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Nisen: Contemporary Sushi with a Twist

Chic bar scene meets deliciously delectable sushi at Nisen in Commack.

You’re sitting at home craving something… but what?  You just had pizza at the other night, and you’ve been eating leftovers since last Tuesday.  Suddenly it hits you; what you really want for dinner tonight is sushi… but not just the same old sushi you can get from your local Chinese restaurant.  You are in the mood for something new, fresh, and exciting.

When I’m in the mood for quality sushi with an interesting spin I head over to in the Trader Joe’s and TJ Maxx shopping center. By far, they have the best sushi and the coolest vibe in the Commack area.

Nisen is a great place to go out with friends, your parents, or even a date.  Though I would probably not take my grandmother here unless she has very good ears and doesn’t mind the loud music and dark interior lighting. 

The vibe of Nisen is more chic lounge/dance club than down-home restaurant.  They also have the coolest bathrooms I have ever seen.  High ceilings, ultra-mod design, glass bowl sink—if nothing else, stop in and take a peek at the bathroom. Seriously.

But besides the décor, they have pretty darn good food. 

Nisen has perfectly mastered all of the basic rolls that one comes to expect at a Japanese restaurant: the original California Roll; the Eel Roll; and for you adventurous patrons, the Spider Roll (made from soft shell crab—not spiders).

There is also one roll in particular, called the TNT Roll, which I just cannot get enough of.  It just simply has the most delectable combination of tuna, avocado, mango, topped off with crispy garlic chips.  And for a true taste bud explosion – instead of using the traditional soy sauce with wasabi dipping mixture, they supply truffle soy sauce.  Yes, you heard me right, truffle soy sauce.  (Not to be a snob, but I will shamelessly devour anything with even the slightest essence of truffle.)

They also have fabulous drink options.  My favorite by far is their own creation, which they call the Bonsai.  It’s just cold sake and plum wine served in a wine glass over ice… but man is the flavor incredible.  At first, it’s very sweet, almost candy-like.  But unlike other super sugary drinks, this one never gets overbearing and unpalatable—even after two of them.

If you’re not the daring drink-ordering type, they also have a full bar with all your average beers on tap, wines by the glass and bottle, and customizable cocktails.

I must admit, I have never eaten a full-blown “meal” here, therefore, I cannot personally attest to their awesomeness.  But I have eaten several of their appetizers, and all were gobbled down rather quickly, I must admit.  

One of their more traditional appetizers, being a Japanese restaurant and all, is trusty Edamame lightly salted with sea salt. 

A more interesting appetizer, and also one of my personal favorites, is the Sesame Crusted Calamari with Sweet Chili Sauce.  I am used to the traditional Italian-style calamari served lightly breaded with either a basic marinara sauce or a spicy marinara; but this reimagined dish at Nisen simply blew my socks off.  The calamari was perfectly tender with a slightly crunchy exterior.  And the accompanying sauce added a fun kick, not so hot that you lose all the flavor of the calamari. It was scrumptious.

All in all, Nisen is the place to go for all your sushi (and non-sushi) needs. I wish you happy dining.

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