One of my favorite local appetizers is Sashimi Hali’imaile, a dish that explodes with flavors that are as vivid and crisp as the pleasing colors that meet the eye.
A bed of crisp greens and julienne vegetables provides the foundation for Napoleon-like layers of smoked salmon, crispy wontons and ahi, all topped with a dollop of caviar. Sesame seeds and capers dot the dish.
This appetizer may draw its inspiration from Hawaii, but it is the creation of the Danish-born Alaskan chef, Jens Hansen, owner of Jens’ Restaurant in Anchorage. A colorful, bright plate that bursts with flavor is just the ticket when winter lasts for 7 often dreary months. Locals who are unable to escape to Hawaii can instead sidle up to the bar in the bustling little bodega at Jens’, sip a glass of wine from the extensive list, and imagine a tropical paradise while savoring a bit of fresh sashimi.
Insider Tip: Timing is important. You don’t want to be in the middle of your meal and miss the tradition. Each night at precisely 10 PM the music switches to Eric Clapton’s “Layla” — and dancing is encouraged.
701 West 36th Avenue
Anchorage, Alaska 99503
Jens’ Restaurant Website