Review_ a sushi spot, ajihei in princeton, diversifies its menu – the new york times

Ajihei, a Japanese restaurant set below street level in Princeton, is hardly a cartoonish operation. Egg and avocado breakfast sandwich After the beloved, 16-year-old establishment was renovated, in 2014, Koji Kitamura updated his menu, which was known for its clean, simple presentations of sashimi and sushi, to focus more on his cooked dishes, like teriyaki, tonkatsu, and various donburi. Avocado and egg for hair The biggest change, however, was the addition of ramen.

A case of what might be called sushi elbow forced Mr. Egg and avocado bake Kitamura to find ways to diversify to continue serving customers — up to 150 a day — at his one-chef, 24-seat operation. Avocado and boiled egg Now, on trips to the Bronx to buy fresh fish at Hunts Point, he sticks to the basics: tuna, salmon, yellowtail, fluke, scallop and eel. Egg in avocado hole recipe But there’s a new item on his shopping list: Soup bones. Baked avocado egg bowl Photo

The 2014 renovation created more bar seating and less space for conversation. Avocado and egg bake The standard fish-on-ice case was also removed, so that patrons can slurp their noodles side by side, in rhythm if not in haste, and catch only a glimpse of the sensei’s baseball cap behind the counter.

There is plenty left to please this Old Schooler, including more than respectable sashimi platters. Avocado and egg nutrition However, one evening in May, apparently irate over finding that sushi was no longer front and center on the menu, one couple managed to order nothing but 20 pieces of orange salmon sushi. Toast with avocado and egg At a nearby table, the shoyu ramen steamed and glinted with scallion and flecks of oil, and a bowl of chirashi sushi displayed the contrasts of uni and cucumber, tamago omelet and shrimp, and tuna and shiso leaf on a bed of sweet and tart sushi rice. Avocado and egg on toast Photo

It is so rare to get real shiso leaves instead of plastic representations that one might come here for this alone. Baked avocado with egg A special request might get you an umeshiso roll, with pickled plum.

If you feel like playing it safe, order the Japanese curry, a plate of warm brown sauce and rice, or the vegetable croquettes, basically crisped patties of mashed potato and a few peas. Avocado and egg for diabetes Salads and appetizers are hardly a presence on the newer menu, but are still available upon request. Avocado and egg recipes The one I would not miss is hiyayakko, a simple dish of cold silken tofu under grated fresh ginger, scallions, and bonito flakes.

Ajihei is particularly satisfying as a spot for lunch, when the more experienced servers are at work. Avocado and scrambled egg The pace is brisk and the menu offers the Business Lunch, a bento meal that changes daily; it’s a good deal at $15, and a chance to role play if you are not really very businesslike. Avocado egg tomato breakfast You can choose between a yellowtail (or salmon or eel, whatever fish Mr. Avocado egg recipe microwave Kitamura has extra of) roll and a California roll — though why would you opt for a California roll? — and you will get whichever is the day’s cooked dish, like crisp fried pork tonkatsu with its sweet-sour sauce, fried chicken karaage and fish or chicken teriyaki, plus a basic lettuce salad in miso dressing and a bowl of miso soup.

Ajihei has made the shift from mostly raw to the raw-and-the-cooked, and such a bento is a modest piece of genius, one that combines a bit of cool, cleansing raw fish and wasabi with comforting fried meat and rice, organized into lacquered rectangles, in a manner our midday brains might well envy.

The Space Underground, with bar seating, banquettes and tables that do not usually accommodate more than four diners at a time, though exceptions are possible. How long to bake avocado and egg Pleasantly cool, with blonde wood and a cartoonish wall mural.

The Crowd The lunch break crowd from town or university; couples in the evening. Avocado and egg toast Children, especially the very young, are rare. Avocado egg roll recipes Servers are capable and efficient at lunch; sweet, younger and occasionally flummoxed in the evening.

If You Go Lunch, Tuesdays through Fridays, 11:45 a.m. Sandwich with avocado and egg to 2 p.m. Avocado egg nog Dinner, Tuesdays through Thursdays, 6 to 9:15 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays, until 9:45 p.m.; Sundays, 6 to 9 p.m. Lean in 15 avocado and egg Reservations are not accepted. Egg and avocado breakfast recipes Park in the Chambers Street garage or at meters. Avocado and egg diabetes Located down a flight of stairs, with a restroom up a step in the kitchen, the restaurant is not wheelchair accessible. Baked avocado egg rolls Occasional vacations shut down the restaurant; check before you go.

A version of this review appears in print on July 10, 2016, on page NJ10 of the New York edition with the headline: One-Chef Sushi Spot Diversifies Its Menu. Avocado and baked egg Order Reprints | Today’s Paper | Subscribe Continue reading the main story