I followed a recent weeknight whim to Chubby Salmon, a sushi and hibachi spot that’s tucked into a Jupiter strip plaza. On my way there, I passed a line that snaked outside Food Shack, located just doors away. Unlike its iconic neighbor, the sushi spot was virtually empty, its hibachi fires unlit.
I should specify that it was empty of people, not of good food and sparkling service. The menu at Chubby Salmon is large and well varied, ranging from appetizers to specialty rolls, bowls, “boats” and such.
My intention was to have a miso soup, a sushi roll and a glass of wine. My reality was far more interesting.
A gyoza soup ($6) brought plump pork dumplings in a clear but sturdy broth swimming with mushrooms and scallions. (An even deeper broth proved a satisfying base for the night’s ramen bowl special, which offered thinly sliced, tender pork with vibrant veggies and a jammy egg. Delicious.)
As an appetizer, we shared a mound of raw, chopped, sushi-grade tuna served poke-style in a spicy dressing ($14).
For main course, while my dining companion devoured the ramen, I had an entrée that was almost too pretty – and too generous – to eat: a bento tray ($23) laden with pan-fried dumplings, a small California roll, three pieces of sushi (tuna, salmon, shrimp), a small salmon fillet served over stir-fried veggies and a heap of tempura-battered bites.
I may have not had every bite, but I had a reason to love every one of the four bento compartments.
Later, we lingered over mango and green tea mochi ice cream and eavesdropped on – and later joined – a nearby table’s foodie conversation.
By then, the place had seen its share of takeout customers, many of them regulars. Good. A spot this good ought to have many, many regulars.
IF YOU GO
- Chubby Salmon Hibachi and Sushi Bar: 103 S. U.S. Highway 1 (in the Publix-anchored plaza), Jupiter; 561-743-0033