One of the most unusual Japanese restaurants I’ve come across is Nubon Sushi & Grill, which recently opened in the Hicksville space that, for years, hosted La Caravella.
Nubon is quite an attractive-looking place, in a cool, modernistic way. What’s patently missing, though, is a sushi bar. “We’re full service,” the host said, adding that the sushi is prepared in the kitchen. Now, to me, a restaurant with the word “sushi” in its name should have a place where diners can sit and watch what, ideally, are artists at work.
As it was, all my attention was commanded by the menu, a somewhat confusing color photo album depicting the restaurant’s repertoire. Since it was midday, I ordered one of the lunch specials, “deluxe assorted sashimi” over rice — i.e., chirashi ($14). It arrived in a very pretty bowl. The fish, while fresh, had been cut into tiny cubes that, along with similarly cut pieces of tamago, or omelet, had been heaped atop the rice. Had I studied the menu photo more carefully, I probably would not have ordered the dish since the way fish is cut is integral to its appeal.
My companion’s maki roll lunch special ($12) included a crunchy spicy tuna that had no crunch; a spicy salmon roll and a peanut and avocado roll. Again, the fish was fresh, but the thick rolls were undermined by a surfeit of rice both cold and gummy.
The restaurant also features cooked items. On the dinner menu: steak teriyaki ($19), soft shell crab fried rice ($15) and beef hot pot ($13).
Nubon Sushi & Grill is at 294 N. Broadway, Hicksville, 516-681-9800.