A Hidden Home
Crazy Fish is crazy good
This gem is between Nob Hill and UNM, and with its unassuming facade it's difficult to pick out when you're walking along Central. Since I first started going to Crazy Fish, the decor has changed (they're under new management) but it's maintained the same vibe. Elegantly minimalistic, this is a hideaway for anyone looking for a quiet, casual and lovely evening. The space is small, open and bright with an exposed sushi bar to watch the chefs work. It's a fairly intimate atmosphere; though there aren't many booths it's easy to get lost in personal conversations because it's also very quiet.
I tried another option that I don't normally get: a bento box. I chose the salmon bento box ($13.95) which featured a small California roll, veggie tempura, green salad and a seaweed salad with grilled salmon on a bed of rice. This dish would be perfect for someone who is unsure if they'll like sushi. It was fairly plain, simple and delicious.
The real star of the show at Crazy Fish is the sushi. No matter what time of year, who is in the kitchen, the quality of the food is consistently excellent.
The real star of the show at Crazy Fish is the sushi. No matter what time of year, who is in the kitchen, the quality of the food is consistently excellent. For this next visit. I had the smelt egg nigiri ($3.50), the rainbow roll ($12.50) and the dragon roll ($12).
The nigiri was beautifully simple: It had tiny orange smelt eggs that were barely sweet and was wrapped with dry seaweed. The texture of the soft, delicate eggs with the dry, slightly saltine seaweed created an interesting contrast. The rainbow roll is perfect for tasting different types of fish as it's topped with tuna, yellowtail, whitefish, salmon, shrimp and avocado. I liked the tuna alright and the shrimp even more, but best were the softness and flavor of the salmon.
One type of fish I do like more than salmon is freshwater eel, and that's what the dragon roll is comprised of. It's a basic California roll topped with unagi (eel), sweet sauce and avocado. The headliner of this dish is the unagi. It was incredibly tender and with the sweet sauce poured over the roll, I was left wanting more. Not that it could have used more, I just wanted about a million more rolls of it because it was exquisite.
To end the meal I had the green tea mochi ($4.50). The outer layer of rice cake was soft and cold, topped with whipped cream. The center of green tea ice cream was mildly sweet and easy to bite into despite the coldness of the entire confection. The familiar sticky residue of the rice cake remained on my fingers when I signed the bill and exited toward Central.
As I left every person working at the restaurant said goodbye, which made me feel extremely welcome and wanted at the business, which isn't that common. I never felt rushed by the staff or like I was a nuisance at all. After all these years and even under new management, from the food to the décor to the staff, Crazy Fish remains one of the best restaurants in the city.
3015 Central Ave NE
Hours: Mon-Thurs: 11am-9:30pm Fri: 11am-10pm Sat: noon-10pm Sun: noon-9:30pm