By Kendra Davis
Co-Editor in Chief
Azie on Main, nestled beside Staples on the upper level of the shopping plaza right down the road is in an ideal location for campus’ pedestrian population. This is no late-night, fast food eatery, however—the chic decor will tell you that the second you walk in the door. Those wanting to make the trek should definitely do so in their best attire.
A few extra bills aren’t a bad idea, either, for Azie’s prices are not for the faint of heart. With a miso lettuce cup appetizer at $12 and a single piece of tuna sushi at $7, it is the type of menu that requires some investigation into the best values prior to ordering. Some prices are reasonable given such rare or high-quality ingredients as foie gras or kobe beef, but others are not.
If the food had to be described in a single word, it would be heavy. The rock shrimp appetizer was a bowl of fried shrimp covered in a thick cochujan aioli—delicious until the fourth or fifth forms a deadweight in your stomach.
The truffle parmesan fries, full of flavor and fried to a crunchy perfection, were redeeming, as was the crab fried rice, which included no shortage of big crab chunks amongst rice so fluffy you could lay your head on it. Unfortunately, it lacked in flavor.
The heaviness continued into the entree. Thinking that maybe it was just the nature of the dishes selected for appetizers that was bringing all that grease to the table, sushi seemed the obvious counterbalance. This may be the first time, however, that sushi defies the stereotype of being light, yet filling.
The California roll, wrapped in a thin layer of cucumber rather than the traditional seaweed, was so dense with oil that the half-eaten first piece left a dark, circular stain on the napkin.
The New Philly roll, filled with shrimp tempura, cheese sauce and eel sauce was interestingly wrapped with a layer of perfectly seared Kobe beef, but was not as light as it could have been.
The final selection, the Azie roll with spicy tuna, scallion, avocado, tempura crunch and eel sauce, was undoubtedly the best of the three.
However where the food was lacking, the decor made up for it. The high bar with white marble countertops is perfect for a classy Friday afternoon happy hour, and the long wooden tables beautifully lined with tea candles are ideal for large dinner parties. A group of elderly individuals at a nearby table seemed to have found the lighting too dim, however, as they activated the flashlights on their phones in order to read the menu.
The most impressive part of the dinner, which definitely transformed it from a mediocre to an overall positive experience, was the service.
From the minute we walked through the door to the minute we left, everyone from the hostess, to the manager, to the server and even the chef visited our table, ensuring that our party was treated as royally as the Queen herself.
If the food matched the service, this local establishment would be worthy of a visit from any Main Line A-lister.