A nondescript strip mall on the Bench--on a road where few accidentally stop to eat, in an odd corner location, behind a new stand-alone structure--is not a prime spot for a restaurant. But when Wicky Wicky Sushi owner Todd Wickstrom moved to his current Overland Road spot, it was after more than a decade owning and operating Sushi on the Spot on an odd parcel on Rose Hill Road, with a sketchy-looking mechanic on one side and rundown houses on the other. So maybe he's used to that kind of thing.
On a weekday afternoon, Wicky Wicky vibed more like a diner or a bar. Two middle-aged guys in truckers' caps and coats sat at the small sushi bar, jawing with Wickstrom. The three of them looked like guys who catch the fish more than guys who eat it--but Wickstrom does that, too. One wall at Wicky Wicky is lined with the old Sushi on the Spot sign and blown-up photos of Wickstrom and his friends on tropical fishing trips. Wickstrom reminisced about how a Japanese fisherman taught him how to filet and prepare sushi fish many a year ago. Since then, Wickstrom has been adding his own spin: The Volcano ($12.99) is dressed in jalapenos and pico de gallo to add heat and the Special K ($13.99) touts sambal delek, a chili paste. And then there's the Dead Cat ($17.99), a roll that humorously looks like roadkill.
Wickstrom and I discussed the beautiful bottles of beer and sake that line a back shelf as well as his record collection while I sipped on hot and sour miso soup ($1.99). The soup was a surprise, with slivers of seaweed and carrots and a healthy portion of cilantro floating around a wedge of lemon. The density of miso matched nicely with the tang of the green herb, and the puckery lemon added a welcome splash of sour citrus.
Eel, hamachi, tempura shrimp, smoked salmon and avocado made up the Yummy Roll ($13.95), which, with those ingredients, would have been well-named but the fish was too far gone for me to finish the roll. However, the texture and taste of tuna poke ($7.99) mostly made up for the loss. Fresh little cerise-colored chunks of tuna were blanketed in poppy balls of masago and crispy green onion slices. Spam musubi ($2.95)--two huge, thick slices of Spam on sticky rice and wrapped in a ribbon of seaweed--rounded out my meal.
Now that I know where Wicky Wicky sushi is, I may not go back for a roll, but I would definitely snap up another order of poke, miso soup and musubi. And maybe a take-home bottle of sake (it's on sale this month).
--Amy Atkins wants to know why somebody hasn't come up with Gumby poke yet.
Boise Weekly sends two reviewers to every restaurant we review. Read what our other reviewer had to say about Wicky Wicky Sushi.