Nomzilla! Sushi, Et Cetera
1000 Gallatin Avenue, Suite A
Nashville, TN 37206
Regular readers of this blog (a small-but-passionate group) are undoubtedly familiar with the hip and trendy section of Nashville known as East Nashville, or East Nasty to locals. Over the past several years, the neighborhood has been transformed, with residential renovation and construction, as well as chic new retail and restaurant offerings.
Haute Flavor has spotlighted one or two of the restaurants (e.g. AMOT and Pepperfire), and there are many others we will hopefully visit soon. One spot that has been on my list for quite some time now is Nomzilla Sushi. We tried going there once for lunch on the weekend, but as noted above, they are not open for lunch on the weekends.
Recently, while visiting a client in East Nasty, I visited Nomzilla (table for one, please!) for a quick lunch. I came away very impressed.
By their own admission, Nomzilla doesn’t do sushi the same way other places do. As noted on their website, they are “challenging the traditional way of doing things and deconstructing them down to the ‘atoms’.” They want you to have your sushi with only the ingredients you want. Knowing this, I took them at their word when I ordered. More on that later.
Nomzilla started out in another hip and trendy section of Nashville known as Edgehill Village. They began life as a fast-casual sushi bar doing things differently. When their center was taken over by new investors, they were forced to find new accommodations. They ended up in East Nasty. With the new, larger location came the opportunity to expand their offerings and their service. They are now a full-service sushi joint offering a “myriad of other East and Southeast Asian dishes that will blow your mind and taste buds!”
The chef is Thet H. Tint, otherwise known as the Chief Nomster. Thet hails from Myanmar (Burma), and has a nursing degree. Due to unforeseen immigration issues, Thet was delayed when scheduling the nursing exam and – fortunately for us – spent the time learning how to own and operate a sushi restaurant. The rest, as they say, is history.
The food at Nomzilla is slightly different from what you’d expect, without being so different as to put you off. It tastes fresh and full-flavored, but somehow different…in a good way.
For example, my Bento Maki lunch came with a salad. Unlike most every other Asian/Sushi restaurant I’ve frequented, Nomzilla does not serve the orange-ginger dressing with their salads. Don’t get me wrong, I love that dressing, but the sesame-ginger vinaigrette served by Nomzilla was beyond fantastic. The salad consisted of a spring mix of greens, as opposed to the usual iceberg salad you get at most places. It was the best salad I’ve ever had at an Asian restaurant.
My Bento Maki lunch came with tuna roll, cucumber roll, & half a California roll. Given that Nomzilla wants you to have your sushi with only the ingredients you want, I asked to substitute spicy tuna roll for the tuna roll, and they were happy to comply.
My meal also came with Miso soup, which while neither better nor worse than I’ve had at other places, was still warm and comforting on a chilly afternoon. It’s hard to mess up Miso Soup.
Best of all, my meal was only $10. With tax and tip, I was out the door for $15 – not bad for the amount of quality food I received. It was actually more than I could eat. I had a few pieces of cucumber roll left over.
As noted above – and on their website – the menu at Nomzilla includes many other East and Southeast Asian dishes. Once such dish is Burmese Butternut Squash Gazpacho. It is roasted butternut squash soup, seasoned vegetables & burmese spices, served chilled. You could also try the Kimchi, which comes in fried rice form, and is also available as Spicy Pork Kimchi Ramen.
If, like me, you sometimes prefer a salad as your meal, you could order Burmese Beef Salad, which is seasoned grilled steak and romaine lettuce tossed in spicy tamarind dressing with tomato & crispy shallots. This sounds very good, and might be what I get next time.
For a look at the full menu, click here.
If you are like us, and you enjoy frequenting East Nashville, you need to add Nomzilla to your list. It’s well worth the visit. We’ll be going back soon.