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OC Wasabi
Written By: Jenny Samuels
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OC Wasabi
OC Wasabi
Ask the chefs behind the sushi bar at OC Wasabi for fresh, daily specials that may not appear on the permanent menu.
OC Wasabi
Thank you, Frank & Ginger Fleming, for celebrating Joey’s birthday with us at OC Wasabi. Happy Birthday, Joey!
OC Wasabi
Completely separate from the dining room, OC Wasabi’s barroom opened last year and quickly became a local hotspot.
    I’d like to tell you the top three reasons why OC Wasabi is my favorite restaurant in Ocean City. First, the owner, Kenny Diu, is the friendliest guy you’ll ever meet. A local celebrity, Kenny greets each and every customer in his restaurant, and he’s committed to bringing in only the freshest fish and seafood for his recipes. Second, the expanded barroom has become my favorite meeting ground for happy hours. Serving discounted sushi rolls and craft beer from local breweries like EVO and Burley Oak, the barroom is staffed with longtime local faces like Hab, Ricky B, Chip Ayers, and Joe Records.
    The barroom features tall tables and barstools, a beautiful oak bar, flat screen televisions, reggae music, sports broadcasting, and paintings by local artists. I often sit at the bar and order an entire sushi dinner. Chip makes the best mojito ever. Try the strawberry or blueberry mojito for pint-sized liquid delight.
    The third reason that I love OC Wasabi is, quite simply, its food quality. As I’ve traveled to many cities and sampled sushi platters at noteworthy sushi restaurants, I’ve discovered that OC Wasabi has the best sushi rolls. The size of each roll is enormous compared to other sushi restaurants, and the ingredients are sensational.
    My favorite roll at OC Wasabi is the M&M Roll. Stuffed with avocado, cream cheese, shrimp, crab stick, and eel, the soy paper-wrapped roll is fried and topped with sweet sauce. This delicious roll is served warm and melts in your mouth. Order it topped with crabmeat for an extra treat.
    Sushi dinners are always better with friends. This week, I gathered with my friends Frank & Ginger Fleming to celebrate my boyfriend’s birthday at OC Wasabi. Gretchen was our attentive server, who took excellent care of our table. As usual, the dining room was packed with local faces from local businesses. In addition to local artwork on display in the separate barroom, you’ll notice tributes to local personalities throughout the restaurant. Photographs of celebrations and fishing expeditions line the hallway entrance. The back of one chair has a plaque placeholder for Chuck Webb, a longtime bartender at Seacrets who is one of Kenny’s best friends. The menu features the Chuck Webb Roll, which is crabstick, cream cheese, cucumber, and smoked salmon topped with eel. Also on the menu is the Kevin Poole Roll topped with yellowtail, and the Killa Roll, which is nicknamed after Kenny’s good friend and consists of cucumber, avocado, and crabstick topped with tuna.
    I recommend ordering an Entrée from the sushi bar so you can enjoy a succulent variety of rolls. The Locals Favorite Entrée is a sampling of three full-size rolls including the Spider Roll, which is soft shell crab and cucumber; the Crunchy Roll, which is smoked salmon, eel, and avocado with tempura chips; and the deep fried Dynamite Roll, which is shrimp, crab stick, lump crab, scallop, avocado, and spicy sauce. Two more Entrées are the Spicy Roll Combo (Coastal, Spicy Tuna, and Spicy California) and the Sushi Roll Combo (Tuna Roll, Salmon Roll, and California Roll). The Veggie Roll Combo includes the Cucumber Roll, the Mermaid Roll, and the Veggie Roll.
    You can also order sushi sashimi from the Entrées menu. The Sushi Sashimi Combo is your choice of five pieces of nigiri, five kinds of sashimi, and one tuna roll. For larger parties, order the Love Boat for Two—chef’s selection of sashimi, ten pieces of nigiri, California Roll, Spicy Tuna Roll, and Cowboy Roll with two sides. Or, select the King Boat for even larger portions. All Entrées are served with your choice of Miso Soup or House Salad.
    For those customers who prefer cooked recipes, OC Wasabi offers plenty of Entrées from the Kitchen. Chicken Teriyaki and Chicken Tempura are staples on the menu, as are New York Strip Teriyaki and Filet Mignon Teriyaki. Salmon, Sesame Encrusted Tuna, Vegetable Tempura, and Tofu Teriyaki are all lip-smacking good entrées. Scallop Teriyaki and Seafood Teriyaki round off the Entrées from the Kitchen.
    Celebrating Joey’s birthday, my friends and I had so much fun sharing sushi roll platters. The chefs behind the sushi bar prepared a special dish for us. They presented tuna sashimi, salmon sashimi, and rockfish sashimi with a mouth-watering roll comprised of tuna, shrimp, eel, avocado, spicy scallops, and flying roe. As much as I love the M&M Roll, this specialty roll takes a close second place. We also ordered the Crazy Rockin’ Roll—cucumber, eel, crabstick, tuna, salmon, and avocado. Ginger insisted that we order her favorite roll too, Maria’s Purple Isle with tuna, mango, and avocado.
    Other specialty rolls at OC Wasabi that are locally acclaimed include the Baked Phatty Jay—crab stick, asparagus, and white tuna, baked with special spicy sauce and topped with crunchies and eel sauce—and the G Money—yellowtail, scallions, smoked salmon, and special G money sauce. I also recommend the Lemon Roll, which consists of jumbo tempura shrimp, cucumber, spicy sauce, salmon, thinly sliced lemon, and sweet sauce. The Flying Hawaiian is another popular roll, stuffed with jumbo tempura shrimp and pineapple.
    OC Wasabi serves up plenty of tempting appetizers too. The Spicy Mussels are a locals’ favorite. Edamame is a crowd pleaser too. Spider’s House is two soft shell crabs with a variety of vegetables, battered, fried, and served with ginger tempura sauce. Beef Negimaki is thinly sliced beef rolled up with scallions and served with teriyaki sauce. Seafood Kushiyaki is salmon, shrimp, scallops, green pepper, and onions on a skewer with teriyaki sauce. In addition to the House Salad, you can also order Avocado Salad, Tuna & Avocado Salad, Seaweed Salad, or Baby Octopus Salad. Sushi Nigiri is available a la carte.
    We finished our meal with a “happy birthday” serenade for Joey, accompanied by Banana Tempura and Fried Ice Cream with candles. Both are sinfully delicious. Of course, no sushi meal is complete without a few sips of Sake. Our table indulged in a pitcher of the House Sake. Kurosawa, Ty-Ku, Tozai Plum, and sake2me are additional flavors on the menu. OC Wasabi also features a full-service bar. Carry Out is available. OC Wasabi is located on 33rd Street with plenty of parking behind the restaurant, which is open from 4:00 to 11:00 PM Monday through Thursday, and noon to 11:00 PM Friday through Sunday. Happy Hour is every day from 4:00 to 7:00 PM. Call 410-524-7337 or visit for details.

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