Sushi and Cupcakes

Lingbo Li

In this series, columnist Lingbo Li will tackle all your questions about foodie life at Harvard and in the Cambridge/Boston area. Got a query? Leave a comment or e-mail us at

Where's cheap sushi that doesn't suck?

Sushi's a funny kind of creature.

Thankfully, we've come a long way from the days when the very concept of raw fish was repulsive, but still, it can be hard to find a place that pleases both wallet and palate. The key to good sushi is really the freshness of the fish—and if you're used to eating the stuff in Japan, just about no restaurant in Boston will satisfy you. In that case, O Ya, the stratospherically-priced sushi joint anointed the best new restaurant in 2008 by The New York Times, might do the trick.

But most of us live on budgets. The best local option near Harvard Square is Blue Fin, in Porter Square Exchange Mall. Nosh on decent quality sushi for low prices. Plus, it's surrounded by fun, casual Asian eateries. Avoid the other sushi bar called Masa's Sushi Bar (replacing the old Kotobukiya Sushi Bar). it's not worth your time. To get here, you can either walk up Mass. Ave. or take the T one stop to Porter Square.

A bit more expensive and regarded as very good is Fugakyu in Brookline, accessible by the 66 bus. (Get on at JFK and Eliot St, get off at Harvard St. at Beacon St.) And then there's Genki Ya, also in the same neighborhood. Their schtick is organic sushi, but really, it's just plain delicious—and reasonably priced!

My friend throws in a recommendation for Snappy Sushi in Davis Square. They have lunch specials in the $10 range. Not bad!

What is the best cupcake you ever had and where?

There's a saying goes something like "The best cupcakes in life are free." So I would have to say that the best bites I ever had were that time Kickass Cupcakes donated a box to the STUFF magazine office. I was interning at the time, writing e-mail blurbs and researching male bikini waxes, subsisting on HUDS bag lunches. Not only were they bag lunches, they were salad bag lunches. So there I'd be, munching on baby carrots, lettuce, and apples, trying to convince myself that I was enjoying myself. (Or that I was doing something good for my health.)

So when I saw that sumptuous variety box ranging from s'mores cupcakes to mojito cupcakes, it brightened my week with the efficacy of a diabetic's blood sugar spike. "Super Chocolate" cupcake topped with bittersweet choco ganache, you take my cake.

Lingbo Li, a junior in Quincy House, is a food blogger, an FM food columnist, and FlyBy's resident gastronome.