Isamu Restaurant

After a daunting couple of months in hibernation, to celebrate my re-emergence, best buddy of BOOF, Mo, and I ventured to Isamu, a Japanese/Asian fusion restaurant in Beacon.

Mo had been to Isamu several times but because of my allegiance to various other sushi restaurants in the area, I had never ventured to Isamu although I wanted to numerous times.  Like most things in Beacon, Isamu is located on main street and has been there since 2009.  According to their website, Isamu means “courage, cheer up, be in high spirits” which was partially a result of their opening during the economic down turn.  The restaurant has done quite well for itself and the high quality Asian food was definitely needed in this burgeoning community.

The interior is modern with hard wood floors, tables and subtle lighting.  The space is open and quite ample and during the summer, the full wall-size windows in the front of the restaurant are opened for some enjoyable people watching.  However, they pull down the shades when the sun does become too bright, by request and in the evening to avoid a fishbowl effect.  The sushi bar sits to your right upon entering and most of the general seating is to your left.  A simple but elegant wall-size hanging on the left is filled with Japanese characters which gives it a nice traditional but sleek design.  The seating is a bit close but you are never overtaken by your neighbors conversations.  It is a great place for both a date night or for a group of friends; however, though it is kid friendly, I would not recommend bringing the little ones because it definitely has more of an adult vibe to it.

The menu is long and filled with traditional japanese dishes and dishes that span a variety of  pan-asian influences.  I had not had good sushi in awhile, so although there were numerous veggie friendly hot dishes that looked extremely appetizing, I knew that I just wanted sushi on this evening.

To start off, Mo ordered a house salad with that delicious ginger dressing that many japanese restaurants have.  The greens were fresh and the dressing was as delicious as she remembered.  We also had some edamame to start off, and it was definitely a nice palette cleanser before diving into our dinner for the evening.

For her meal, Mo had the Sashimi combo which was an assortment of various sashimi including Maguro (tuna), Hamachi (yellow tail), and sake (salmon).  She enjoyed all over sashimi greatly and remarked on how you are definitely able to taste the freshness of the fish.

I had the Monkey roll which was shrimp tempura and tobiko inside, topped with eel,
assorted fish, and eel sauce, and I also had the Salmon Avocado Maki roll.  Both rolls were extremely delicious, fresh and the flavors worked perfectly well together.  The rice was also cooked perfectly which can always “make or break” a sushi roll.  There are a host of other delicious hand rolls that I would be interested in trying including ingredients such as soft shell crab, sweet potato, blackened tuna and one of my favorites, yellowtail.

Isamu is not cheap but it is not overly expensive, but it is what you expect to pay for fresh and well-prepared sushi.  I believe that this restaurant is definitely hear to stay and I would not be surprised that if in a few years, they are opening up another location in the Hudson Valley.  Additionally, the service was great and I look forward to my next visit.

Grade: A-

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