By Dane Feldman
Photo by Dane Feldman.
The relatively new Kumo Japanese Cuisine is located on Franklin Ave in Ridgewood, NJ amongst a small sea of other notable sushi spots (Sakura Bana, Wild Ginger, and Sushi X to name just a few).
As with most standard sushi restaurants, Kumo’s menu consists of both cold and hot appetizers, kitchen entrees, box specials, special rolls, hand rolls, sushi, and sashimi. But Kumo’s sushi chefs are thinking a bit more outside the box than many others. Their cold appetizers, for one, include sushi tiramisu, eggplant sandwiches, and tuna dumplings.
Instead, I had the black pepper tuna tataki to start followed by vegetable gyoza. The gyoza wasn’t much to write home about, but I found the tataki fairly spectacular. The black pepper was fresh as was the tuna.
When it came to the list of special rolls, I had a hard time choosing because so many seemed interesting. The list includes classic favorites that have been revamped like Black Dragon (deep fried crab meat, avocado, and cucumber inside topped with eel and tobiko), Spicy Girl (spicy salmon, tuna yellowtail, and avocado crunch inside topped with tobiko), and Volcano (deep fried roll, spicy tuna, avocado, and scallion inside, tobiko, and special sauce), but also ventures a bit further off the beaten path with rolls like the Eel Cake: an obscure, rectangular roll with spicy tuna inside, eel on top with honey wasabi sauce and spicy sauce served on the side.
Kumo is BYO, but offers tea and soft drinks.
The waitstaff is knowledgeable and attentive, but towards the end of my meal I felt a bit rushed. The restaurant wasn’t packed by any means and no one was waiting for a table, so I did find that a bit odd.
Aside from that, I enjoyed my meal at Kumo and will likely return for their funkier cold appetizers and special rolls.
Kumo offers a 20 percent discount when patrons pay with cash, which is likely a way to compete with Wild Ginger’s Monday-Friday half-price sushi and Sushi X’s all-you-can-eat menu.