Kinha Sushi knows raw fish and cool sake. And the new restaurant does pretty well in the land of the cooked, too.
It succeeds Jin East, an eatery that opened with ambition and imagination, but quickly veered toward the routine. Kinha Sushi is under new management, but the fine sushi chefs from its predecessor are still slicing away.
The dining room has been updated and refreshed. A centerpiece, open, tatami-style space is a handsome addition. The entire place is brighter and more inviting, with improved service and an overall sense of style that eluded Jin East.
Unadorned nigirizushi, the traditional presentation of uncooked fish on ovals of vinegared rice, is the main reason to eat here. The quality is very good, from beefy red tuna to pearly fluke, tangy Spanish mackerel to buttery yellowtail. Yellowtail also stars fanned out and finished with a citrusy yuzu-miso vinaigrette. The carpaccio of snapper rivals it, as does the tuna tartar. The notable cooked dishes start with the increasingly popular miso black cod, here served with asparagus and accented with a "miso black pepper" sauce. You'll find modest shumai, or steamed shrimp dumplings; and crisp vegetable and shrimp tempura. Kinha Sushi crosses borders with a Thai chicken-lettuce wrap, a variation on the Chinese mainstay, chicken Soong, with diced chicken and pine nuts in the cast. Good lemongrass-driven tom yum soup, respectable miso soup and shiitake mushroom soup. The black-pepper tuna and chicken-apple salads have a New American spin. In what may be a local sushi-house first, tiramisu is among the desserts. The sake list is broad and satisfying.
The house's "fusion" rolls are colorful and some work. But many are overorchestrated, with ingredients that collide more than harmonize. The hibachi entrees often are overcooked, whether steak, chicken or shrimp. Eggplant miso: underdone and bitter. The uneven Peking duck crepe quickly turns you into a purist. Cheesecake tempura remains an elusive concept.