You know how it is: when dining on sushi, itís rare to be distracted by appetizers. Devotees walk in knowing what they want, and over-ordering rules nearly every outing. But do yourself a favor and go to Pan Asia, in South Boston, with one thing in mind: seaweed salad. Huh? Yes, itís that good. Bright-green seaweed comes piled on a rectangular plate, and you smell the toasted sesame oil itís tossed with as you lift those chopsticks to your mouth. The seaweed is appropriately spongy to the tooth ó kind of like an al dente version of pasta ó and sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds. But what sets this salad apart from its often-tasteless brethren is an unusual dash of crushed dried red pepper and crisp strips of English cucumber on top. The only drawback? Thereís not enough of it on the plate (it is an appetizer, after all); that, and $6.50 seems a little pricey. Then again, I donít know what seaweed costs these days, and, frankly, I walked in intending to order a spider roll.
Available for $6.50 at Pan Asia, 412-414 West Broadway, in South Boston. Call (617) 268-2821.