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$13 at Azumi Sushi

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Where: Azumi Sushi Japanese Restaurant, 1709 Dryden Road, Houston, 77030, (713) 790-9997

What $13 gets you: A chicken teriyaki bento, a spicy salmon roll, a small side of seaweed salad and edamame, and a couple of pieces of salmon sushi.

Normally, we don't spend quite so much money for lunch during the week. However, a friend wanted to meet us for lunch someplace within walking distance of her work and wanted sushi, so we agreed on Azumi. We'd been to Azumi once before, and gotten an udon soup bowl and tempura, which was very good (way better than some other unnamed "Asian" places in the Med Center).

Azumi was unusually empty, with the exception of some giggling nurses in the corner eating soup. This should have been a sign. Of course, we got a chicken bento ($8.95) against our better instinct, as the udons were noticeably absent from the menu. We had the chef swap out the included tuna roll for a salmon roll, not knowing there as an upcharge (they were nice and didn't charge extra, as they didn't realized we'd subbed this until after we'd paid). We added on a couple pieces of salmon sushi to share with our friend.

We happily walked outside with our bag, unpacked our food, and realized they'd forgotten the salmon. They made more, but our lunch break was already almost over. We were still excited at the amount of food we had, plenty to sample and share, however, our excitement was quickly squashed. We dove into our sushi first, but it was disappointing - the salmon wasn't the normal buttery salmon we'd hoped for, it was bland and fishy. Our 2 piece nigiri was 2 odd, near paper thin slices on top of our rice, instead of a substantial piece of fish. The sushi rice was also mushy and overloaded with vinegar. We ended up picking some of the fish out of our sushi, as did our companion, and then just giving up. The seaweed salad was spot on, and the edamame were standard. The teriyaki chicken was juicy and tender, but the chicken was flavorless without the sauce, which it was drizzled in instead of basted like we kind of expected.

Recommended: Sort of. We aren't saying Azumi is bad - just stick with the soup.

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