Where? Miya's Sushi at 68 Howe Street in New Haven, Connecticut. 203-777-9760
Many chefs have embraced the notion of using organic, local and sustainable ingredients in their cooking. But I've never met a chef who adheres to this philosophy with the same intensity as Bun Lai. Not only does this Asian American chef forage for edible plants, harvest his own seaweed and dive for oysters and clams cultivated in the 100 Long Island Sound acres of shellfishing grounds he owns, he's on a mission to rid the planet of invasive species. So, when he served me Kanibaba, a sushi roll featuring Asian Shore Crabs, could I say, "No"? No! And it wasn't because I'd already had a few sips of sake infused with another invasive species: wild sumac. Asian Shore Crabs are an unfortunate import detested by Long Island Sound fishermen because they devour shellfish larvae. Chef Lai serves them deep-fried, shell and all, and eating a few of these crunchy, spiced intruders will make you feel like an environmental hero... as well as a gourmand.
Miya's Sushi, the restaurant Lai's mother founded three decades ago, is open daily. You won't find tuna rolls (tuna is overfished!), but you will find an intriguing regular menu in addition to the invasive species menu.