Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Sushi Bar in McCall

On Saturday, we spent the day driving up to McCall, Idaho, a lake resort town about 2 hours north of Boise. When we pulled into town, it was a little after 1PM, and my parents were starving.

Fortunately for them, they heard about an amazing sushi restaurants called The Sushi Bar. Yes, believe it or not, in a small town in rural landlocked Idaho, there was a great sushi restaurant.

Apparently, one of my father's co-workers told him about it and said it was "an amazing sushi place that was as good as the best ones in New York."

Now, 99 times out of 100, my father would discount such grandiose claims as the rantings of an inexperienced diner who'd also pick Sbarro's as his favorite Manhattan pizza, but this well-traveled co-worker was very credible, so the expectations were raised.

We didn't know exactly what to expect, but we found the restaurant along one of the town's side streets and headed upstairs. The decor was more rustic lodge cabin than it was classic Tokyo minimalist, but we weren't there to enjoy the ambiance. We were there for the food and were now craving some good nigiri.

The place only had a few people seated when we arrived, so we had our pick of the tables. My parents picked the ones near the window to enjoy the view of the lake. I generally prefer to eat at the sushi bar, but my high chair just wasn't that high. The menu looked pretty great, especially the prices! My father ordered the "Chef's Choice" of 8 nigiri pieces for $13.

My mother wanted to get some Special Rolls as well, especially since they had some choices we'd never seen before. Since Asians like a little kick in our food, we got 2 spicy rolls and 1 regular roll. For just $11 each, you got 10 pieces per roll, so 30 pieces for us.
  • South of the Border (avocado, pickled ginger and cucumber topped with ahi, escolar, jalapeno and dots of sriracha then placed on a bed of death sauce)
  • Bonfire (spicy hamachi & cucumber topped w/ avocado, jalapeno, sriracha and death sauce) 
  • Salmon River Roll (crispy salmon, cucumber, daikon sprouts, cream cheese and scallions topped with fresh king salmon, avocado, & citrus sauce)
I have to say...the sushi was amazing! The rice wasn't quite as great as our favorite NYC sushi chef / family friend at Ushiwakamaru, but the fish itself was surprisingly soft and buttery fresh. The rolls were tasty (though the jalepenos overpowered the flavor of the fish) but our favorites were the straight nigiri sushi. We even ordered some more pieces while we left some of the rolls uneaten.

It's really hard to believe (or even understand) how the sushi can be so high quality in such a remote small town, but it was true.  Even if you're a sophisticated sushi fan who goes to the fish markets in Tokyo, you'll enjoy the sushi here in McCall, Idaho.

And for those of you who think Asian babies grow up eating sushi, you'd actually be 100% right. Love me some Unagi (freshwater eel).

Restaurant Information

414 Railroad Avenue
McCall, ID 83638
(208) 634-7874


  1. This sounds blasphemous.

  2. I wouldn't skip a trip to Tokyo in favor of Idaho, but if you're in Idaho anyway, worth a trip here.