Even though NE 23rd Street is one of the most historical streets in Oklahoma City, many locals tend to forget that it’s also home to some of the most grassroots and homegrown eateries in town, the best having a specific focus on soul food, barbecue and old-fashioned Southern cooking. NE 23rd Street restaurants are OKC’s culinary history all in a few blocks and really should be revered as such.
Winning big can be hungry, thirsty work. We scoured Oklahoma’s casinos for your best bets on sustenance whether you are on a winning streak, holding, folding, walking away, running, or just down to your last five bucks.
Full Moon Sushi and Bistro
326 E. Main St., Norman
What works: a wide variety of sushi options
What needs work: It’s not the best spot for those seeking traditional Japanese sushi.
Tip(s): It’s a comfortable atmosphere with a friendly staff, so stop here for casual and/or intimate dining.
Two things important for any sushi restaurants are quality ingredients and a menu that provides variety, and Full Moon Sushi in Norman offers both.
Full Moon is relatively small and tucked away on Main Street in Norman, and it has a cozy dining space, which is ideal for a quiet dinner.
Here, meals begin with complimentary edamame. It’s served cold and sprinkled with a blend of spices that provide a kick.
To continue exploration of the menu, an order of crab cakes ($6.99) was made. The waiter quickly brought out two large cakes, accompanied by a garlic chive oil and a mango sauce.
The cakes were crispy, warm and flavorful. The dipping sauce was a pleasing addition; however, the flavor of the chive oil was overwhelming. The mango sauce was better suited, offering a sweet and tangy flavor to compliment the savory. It should be noted that the cakes were made with imitation crab meat, but this didn’t hinder the flavor.
For the main event - the sushi - the menu had a clear Western influence, with many offerings containing cream cheese and other nontraditional ingredients.
The Dude ($10.99), the seared tuna surprise ($9.99), the Dark Side ($9.99) and the nigiri hotate (3.99) were ordered and all happened to be on the spicy side.
The Dude, recommended by the waiter, featured black pepper-seared escolar, jalapeño, cream cheese, wonton crisps, green onion, avocado, spicy mayo and cherry death sauce (a spicy concoction made in-house).
The heat from the pepper mixed well with the less intense avocado and cream cheese flavors, and the spicy mayo, cherry sauce and jalapeños added the perfect amount of heat. The Big Lebowski reference gave me high expectations, and I was not disappointed.
The seared tuna surprise included cream cheese, jalapeño, cilantro, wonton crisps, spicy mayo, habañero masago and lime crème fraîche. The ingredients were the perfect addition to go with the lightly cooked tuna, and the crisps added a delectable texture. The cream cheese wasn’t as subtle, but the roll was still quite tasty.
The Dark Side featured imitation crab meat, jalapeño, wonton crisps, avocado, miso mayo, black tobiko (small fish eggs) and Sriracha sauce. The tobiko and wonton crisps mixed for an interesting feel, and the Sriracha and jalapeño made this roll particularly spicy. The crab and avocado flavors didn’t dominate, but their presence was clear.
The nigiri hotate pieces weren’t anything fancy — just raw scallops and rice. The scallops, clearly fresh, were flavorful but not the most exciting part of the meal. It was enjoyable nonetheless.
With bellies full of sushi, there was still room at the end of dining to enjoy green tea ice cream ($4.99), a light and mildly sweet dessert. I wasn’t disappointed with Full Moon’s version.Overall, the atmosphere was comfortable, with soft lighting and décor that included local art, plants and a large fish tank. There weren’t many tables, but seating was available at the sushi bar, where guests can watch food preparation.
The staff was friendly and helpful, and the service was speedy. Our waiter was open to making suggestions and seemed to know plenty about the extensive menu.
While it might not be the most authentic in the metro, try Full Moon for unique and tasty sushi in a welcoming atmosphere.