To unlock the secrets of edible delight, I consulted a deft master of culinary carpentry, sushi chef Kate, at AhSo (720 SE Hawthorne), that bastion of late-night (8pm-4am), wasabi-drenched vision questing (and drunken hipsters). I asked where she liked to eat when not wielding a knife. She said she liked Muu-Muu's (612 NW 21st). "I just really like the casual atmosphere, and the food is good, like comfort food, only it's not comfort food. It's fusion, but it's really good." One of her favorite dishes at Muu-Muu's is the blackened salmon. That's high praise, coming from someone who works elbow-deep in fish all night.

I personally enjoyed the seared mahimahi, served sandwich-style on a flaky hoagie roll with a delightful wasabi-mayo that, while providing zing, didn't overpower the taste of the fish. Near excellent, too, are the green beans in creamy garlic sauce. Kate mentioned the full bar and the affordable entree prices (around $7) as other reasons to visit. Not wanting to miss the brass ring, I asked her where she gets her sushi-grade fish. "It's a secret," she said, resisting like a tight-lipped magician. "I can't tell you. Although I will say I hand-pick it myself every day. I've worked at four different sushi places and most places only get a shipment every couple of days." You can't argue with fresh. Both of these spots are a safe bet.