In a land far, far away… down Tryon there is a little sushi spot called Wang King.
They have half price sushi night, every night. I asked them what was in their Mango Chicken and the waitress just shrugged her shoulders like she had no idea what chicken even was. “We do white meat for you,” she responded. Yikes.
So I clicked my heals together and chanted: “There’s no place like Nikko, there’s no place like Nikko.”
Cause there’s really not… in Charlotte at least. And despite the fact that the see-and-be-seen swank restaurants with equally beautiful people and plate presentation are a lot like pretty girls: a dime a dozen – even in Charlotte.
But Nikkos stands out. It has character… literally.
I pulled up to the not so new anymore Nikko in the Arlington Building (you know, the pink building) and conveniently valeted — only to hurry up and wait. I got there at 9:30 p.m. and had to wait 45 minutes to an hour for a table. But apparently I got pull (I’m being facetious here) because someone said to me, “How’d you get that so quickly (pointing to my buzzer that goes off when my table’s ready) it took me an hour just to get a blinky thing.”
Why so crowded? Is the sushi that good?… is it the atmosphere?...or is it the owner Joanna that dances around in a boa and cowboy hat banging on a tambourine and serenading her “sushi love” patrons with remixed pop songs.
Like her remix to Pussycat Doll’s Dontcha: “Dontcha you wish your girlfriend was hot like wasabe… Dontcha wish your girlfriend was raw like sushi?” Because of her that song will never be the same.
But if you buy a sake bomb she’ll dance for you. Nikko’s also has their own special drink menu, including a “Saketini” and a Nikkotini with Green Tea Liquor.
But Joanna keeps her upscale restaurant just low maintenance enough for me to want to go. We felt so laid back in NYC style dining domain. I was flinging sushi everywhere trying to learn how to use chopsticks and we were enthralled by big screens set on the Olympics watching the Jamiacan Bolt running 25 m.p.h… that’s speeding in some neighborhoods.
By 10:30 p.m. the place had cleared out — where’d everybody go? Home... or Uptown?