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Axiom may be a little gimmicky—Asian-style jalapeño poppers are stuffed with crabmeat and cream cheese, tempura fried, split in half, and drizzled with sweet soy and sriracha—but the kitchen turns out some good dishes. We like the flounder “chips” topped with a combination of octopus, avocado, spicy mayo, masago, and jalapeño, and any of the many rolls. Bento boxes are a good deal at lunch.
Sushi Axiom suits its newly gentrified neighborhood along Henderson Avenue. When the weather cooperates, sexy singles fill the spacious patio decked out with cushioned wicker furniture, bar stools, and a Buddha-accented waterfall. Inside, dance music pulsates in the background while four TVs flicker on a grid between the bar and sushi bar. Sea creatures swim aimlessly in an aquarium while sushi chefs slice and dice and roll fresh fish and an extravagantly long list of specialty rolls. Wine bottles are stacked all the way up the glass walls of the private dining room. Even the bathroom is nicer than it has to be, with its marble tiled walls and floors and fancy faucets. This place is jammin’. We’ve had a couple of weekday dinners here lately; the second was the direct result of a successful first. Young, friendly servers demonstrate their knowledge of the menu with solid recommendations, as opposed to the stock, “everything is good here” answer. On visit No. 1 we shared two appetizers. The first, tuna and crab nachos, was a safe and tasty bet, with tuna tartar and crabmeat spooned inside what resembled a Tostitos Scoop. The second was a little more adventurous: flounder “chips” (yep, chips made out of fish) topped with a combination of octopus, avocado, spicy mayo, masago, and jalapeño. Although the chips were a little too greasy for two of our foursome—and the server warned us they might be—the other two of us enjoyed every spicy bite. It was a culinary adventure worth seeking. During dinner No. 2, we tried yet a third starter—stuffed jalapeños, Asian style. Jalapeños were filled with crabmeat and cream cheese, tempura fried, split in half, and drizzled with sweet soy and sriracha. The delicate crunch from the tempura, the heat from the sriracha, the coolness of the softened cheese—after these, you’ll never be satisfied with another silly Tex-Mex popper.The list of rolls is long and slightly mind-numbing. The first night we ordered heavy: the fried Scallop Dynamite Roll with cream cheese and spicy mayo, plus the Lobster Roll, also fried, also with spicy mayo. (Don’t judge.) We lightened it up a smidge with the Dragonfly—a California roll wrapped with freshwater eel—and Hamachi Heaven Roll, which was stuffed with spicy crab meat and fresh shrimp (our substitution for shrimp tempura) and topped with paper-thin slices of cherry tomato and jalapeño. Is it gimmicky? Sure. Would a purist balk? Maybe. But every bite went down faster than the last.So how is the actual sushi, you say? Unagi was a generous portion; yellowtail was silky and hovered just between chilled and room temperature. Those we enjoyed on the second night, alongside the Love at First Bite roll, which arrived looking like Christmas on a platter, with red, green, and black tobiko (fish roe) clinging tightly to the roll filled with spicy crab meat, spicy tuna, spicy salmon, and avocado. A drizzle of neon-green cilantro cream sauce on the plate completed the Christmas effect.In the mood for something sweet? Sushi Axiom does dessert, but we just paid the check and went a few doors down to Natsumi for a scoop of gelato. If pink guava is the frozen yogurt flavor of the day, get it.