Restaurant Name: Ah Z
Location: 35 South Chauncey Avenue, West Lafayette, IN (map it)
Phone: (765) 743-5566?
Review: This review was not originally meant to be a review of Ah Z. It was actually meant to be a review of Maza. I got an email from a reader asking if I’d tried it. I hadn’t, so I looked it up and really wanted to try it out. Tonight, we drove over, sat through all the crazy campus traffic, and attempted to go to Maza. Apparently, though, you can only eat there if you have reservations so we were turned away. I had no idea they were so popular already.
We instead chose to go somewhere else in that area and walked around in Chauncey Village looking for another option. This is how we found Ah Z. It is called a “Japanese Fusion” restaurant. I have no idea what “Japanese Fusion” means, but we decided it was worth a try and went in.
It’s a very small place. Maybe four tables. A counter for ordering, and a big menu on one wall. We spent some time with the menu and it is almost entirely sushi. You’ve got regular sushi, then there’s a big menu for the “Big Ten Rolls” which is kind of neat. Each Big Ten school has a special roll. There is a smaller menu off to the side with a handful of non-sushi dishes.
You order at the counter and then, if you are eating in, they’ll bring your food to you. It appears they do a decent amount of take out orders. We ordered. My husband got one of the Big Ten rolls (I can’t remember which school, but it had Salmon, crab, and avocado) and I ordered the Spicy Chicken. I’m not a big sushi eater, I’m sorry to say. The lady taking the orders was very delightful. Friendly and enthusiastic.
We sat down with our Styrofoam cups of water. (No alcohol here, by the way.) The tables all have baskets with chop sticks, soy sauce, sauce dishes, and napkins. While we were waiting, a fairly steady stream of people came in and placed to go orders. We were the only people dining in. Also, I was really mesmerized by the big screen TV over the counter playing Japanese pop videos. I couldn’t stop watching!
For the food, I would have to say that this is a probably a good place for sushi. Having shamefully admitted that I’m not a big sushi eater, I ordered the spicy chicken and it was not great. It came out in a Bento box. One square for salad, one square for rice, one square for chicken. It was very pretty and it looked really good. I was really excited about it. I started on the salad which was iceberg lettuce, sesame seeds, and some dressing. It was just okay. Then I started with my main course, and it was really rather bland. It was spicy, yes. But still bland. There really wasn’t any flavor other than the burning on my lips. I ate some of it, but eventually gave up. After a while of trying to get through it, I just started looking wistfully at all the people in the Taco Bell next door.
My husband, on the other hand, reports that his sushi roll was really quite good and he could have eaten another one. I would say this is probably a nice spot if you are on or near campus and like sushi or need a place to pick up sushi on the go, but I wouldn’t go there for anything else.
Kid friendly: Not really. (Only if your children like sushi.)