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OC Wasabi
Written By: Jenny Samuels
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OC Wasabi
OC Wasabi
Year after year, OC Wasabi is consistently staffed with smiling faces and friendly characters.
OC Wasabi
Jenny (Fish Tales) enjoyed a family dinner at OC Wasabi with her sister, Kim, and daughters, Brynn and Reese. Good looks run in the family.
    Attention sushi lovers: If you’re craving fresh, satisfying sushi in a fun atmosphere, only one restaurant in Ocean City will suffice—OC Wasabi. Conveniently located on 33rd Street, OC Wasabi is the local hotspot. Every time I enter the restaurant, several local faces greet me. This week was no exception. My friend, Kristi Kruger, and I had dinner at OC Wasabi on Friday night. As we were seated at our quaint table by the window, we recognized Eli (Hilton pool bar) and his girlfriend, Sarah; April and Jay (Tequila Mockingbird) celebrating his birthday; and Jenny (Fish Tales) enjoying a family dinner with her sister and daughters.
    Of course, the staff at OC Wasabi is equally as friendly as the restaurant’s many guests. Owner Kenny Diu is committed to meeting each and every customer, often topping off our pitchers of sake, or presenting us with a complimentary appetizer. His contagious smile, infectious laugh, and easygoing demeanor combine to make the perfect persona for a beach restaurant owner.
    OC Wasabi’s extensive menu includes easy-to-read descriptions for sushi novices. In fact, OC Wasabi is the first restaurant where I ever sampled sushi. Some people say that sushi is an acquired taste. Over the years, dining at OC Wasabi has certainly increased my sushi cravings, and I’ve learned exactly which dishes I prefer. My personal favorite is the M&M Roll, which is an irresistible concoction of avocado, cream cheese, eel, shrimp, and crabstick. This roll is deep-fried, which often appeals to customers who’ve never before tried sushi.
    Kristi and I began our meal with three appetizers: Tuna Carpaccio, Vegetable Tempura, and a Lemon Roll. Tuna Carpaccio consists of large chunks of pan-seared tuna with a wasabi mayonnaise dressing. From the Vegetable Tempura plate, the deep-fried sweet potato dipped in soy sauce makes my mouth water every time. The Lemon Roll is a splendid combination of salmon and lemon. “Not everyone likes salmon,” explains Kenny. “But after you try the Lemon Roll you’ll definitely say, ‘I like salmon.’”
    For our main course, Kristi and I ordered two M&M rolls, one Dragon Roll, and the Half Futo Maki Roll. Consisting of shrimp tempura, eel, and avocado, the Dragon Roll is beautifully presented. The Half Futo Maki Roll is a delicious combination of eel, egg, mushroom, avocado, and crabstick.
    I always chuckle when I peruse OC Wasabi’s menu and recognize rolls named after local celebrities. For instance, the Kevin Poole Roll (crabmeat salad and yellowtail) is named after a locally famous musician; the Killa Roll (California roll surrounded by tuna) is named after the popular bartender at Bearded Clam; the Phatty Jay Roll (asparagus, avocado, cream cheese, and white tuna) honors the owner of Sahara Café; and the Chuck Webb Roll (cucumber, cream cheese, crabstick, smoked salmon, and eel) is named after a Seacrets’ bartender and one of Kenny’s best friends. I’ve ordered each of these rolls, and each one is so scrumptious.
    Other must-try specialty rolls on the menu include the Flying Hawaiian with shrimp tempura and pineapple; the deep-fried Voodiu Roll with avocado, cream cheese, eel, shrimp, crabstick, and sweet and spicy sauce; and Maria’s Purple Isle with tuna, mango, and avocado. The list goes on. Stop into OC Wasabi this week and decide which specialty roll is your favorite.
    OC Wasabi also presents an impressive entrées selection, all of which are served with rice and Miso Soup or a house salad. If someone in your party is not a huge fan of sushi, they may opt to order Chicken Teriyaki, NY Strip Steak Teriyaki, or Filet Mignon Teriyaki. Seafood lovers often enjoy Salmon, Scallops, Seafood, or Fish Teriyaki. If you prefer tempura-style entrées, try the Vegetable, Chicken or Shrimp & Vegetable Tempura. Other delectable options on the entrée menu include Chicken Katsu, Fish Misoyaki (white fish in a sweet miso sauce), and Tofu, Beef Negimaki, or Tuna Steak Teriyaki.
    Happy diners at OC Wasabi may order from the Sushi Nigiri menu, which includes a long list of individual offerings like White Tuna, Salmon, Shrimp, Crabstick, Flounder, Mackerel, Octopus, Red Snapper, Giant Clam, Scallops, Rockfish, and much more. Items from the Don Buri menu are served over rice and include a variety of combinations of chicken, vegetable, port, egg and shrimp. You may also select shrimp, chicken or vegetable over sautéed noodles.
    OC Wasabi offers carryout, and sushi is always a big hit at private parties. If you’re hosting an event, consider ordering the King Boat, which consists of chef’s selection of sashimi, 10 piece nigiri, California roll, spicy tuna roll, and cowboy roll. The Ocean Sushi Deluxe includes chef’s selection of 10 pieces of nigiri sushi and one California roll. Other affordable and satisfying combination meals are the Sushi Roll Combo, which includes a tuna roll, cucumber roll, and California roll, and the Spicy Roll Combo, consisting of the Key West roll, spicy California roll, and spicy tuna roll. Vegetarians delight in the Vegetarian Roll Combo, which includes the cucumber roll, avocado roll, and mermaid roll.
    Did you save room for dessert? Banana Tempura is my favorite summertime treat. Fried Ice Cream and Flaming Ice Cream are two more sinfully delicious temptations for your sweet tooth. The entire menu is available online at For carryout orders, call 410-524-7337. Conveniently located midtown, OC Wasabi offers a back entrance and ample parking behind the restaurant. When you enter the restaurant, pick up a copy of Coconut Times, which is always stacked next to the door, and take a moment to admire the hallway of photographs and colorful aquarium leading to the dining room. The photos are proof that Kenny is a charming entrepreneur who genuinely befriends his customers. Also, say hello to Yo, Alex, and the many smiling faces behind the raw bar. As much as I love sushi, it’s the fun atmosphere and lively characters at OC Wasabi that lead me to consistently rate OC Wasabi as my favorite restaurant. I hope to see you there this week.
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