Best of 2001: Best Non-Jewish Lox

Kazumi Sushi
3975 Fifth Avenue, Hillcrest

Most smoked salmon available locally (whether it's the precious Scottish or Irish product or the Lasco packages in the supermarket) follows the same model as Nova Scotia lox: The salmon is cured in a light salt brine and cold-smoked. Japanese lox is a little different. Kazumi Yokoyama wet-cures small quantities of raw salmon in mayonnaise and sea salt, and then cold-smokes it himself in the kitchen behind the sushi bar at Kazumi. The resulting sake (Japanese for "lox" as well as for rice wine) is firm, pearly in color, satiny, and faintly sweet, with a touch of near-crunchiness. "In Japan, we don't eat raw salmon, only cooked or smoked," Kazumi-San explains. "I smoke it myself because I don't trust anybody else."

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