The dish on Long Island's restaurant and food scene
Lunch at Yamaguchi in Port Washington
Yamaguchi is one of my very favorite Japanese restaurants on Long Island. Utterly traditional, it scoffs at Asian-fusion trends; no pad thai here. Not only is a big chunk of the restaurant’s clientele Japanese, so are virtually all the sushi chefs and servers.
The truth is I don’t often eat at Yamaguchi because it always seems to be mobbed. Last Thursday I got there at 12:15 … and I managed to snag the last seat at the sushi bar.
While I waited for my sashimi, I was served soup and salad. As befits a really good Japanese restaurant, the miso soup was delicious, the salad over-chilled, rife with iceberg lettuce and basically inedible. Sashimi showed up and was perfect, and so was this negiya-maki, beef rolled round scallions, grilled and topped with a very light teriyaki sauce.
Since I was at the very end of the sushi bar, I could see around to the other side and noticed a huge jar of something called Hellmann’s Extra Heavy Mayonnaise. When I got back to the office I learned, from Unilever’s website, that I had uncovered “A food service exclusive! We add extra egg yolks to our trade secret Hellmann's® REAL recipe for an extra-thick, extra-curdy viscosity that food service professionals appreciate. This thicker, more eggy mayonnaise is preferred by some chefs for adding extra-rich flavor and texture to sandwiches and for use in demanding recipe applications.”
As they say in Japan, “go know.”
Yamaguchi is at 63 Main St., Port Washington, 516-883-3500.