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Sushi used to be about the sushi. It used to be about having some good fish, some warm sake, and relaxation after your day in the corporate grind. Sushi used to be an art form. Sushi used to be fresh. These days sushi is everywhere. From Amish Market to D'Agostino's to Stop & Shop to Zabars, supermarkets carry pre-made rolls, kept cool in a refrigeration unit. Non-Japanese restaurants have sushi menus and have hired sushi chefs, just in case you want an eel roll before your bowl of New England clam chowder. And of course, there are the super-fancy and grotesquely unnecessary sushi restaurants like Masa. Sushi has become a at once a dirt cheap lunch for people who want to feel like they're eating healthy or a stupidly expensive dinner for snobby princess types who want to name drop fancy restaurants. If I hear "I only eat sushi at Nobu" one more time...

Currently, in Manhattan alone, I bet you that you can get sushi within three blocks from any random point south of 96th street. There are plenty of hits and a whole lot o' misses. Haku would be a hit. Haku is where I should have gone, but didn't, while cruising for sushi on the upper west side and wound up bored at Momoya. So when Mr. Dogz called me with a sushi craving, I suggested not making the same mistake and we were Haku-bound.

Like at any halfway decent Japanese restaurant, dinner started with a warm towlette. Actually, for some reason I always found the towlettes annoying at best. I can't help but think of these extra loads of laundry that didn't have to be wasting water. This was followed up by an Asahi Dry and a round of Miso Soup. The soup was good but miso soup is one of those soups that, unless it really sucks is soon forgotten. Plus, it's about as filling as air. So I needed something a wee bit more solid. Yaki Nasu fit the bill, and Haku's was excellent. I'm not sure if I've ever described yaki nasu in any other reviews, but it's grilled eggplant in a sticky sweet ginger soy sauce. Some places make it too bitter or burn the eggplant, but this was perfect.

Mr. Dogz and I each decided to go with one specialty roll and one standard, been-there-done-that roll (they're cheaper). I won't bother describing the standard rolls (a Tuna Roll and a Salmon Skin Roll). Suffice it to say, they were good. But the large rolls were what really stand out. Mr. Dogz ordered the Sushi Bullet, a fish tempura roll with spicy tuna under a "special sauce." Don't ask what the special sauce was; I can't tell you. But it was good and complimented the roll well. The sushi bullet is unlike most rolls in that it's not a roll, but a series of dome-shaped sushi-esque rice balls that are at once too big for one bite and too small for two.

I ordered the Rainbow Roll. It's a super-roll with tuna, yellowtail, salmon, crab, white fish, avocado, cucumber, and asparagus, all rolled up and buried under roe. You're not going to go wrong ordering this, especially if you're running low on your weekly omega-3 intake. Nor are you likely to go hungry. Finish it. Sit still for about thirty seconds. You're suddenly full. Ordering another small roll seems like overkill. Finishing your sake doesn't. Your long day in the grind is over. Now you can go home.

One beer, two soups, one appetizer, two small rolls, and two large rolls, plus tax (but not counting tip), came to just under $60.

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