Sushi, in my case, is one of the smartest meals to BYOB. All that white tuna nigiri and designer maki add up, and the drink-less bill often rivals my typical "dinner & drink" one. Steamer, my BYOB partner-in-crime, was in town on a rare occasion (he takes his wine-ing to Michigan during the summer months) so we decided to do things right and burst into Cafe Furaibo, bottles in tow.
The previously untested sushi place immediately secured a place on our "to be frequented often" roster. It's a blink-and-you'll-miss-it establishment, with a pretty wimpy sign (that we hope will keep the wimpy masses away). A party of literally about 25 took up the majority of the restaurant. We were delighted when they asked us if "outside" was OK (sushi and moonlight? Yes!), until we realized that "outside" meant a table in the lobby. Oddly enough, it was a comfortable setting: Our own nearly private room, with the odd diner wafting in and out.
We came armed with a Pinot Blanc, which was Steamer's choice, and one I have little interest in discussing, because when it comes to sushi, Sauvignon Blanc is my almost exclusive drink of choice. A tight schedule meant we had to select a pre-chilled bottle at Vas Foremost, so I opted for the 2003 Francis Coppola Diamond Collection Yellow Label Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc, a white that pairs a lengthy name with a shortened price tag of about $10.
It turned out to be the perfect accompaniment to our meal, which we kicked off, as always, with edamame and dollar bowls of steaming miso. We dug in when it came to the maki, pairing a few pieces of tuna, salmon and eel with the tangy, $7 Caribbean Secret, a mango-topped roll that housed yellowtail, asparagus, gourd and mayo, along with Cafe Furaibo's omnipresent treat: tempura flakes.
Donny's, a scallop roll with wasabi tobiko, shitake, avocado, asparagus and tempura crunches, provided just as complex a taste, washed down with the crisp, grapefruit and melon sips of white that proved as palate-cleansing as the ginger. The wine's fruit-driven taste will always trounce the herbal, oaky notes of chardonnay in a sushi-wine death match: quite simply, it allows the fish to shine.
On the bonus side, it's worth noting that most of the restaurant's specialty rolls, like the no-fail Rainbow Roll, take on the dimensions of a half-dollar, as they should be, versus the size of silver dollar pancakes. I don't think the bigger-is-better theory applies to maki, and appreciate non-super-size tendencies.
Zinny Fandel's tales of living the (mostly) BYOB life are intended to be attempted at home and in the community, preferably at BYOB restaurants.