The Black Belt ($8) is not only a fish sandwich, but it’s a fish sandwich best served rare. Americans tend to shy away from rare meats, but make this one the exception. Pink and cool in the inside, the Ahi tuna steak (actually, they usually put at least two on the bread) is fresh and delicious. Wasabi mayo is spread over its seared surface to add just enough kick to make it flavorful and interesting, without overpowering the juicy fish. Pair it with a generous heap of french fries or sweet potato fries, close your eyes and suddenly, you’re at the beach.
If you haven’t been to Kohnami yet, you’ve probably either a) lived in Santa Fe for fewer than three days or b) resigned yourself to eating sushi only on brief jaunts to a coast. Pretty much any roll on the menu is a crowd-pleaser, but especially tasty is the rainbow roll ($10.95)—plus, everyone at the table can have their choice of fish or avocado topping from one, multi-fish roll. Eating fresh sushi family-style around a low table, feet tucked into a depression in the floor to make floor-sitting easier for us Westerners, it’s hard to believe some people just can’t get over the “there’s no water here” thing.
Mexican seafood is seriously legit. Mariscos “La Playa” presents the filete de tiburon al mojo de ajo ($11.45), also known as a Mako shark steak in butter and garlic. The plate is so heaped with fish, rice, fries, avocado, lettuce and tomato that one should resign at least a little of that food to the table. Shark has a unique taste; it doesn’t even really taste like fish, but it doesn’t quite taste like anything else either. Try dabbing some of the butter on the rice, then eating rice and fish together in a marvelous mouthful of maritime mastication. Fabulous.