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Do you sushi?

My first experience eating sushi was at XO Asian Cuisine-and I wasn't sure what to expect.
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More about XO Asian Cuisine

58 Monroe Center


Mon - Thurs 11 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Fri - Sat 11 a.m. - 11 p.m.
Sun noon - 9 p.m.

/Kathy Bruins

There's a line up for sushi.

There's a line up for sushi. /Kathy Bruins

/Kathy Bruins

“Have you tried sushi?” my girlfriend asked at lunch one day. Images of raw cold fish swam through my mind.

“No, I haven’t … you?”

“I did and I love it. You have to try it.”

I am one who loves food… too much at times, but I did not want to waste a lunch that I knew I would regret. However, I didn’t want to seem “chicken” either … although chicken sounded better at the time.

We went to XO Asian Cuisine in downtown Grand Rapids. I have had other meals there that were very good and I like the atmosphere. We were seated and I let her order for me since I had no idea what to get.

When the beautiful artwork of food came out, I almost hated to destroy the craftsmanship … it seemed I should show respect of it for at least 10 minutes first, but I then found out that there was more to be learned. Chopsticks were snapped in two, and I followed the lead of my teacher as she picked up a cut piece of a roll, dabbed it with wasabi mixture and then dipped it in soy sauce. She then placed the whole piece in her mouth. This was important to get all the flavors together, she said.

"Well, here we go," I thought. I followed her instruction and placed, with quivering hand, the large piece of sushi in my mouth hoping I wouldn’t have to find an immediate spittoon. I bit down on it and to my shock, I really liked it. In fact, I loved it. It didn’t taste like raw fish, but captured the other flavors of the roll makeup.

The rolls we ordered were Lady in Pink (my favorite), which was made of shrimp tempera, lobster salad, kani and spicy sauce (not very spicy for which I was glad), and wrapped in pink seaweed. It was fabulous! The other rolls we ordered and shared were Hot Wheel (kani, ebi, eel and avocado), Dynamite (spicy yellowtail and spicy tuna) and Sunset (eel, avocado, crab and scallop). All very delicious.

The service was also wonderful as we were seated right away, the staff was very pleasant and I thanked them for allowing me to take pictures of them creating the sushi sensations. I highly recommend XO Asian Cuisine for a great dining experience.

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