Waka

95 King St. Chappaqua, NY 10514 • (914) 861-2727 • wakafusion.com

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I have only actually been there once, so most of this review is based on delivery, which I have done about fifty times. Usually for sushi, although this last time I tapped into their pan Asian offerings and I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised on the Chinese. Thai not-so much.

But first let’s get back to the basics. The décor is contemporary and clean. Service is warm and friendly, with that local, small-business vibe about it.

And as for the sushi, it’s pretty impressive by delivery standards. I honestly don’t think we have better sushi delivery in Northern Westchester. In fact, when we lived in the city we didn’t even have better fish. Which is really what makes Waka shine. They seem to always get extremely fresh tuna, salmon and yellowtail. Eel is cooked so it doesn’t count.

They also have a ton of inventive rolls, but freshness is obviously the true measure of a Japanese restaurant. You can always hide sub-par fish beneath a gaggle of maki companions and still make it taste good.

So apart from Azuma in Hartsdale (haven’t tried Nanase yet), there’s none better in the burbs.

And to think that they can pull off Chinese well too? Two hats off. The Chinese eggplant with garlic sauce was on point and so was the crispy shrimp with pineapple. Haven’t ventured into their lo mein as of yet. Or any of the other Chinese, staples, but I will, so stay tuned.

Unfortunately they fall WAY short of the trifecta, however. Their Thai needs some serious help. Both the pad Thai and red curry beef tasted like the cardboard partition they stick in the delivery bag.

But please don’t let that discourage you from giving them a try, after all, doing two things well is still mighty hard. Heck, Michael Jordan couldn’t even do it!

3 teeth

Azuma

219 E Hartsdale Ave. Hartsdale, NY 10530 • (914) 725-0660azumasushihartsdale.com

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LA caliber sushi in Westchester? Yes. And by “yes’ I mean VERY yes.

After hearing a glowing reco from a local restauranteur, we decided to give Azuma a try and I have to say, the skeptical expression was wiped clean from my face bite after incredibly fresh bite. In fact, even the word bite is a bit of an overstatement because you don’t even need your teeth to break through the fish. Your lips will do just fine, it’s that fresh.  So fresh there are only a handful of places in NYC that even compare- and nothing I’ve had in Westchester even comes close. That said, I haven’t been to Nanase, so TBD on that one.

As for what we had, well, the Omakase, of course. And WOW! Not a single miss on the plate.

Service is very friendly. And the prices are not to be believed. Hard to comprehend that other people found it pricey. I don’t think I’ve ever been to a sushi restaurant of this caliber and paid less than four times the price.

So, why not 5 knives you ask? I want to. I REALLY do. But the decor, which again, hard to believe others praised, is rather run down and outdated. The chairs are uncomfortable and the music is horrendous. I mean so bad the next time I go I might wear headphones. Like bad elevator music… from the 80’s.

But enough about the music and decor. Azuma is a jewel despite it all. And I am already planning my return- which can’t be soon enough.

P.S. I went again, and I stand by my word. Plus, the music was MUCH better this time. So I’d upgrade it to 4.5 knives if I could.

4 teeth