walking distance of the Engeman Theater. I wanted to be able to answer with something more reliable than a three-year-old answer.

I went to Benkei early on an evening when the sun beat down mercilessly; the dark cool restaurant was a welcome refuge. Better still was the raw fish.

Two maki rolls – a spicy crunchy tuna and an ornate “mango tango” turned out to be exemplary. I requested chirashi made without shellfish (a good way to avoid such trite undesirables as surimi and cooked shrimp). A lovely assortment of thinly sliced finfish plus tamago (sweet omelet) and Japanese pickles came in a little bowl over seasoned rice.

Makes me want to get theater tickets too.

Benkei is at 16 Woodbine Ave., Northport, 631-262-7100.