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First Bite

By CHRIS SHERMAN

© St. Petersburg Times, published December 7, 2000


Sushi comes to No. 9 Bangkok

photo
[Times photo: Lisa DeJong]
A year ago downtown St. Petersburg had no sushi. Now it's got a second course, thanks to the expansion of No. 9 Bangkok, which has a 15-seat bar plus full restaurant dedicated to Japanese cuisine. Excitement is in the menu, not the decor: You can go pure with toro (lusciously fatty tuna) or unagi (smoked eel that tastes like mullet) or watch the chef play with almost 40 fancy rolls, raw and cooked, like a salmon roll flash-fried to a tempura crunch. Full menu covers katsu and tempura dishes and soba and udon noodles plus bento boxes. With prices from $3.50 to $10.88 for the likes of Spice Girl (spicy snapper on a California roll) it comes to a higher tab than a quickie Thai lunch, but No. 9 is not stinting on ingredients or talent behind the bar. No. 9 Bangkok Japanese Sushi & Oyster Bar, 571 Central Ave., St. Petersburg; (727) 894-5990.

-- CHRIS SHERMAN, Times food critic

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