Jan 5, 2008

Sushi Itto - Another Sushi Option

Sushi has, in the past few years, become very popular among Yucatecans and Mérida now boasts several restaurants catering to fans of Japanese food. The one caveat you should be aware of is that the predominant feature of Yucatecan sushi is not so much fish as it is cream cheese. The newly opened Sushi Itto, a chain restaurant based in central Mexico, is no exception.

Located on the Prolongacion de Montejo, in a space formerly occupied by a tanning salon that for some strange reason didn't take, Sushi Itto is a modern-looking minimalist room with high ceilings and lots of red and black.

The sushi here is a hybrid and has been extremely successful throughout Mexico, mixing traditional japanese preparation methods and ingredients with food items more readily identifiable as Mexican, like chiles, arracheras and the like.

The Casual Restaurant Critic went for lunch on a warm day, shortly after their opening, and found the restaurant full, even with no air conditioning (it was apparently experiencing some malfunction). The Critic and Co. tried some of their signature dishes whose names escape him at the moment, but one of them was a roll with beef arrachera which unfortunately featured a large piece of unchewable gristle.

Portions were medium sized, not particularly large or small. The soya sauce is the kind mixed with lemon juice so you will have to ask for 'normal' soya if you don't like the sour kind. The food was tasty, but the Critic didn't see what all the fuss was about. Nothing special.

The service was, as usual for Mérida, average at best. Managers strolled about imperiously; interacting with the clients was obviously not part of their mandate.

Would the Critic return? Not any time soon, nothing stands out that would make a return trip likely or desireable.

On a scale of 1 - 5, this Itto gets a 3. Take it or leave it.