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OC Wasabi
Written By: Jenny Samuels
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OC Wasabi
OC Wasabi
The staff at OC Wasabi is gracious. Take a look at the local artwork on the walls.
OC Wasabi
Dinner! Try the chef’s selections for a winning choice.
OC Wasabi
Say hello to Hab and Danny at OC Wasabi’s full-service bar.
OC Wasabi
Check out these specialty rolls at OC Wasabi’s sushi bar.
 
   Every time I walk into OC Wasabi on 33rd Street & Coastal Highway, it’s a “who’s who” of Ocean City. Longtime residents like Chip, Hab, and Danny are bartenders. Local entrepreneurs like Jay or Sahara Cafe, and the Fish Tales crew, simply love OC Wasabi.
    My favorite feature of OC Wasabi is the intriguing artwork that is on display and for sale in the barroom. Paintings, photography, skate deck artwork, and woodcarvings are currently showcased at OC Wasabi. Keep checking the walls for the newest additions. The work is for sale, and proceeds go to the artists to support the local art community. Featured this week are impressive works by Matt Dove, Stefanie Luicci, Kathy Hayes, Plak That, Patti Backer, and Jason Frank, just to name a few.
    Another cool highlight of OC Wasabi is the walkway leading from the rear parking lot to the dining room, where a hallway of photographs chronicle the adventures of owner Kenny Diu, his extraordinary staff, and his customers.
    OC Wasabi is a well-known hotspot for nightlife, too. A variety of innovative martinis and mojitos are on the bar menu. Local craft beers from Burley Oak are on tap, and an impressive selection of sake is also available. A wall of high-definition televisions makes OC Wasabi a prime destination for watching NFL games.
    Check out OC Wasabi this year before and after the local Halloween costume contests. You never know what you’ll see, as the customers and staff get into character. Happy Hour takes place at the bar from 4-7 pm every day. Discounts include drinks and sushi rolls.
    Perhaps the primary attraction at the Japanese restaurant is the Specialty Rolls menu, many of which are named after local musicians, bartenders, and patrons. My favorite roll is the M&M Roll, which is comprised of avocado, cream cheese, eel, shrimp, and crabstick, wrapped in soy paper, fried, and topped with sweet sauce. Ask for crab imperial on top for an extra treat. Another favorite is the Lemon Roll—jumbo tempura shrimp, cucumber, and spicy sauce, topped with salmon, thinly sliced lemon, and sweet sauce. Simple, but equally delicious, is the Maria’s Purple Isle, consisting of tuna, mango and avocado.
    Named after the owner of the Sahara Café, the Baked Phatty Jay Roll is a creative combination of crabstick, asparagus, and white tuna baked with special spicy sauce and topped with crunchies and eel sauce. Named after a nationally recognized musician, the Kevin Poole Roll is made with jumbo lump crabmeat salad with smelt roe, topped with yellowtail.
    Classic rolls are on the menu, too, such as the Mermaid Roll with cream cheese, cucumber, and avocado, and the Rainbow Roll stuffed with cucumber, avocado, crabstick, spicy sauce, tuna, flounder, and salmon. The Dragon Roll is made with jumbo tempura shrimp and surrounded by eel and avocado. And, the Flying Hawaiian Roll consists of jumbo tempura shrimp and pineapple topped with smelt roe.
     From the Sushi Maki menu, try the Spider Roll for soft shell crab and cucumber. The Ichiban Roll includes spicy scallop and shitake mushroom. The Key West Roll is spicy conch and avocado with wasabi roe outside.
    In addition to specialty rolls, the kitchen prepares plenty of tempting Appetizers. I love OC Wasabi’s Edamame, which is lightly salted boiled soybeans. The Spicy Mussels are a local favorite, served in New Zealand green shells and baked with spicy sauce. Steamed Shrimp or Fried Pork Dumplings are available, as well as Vegetable Tempura.
    The Spider’s House appetizer is two soft shell crabs with a variety of battered and fried vegetables and ginger tempura sauce. Yakitori is broiled chicken, green peppers, and onions served on a skewer with teriyaki sauce. Nasu yaki is grilled eggplant with miso sauce, and Seafood Kushiyaki is a combination of salmon, shrimp, scallops, green peppers, and onion with teriyaki sauce on a skewer.
    Appetizers abound from the Sushi Bar, as well. Try Tuna Carpaccio for pan seared tuna on a bed of seaweed salad with wasabi mayo dressing. Rockfish Ponzu is a popular appetizer, as are Salmon Sashimi, Tuna Sashimi, and Takosu—thinly sliced octopus and cucumber served in rice wine vinegar. Sushi Sampler and Sashimi Sampler each are comprised of chef’s selections.
    OC Wasabi serves a long list of Sushi Nigri a la Carte, including rockfish, mackerel, red snapper, squid, albacore, bonito, sea urchin, red clam, inari, tamago, and quail egg. Tuna, salmon, flounder, eel, octopus, shrimp, crabstick, crabmeat, and scallop are a few more options.
    Combination meals abound on the Entrées menu. Mix and match pieces of Nigri, Sashimi, and Rolls, or trust the Chef’s exquisite selections. Each entrée is served with a choice of salad or Miso Soup.
    The kitchen offers plenty of hot entrées, too, including Chicken Teriyaki and New York Strip Teriyaki. Sesame Encrusted Tuna is sesame and panko encrusted tuna topped with wasabi sauce and served with steamed vegetables. A wide selection of Teriyaki dishes is available, including Filet Mignon, Beef Negimkai, Shrimp & Vegetable, Seafood, Scallop, Vegetable, and Tofu. You can order Shrimp, Chicken, or Vegetables with stir-fried noodles and an assortment of vegetables in soy sauce, or you can order the same choices with egg, pineapple, and fried rice.
    Carry out is available, and Kenny always offers specials that aren’t featured on the menu. For more information, dial 410-524-7337 or visit www.ocwasabi.com.

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