Fourth sushi restaurant of 2009 opens.
Three new sushi restaurants opened in Ann Arbor earlier this year, and in mid-December they were joined by a fourth when Nick Ma opened Nagomi Sushi in Bagel Fragel's old spot in the Plymouth View Center.
Ma, thirty-seven, was born in Korea, immigrated to the United States when he was ten, and really likes food. "I eat everything," he says. "You just name it, I eat it. But I always thought Japanese was the most intriguing food."
Ma serves teriyaki dishes, soups, and donburi, a meal in a bowl that combines fish, meat, vegetables, and other ingredients simmered together and served over rice. But sushi in particular intrigues him. "When you get into it, you can come up with a million different kinds with just a few different ingredients."
At Nagomi, he's settled for thirty different kinds, ranging from a basic California roll (filled with cucumber, crab meat, and avocado) to more exotic combinations like the Dragon, made with eel, smoked eel, cucumber, and avocado; the Rainbow, stuffed with salmon, yellowtail tuna, shrimp, and avocado; and the Dynamite Spider Roll, made with soft-shell crab, cucumber, and roasted pepper and drizzled with sweet kabayaki sauce. Prices range from $2.50 for a simple tuna roll to $11 for the Dragon.
Ma's been involved with the food service industry for twenty years, including managing eight golf courses for the American Golf Corporation, where his duties included overseeing on-site bars and restaurants. Four years ago, he bought his uncle's Marco's Pizza franchise on Packard near Rosewood, but he still dreamed of opening a sushi place. He got his chance when Bagel Fragel expanded and moved a couple of doors down last summer. His uncle also owned the Plymouth View Marco's, and he told Ma about the vacant space.
"We had to redo everything from the ground up," Ma says. "We basically gutted the place." The effort paid off. The decor is sparse but tranquil, with muted orange walls and dark wood trim. It seats just thirty-seven, including eight at the sushi bar, and has a hushed, intimate feel. As for the growing popularity of Japanese restaurants, and sushi places in particular, Ma's not surprised. "It's healthy food," he says. "And people are more health conscious these days."
Nagomi Sushi, 1754 Plymouth., 761-5800. Mon.-Thurs. 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. & 4:30-10 p.m., Fri. 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. & 4:30-10 p.m., Sat. & Sun. 3-10 p.m.
[Originally published in January, 2010.]