Sushi is my ultimate takeout food. It’s tasty, classy, and most important: eaten cold. My sushi girl extraordinaire is Thandar of Jungle Jim’s Eastgate. Her family was making sushi in Cincinnati back when people were still going Eww! Instead of Mmm! Uncle Tim opened the sushi counter at Bigg’s Skytop in 2004 and Thandar followed shortly with the counter at Bigg’s Hyde Park.
Located just past the entrance, before you enter the Jungle itself, the sushi counter’s options range from the traditional California roll and spicy tuna to bold hybrid temptations, like the tempura shrimp roll with avocado, cream cheese, and crunchy onion. Or my custom-order spicy mango roll, with tuna, salmon, steelhead trout, and shrimp, finished with mayo, mango, and sesame seeds. For those who haven’t embraced the nori, Thandar and her crew offer tapioca paper. Whether you like fish, shellfish, eel, or just vegetables, there’s something here that’ll have you salivating in anticipation all the way home.
While you can easily pick and choose, they also have seven different party platters ranging from 18 to 70 pieces, making your trip in and out even quicker. Step into the actual store for some Sapporo or Sake, take home your Jungle Japanese, and enjoy it all in the comfort of your slippers. That’s what I call heroic.
Jungle Jim’s International Market,4450 Eastgate South Dr., Eastgate. $7–$15. Last batch out about 6 pm daily, available until they run out.
Originally published in the September 2014 issue