Well, this is only quasi-hole-in-the-wall related but I wanted to give an update on my Sushi experience.
A group of friends and I went to Piranha recently and with the exception of one person, we were all sushi-newbies. Although reluctant at first, everybody in the group agreed to go the raw route. To ease into the night we started with a compromise. We ordered the sesame seared tuna and some spring rolls. The spring rolls were supposed to be our safety food in case somebody just couldn't handle it. Unfortunately we were so hungry, they were gone before anybody knew what happened. The seared tuna was wonderful, but in my opinion it was the three sauces on the plate that really made the dish. The tuna came with a Mild chili sauce, an Aioli sauce and wasabi cream sauce. After our first foray of raw(esque) fish, we were ready for the real deal.
I must admit, we shied away from the sashimi. It wasn't because we were skeered, but it was because we thought ordering a bunch of the cool rolls would be fun for the table and we could all share. So we proceeded. Everybody picked a roll they wanted and we ordered one of each, so we ended up with the Birthday Roll, Rainbow Roll, Dragon Roll, Marry Me Roll, and a California Roll (another safety device). I'll let you read the descriptions on your own, but our favorites were the Dragon Roll, Marry Me Roll, Rainbow Roll, Birthday Roll, and California Roll. By our favorites, I mean the order in which they were consumed.
We really liked them all so much. Since five of us shared five rolls we were craving a bit more of our favorites so we ordered another Marry Me Roll, Rainbow Roll and California Roll (because it was cheap). Although our sushi pro friend and I preferred the Dragon and Birthday roll, we were outvoted by two girls and the reluctant friend who preferred the simplicity of the rainbow roll. Also, fiance's votes count twice when they really want something. Anyways, the second batch did us in. We all moaned and groaned as we shoved the last few pieces in our mouths and waited for our stomach to accept the raw offering. And we were done.
So the food was great, but don't forget the drinks. I had read about the martini bar and I had read about drinking sake with your sushi. With three guys and two girls, we managed to cover both areas. I have to admit, I skipped the sake and went for the martinis but for two very important reasons. First, they had one with Tuaca, which I've been a big fan of ever since I saw Tim Love doing Tuaca shots on Iron Chef America. Second, JD, on Scrubs always orders appletinis, so I had to get one of those. Hey, I'm engaged, I can order the girliest drink in the bar, right?
The girls also had some 'tinis but they were really girly and pink with flowers. They liked them, but they liked my appletini more.
The two other guys wussed out and had the sake. They both gave it rave reviews. I've known both of these guys for going on three years now, and they know beer. I don't remember which sake they got but it was the "not dark" one. Or something like that.
I'm almost done. One more thing to mention is the atmosphere. I've read about how this place is pretty hip and it feels very urban. I'm not very knowledgeable about what is and isn't urban but I imagine this is pretty close. We couldn't get in until nine (with a reservation), and the place was packed until the time we left which was close to 11. There were all sorts of people at the restaurant when we visited. There were Cowboys at the sushi bar, College-aged girls at one table, a couple of older people at another table, and all sorts of other groups that don't fit neatly into any one category. Basically, its a place where anybody can go and feel comfortable. Unless you're afraid of raw stuff. I don't mean a dislike for it, I mean an actual fear of raw stuff. You'll hate it. Seriously.
So, to sum up my short little review, I would definitely recommend this place. It fits on this blog because its quasi-locally owned. The original is in Arlington. That's close enough.
I would like to apologize to all the people sitting around us that had to endure me staring at their food or making lame sushi jokes. I now know, that comparing a sushi roll to a burrito is inappropriate and offensive to the stuck up people next to me. I mean, I'm sorry.
Here's the link if you want to plan a night out at Piranha: http://www.piranhakillersushi.com/