- 191 Pearl St, Burlington, VT, 05401
- (802) 651-0818
(Published in 7 Nights 2007-08)
The bustling corner of South Winooski and Pearl looks like prime restaurant real estate. But it's a tough spot. A tapas bar faded away, and before that a string of pizza and sandwich places came and went. All of which makes it even more noteworthy that Asiana House, a hip, hot resto for college students and professionals, has been successfully serving up super-fresh sushi and sashimi for three years.
Asiana's popularity may have something to do with the fish that's delivered daily. Or perhaps it's the huge, user-friendly menu, which caters to meat eaters and vegetarians alike. Standout starters include the mussels, which are served in a paper pot filled with simmering liquid, and a fan of very rare beef "tataki" slices served in ponzu sauce with pickled cabbage. Meatless options include crispy fried tofu, veggie tempura and vegan samosa with spicy dipping sauce.
Fish aficionados can find a list of the freshest offerings on the restaurant's white board. Any of them would make a fantastic sashimi appetizer, but o-toro, the fattiest and most luscious cut from the belly of a tuna, is a must-order when available. Ready to splurge? Try the sushi and sashimi boat — for one or two people — that docks at your table with a cargo of melt-in-your-mouth sashimi, nigiri sushi, maki and a martini glass full of sweet-and-sour octopus.
House-special rolls, with crowd-pleasing names like "Red Sox maki" and "Champ maki," feature inventive combos. "Kiss the Dragon" blends soft-shell crab, mango and avocado. The "Black Dragon" is spicy tuna, tempura crumb, cucumber and eel. The specials are presented on large, white plates drizzled with multicolored sauce squiggles and decorated with colorful tobiko. If you have a taste for more traditional maki, there are 24 to choose from.
With delicious food and a steady clientele, Asiana House appears to have reversed the curse of a bad corner.