Contrary to popular belief Naked Tchopstix isn't what your drunk coworker plays on the piano in the lobby at your office Christmas party. It's actually a local chain of sushi restaurants, and a couple of weeks ago I went to finally check it out. Personally, I'm a big fan of sushi, but being that The Girlfriend is not going to a sushi restaurant can sometimes be contentious. Not that they don't have non-sushi menu items because they do, but sushi is something that is meant to be shared to try several different things and that model breaks down if I'm the only one eating it. Luckily, a couple of friends of ours tagged along for this trip. Let's get to the food.
I decided to get 2 different kinds of rolls. I'm a big salmon guy so I got the standard salmon roll, and I also got a special roll called the Maui roll. The Girlfriend got a fried pork dish served with a teriyaki style sauce and fried rice. I have to say my rolls could not have been farther apart taste wise and quality wise. The salmon roll couldn't have been more of a let down. The salmon seemed warm and had an almost slimy texture as opposed to the semi-firm piece of fish I was craving. It was rather bland, and it isn't something I would order again. The Maui roll on the other hand was a total game changer. The roll consisted of fried shrimp, asparagus and cream cheese on the inside while avocado and mango were layered on top. It was an absolute symphony of flavors coming through in distinct layers yet all coming together perfectly with the help of the sauce that was drizzled over top. Toasted almond slices also provided a great texture difference by adding crunch to the creamy elements of the cream cheese and avocado. I believe my statement at the restaurant was "I could eat my weight in Maui rolls, but then my weight would keep expanding until my sushi consumption rose exponentially and I would die." It would totally be worth it. It was that good. The Girlfriend's dish was good, but when I'm going here I'm ordering sushi...bottom line. My friend tried the Corona roll (spicy tuna, avocado, shrimp tempura, tempura chips, white tuna and lime), and he was nice enough to let me sample a few bites. I enjoyed it as well. Again, a lot of layered flavors going on and the lime really let itself be know at the finish of each bite almost like a delayed reaction.
One interesting note about the restaurant itself, the seating arrangement at the table can be...unusual. While regular tables were available with standard pull out chairs, we were seated at a table in the middle of the restaurant at a table surrounded by a backless bench. I know it's supposed to provide a unique "faux Asian" look, but I have to say I found it a bit uncomfortable. That being said, I found the interior and atmosphere at the restaurant preferable to nearby competitor Miyagi's. Don't get me wrong Miyagi's is cool on the inside, but I prefer something a little more laid back. That's what you get at Naked Tchopstix.
Taste Usually I give a blanket score here, but this is a unique case. For the 2 special rolls I tried (Corona and Maui) I feel compelled to give Naked Tchopstix a 10/10. The flavors were wonderful, and I eat them every day if I could. However, the regular salmon roll I tried was no better than 3/10 for the reasons I discussed above. My advice is to go with friends, split the bill, share the rolls and get the special rolls. It's worth it.
Value 6/10 I'm giving one point above average here because I found some of the food to be so good, but don't expect to be getting a steal here. Prices aren't inflated, but they are in-line with what you'd expect to pay for sushi.