Christmas Eve Day I was in Armory Square, scurrying around trying to get a few last minute gifts purchased locally. “The Square” is a great place to find modern and vintage fashion, crafts and of course great food and drinks – but on Christmas Eve Day, you can subtract the food and drink, because nothing was open. All the running around apparently took it’s toll on my stomach because it began screaming for me to buy it a yummy gift of it’s own. However, with nothing open, what do I do? Enter Sakanaya and Namu.
Sakanaya and Namu are sister sushi shops on Walton St. in downtown Syracuse’s Armory Square. Sitting side by side, they offer sushi fanatics and newbie’s the perfect combination of a fast paced sushi consumption and a sit down restaurant.
When you walk into Sakanaya, at first glance it looks like you just walked into a Jet Blue airliner. With bright white lights lining the domed ceiling and blue highlights separating each panel, you might just think that you are “going going, back back, to Cali Cali”, on an airplane. Then, just when you think you took a wrong turn into Hancock airport, there it is – a conveyor belt chock-full of plates piled high with colorful sushi. Spicy Tuna, Tempura Fried Shrimp with Spicy Sauce, eel, salmon, California rolls on steroids…you name a crazy sushi combo, and it will probably come flying around the corner on the wonderful, never-ending conveyor belt of sushi heaven.
If fast paced sushi eating at a bar isn’t your thing – don’t worry, Namu is a sit down, restaurant-style sushi experience with a more intimate setting. While Sakanaya is perfect for a fun, outgoing date night, Namu is a more intimate experience. The menu is virtually the same as Sakanaya, but instead of watching it fly by your face before desperately lunging to grab it from the conveyor belt before your neighboring sushi lover grabs it; you get to quietly select it of the menu.
When I walked in Sakanaya was bustling with holiday shoppers and hungry sushi lovers, so I decided to go next door and sit down at Namu to eat my sushi. After glancing over the menu for a moment I new exactly what I wanted – Jalapeño Poppers, with crisp jalapeños stuffed with tuna and cream cheese, drizzled with spicy mayo and eel sauce; and the American Dream, with shrimp tempura topped with spicy tuna and crunch. How can you go wrong with anything topped with crunch?! Needless to say it was a good lunch day for this guy.
So whether you are looking for an exciting, city-like, sushi dining experience, or a laid back, more intimate setting – Sakanaya and Namu have what you’re looking for.