Sushi is one of those things people tend to love or hate (or refuse to try…I’m working on them). Put me in the love corner: I heart the stuff. While I’m not the world’s most adventurous sushi eater, I do dive deeper than the California roll—no disrespect to Cali roll devotees of the world—and over time I’ve discovered the joys of several accompanying menu items such as age tofu and seaweed salad.
Montclair’s Dai Kichi has been my local sushi go-to spot for the past several years. The small, soon-to-be-expanded space is dimly lit, but not in an overly romantic way—it totally works for a family dinner or a friendly get-together, but is also date-friendly. There’s a sushi bar up front, at which I have never spotted an empty seat. In the summer, the outdoor area behind the restaurant is open as well, lit with charming lanterns.
While I love the out-to-dinner experience, sometimes I want to stay in my sweats for sushi. Lucky for my husband and me, Dai Kichi delivers. Tonight we each started with a house salad accompanied by a side of tangy, gingery dressing. (The bowl and chopsticks are my own.) The miso soup—probably my last hot soup of the season—hit the spot. I actually get a kick out of seeing how many pieces of tofu I can get onto one spoonful.
We split an order of three rolls, which consisted of the following:
-Freeman Roll: spicy salmon roll inside out with yellowtail on top
-Kazam Roll: spicy tuna roll inside out with red snapper on top
-Rainbow Roll: an assortment of sashimi (and avocado—hooray!) on top of what is essentially a tuna roll with scallions.
These rolls did not disappoint. They were light but filling, and I threw on a little soy sauce and ginger, which helped make this the perfect meal.
Loosely translated, dai kichi means “the best possible luck you can get.” I guess that means I have dai kichi at Dai Kichi.
608 Valley Road
Mon-Thurs: Noon–2:30pm and 5pm–10pm
Fri: Noon–2:30pm and 4:30pm–10:30pm
Rachel Bozek is a Regional Editor for Essex County where she is a writer/editor in suburban Essex County. She grew up in Bergen County, and has lost track of how much time she has spent on LBI and in the Wildwoods. Her editorial gigs to date have included a 10-year stint at Nickelodeon Magazine and freelance writing for a number of outlets including Hasbro’s Trivial Pursuit and Cranium. She continues her search for the perfect pancake. www.rachelbozek.com