sigh…Cowfish.  I mean, its fusion.  I’m not a huge fan of fusion.  Sometimes even tex-mex is too much a bastardization for me to really enjoy.  Recently, I’ve made an effort to not judge a category of food by it’s title, but to instead pay more attention to the ingredients used, the craftsmanship with which it is assembled and the flavor palate.  So far, I’ve been surprised and delighted.  Cowfish…I’m not so sure I’m “delighted” but I was definitely surprised.

Overall: 3.75 out of 5

Food/Beverage:  3.5 out of 5

Ambiance: 3.5 out of 5

Value: 3 out of 5

Service: 5 out of 5

Cowfish is a new asian sushi fusion  restaurant located in the lovely North Hills area. I   The interior is painted red and filled with paintings and big screen TVs.  It doesn’t scream “sushi” even a little.  Out front, they have a food truck short bus parked for…what I’m assuming is sushi runs?

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Cute! And as much as I enjoy food trucks, I just can’t imagine a sushi food truck would be very good.  The patio was nice, some paintings scattered throughout, fans for when the weather gets warmer, corn hole out front.  The bummer, they have tables out in front of the tented area but they don’t serve there.

The best part of my Cowfish experience was the service…Our waitress was FANTASTIC! The service in general, from the front door to the checks, was amazing.  They were fast to get us seated, turned the fans off when we said we were cold and talked to us at the end about our experience during the meal.  The waitress was prompt, friendly, made great suggestions and sped up the run through of the menu when she could tell we were losing interest.  Very good at reading the body language of the table – a quality I find very valuable in a waitress.

THE food.  Well, they have a great variety of rolls, all very interesting and delicious sounding.  My lunch time fun buddy and I ordered the Firecracker roll ($16 +Jalapeno for extra spice; Shrimp tempura, kani inside coated with tempura flakes, topped with yellowtail, salmon, spicy mayo, masago, tobiko and scallions. Served with ponzu dipping sauce)

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and the Mr. Octopaccio’s Magic Bus Ride roll ($15 Yellowtail, cucumber, spicy mayo inside. Topped with octopus carpaccio, Japanese mayo, sriracha and multi-colored tobiko. Served with wasabi yuzu dipping sauce).  

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They were good.  Flavors were nice, they didn’t charge for the jalapeño addition…but they fell apart.  Especially the octopus roll.  All the pieces fell apart.  That is such a huge pet peeve of mine.  Makes it nearly impossible to eat the roll and, from what I’ve heard, is the sign of an inexperienced roller.  On the plus side, the fish was fresh and they tasted very good.  We also ordered the edamame to start ($5).

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It was a gigantic bowl of well salted beans.  Great starter!  The drink menu is also very unique.  They have a great variety of beers and cocktails.  My lunch buddy ordered an Allagash white ($5 and delicious) and I ordered the Bee’s Knobby Knees ($12 Knob Creek, cardamom ginger honey, orange bitters. Served on the rock).  

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Value wise, I’d have to say it was a bit expensive for what it was.  While $15 and $16 for a roll isn’t too expensive, and $5 for edamame is a great deal, the cocktails being in the $12 range was a bit absurd to me.

I would certainly go back because I love sushi on a patio.  They do have drink specials throughout the week:  Monday 1/2 price cocktails; Sunday $5 bloody marys/mimosas and $2 domestics/sake bombs; Tuesday 1/2 price Cowfish Martinis; Wednesdays 1/2 price bottles of wine; Thursday 1/2 price sake.  I don’t think Friday or Saturday have specials.  The website says “you are special, treat yourself to the Cowfish.” In my opinion, $6 for that cocktail as a “deal” still seems high.  Give it a try, it’s good.  But it will not replace my favorite sushi dinner spots.


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