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Kids and restaurants often don’t mix well. I’m not talking about the ubiquitous, screeching litters of crumb-crunchers smearing their gooey little hands on the sneeze guards at Cracker Barrel. If you go to a place like that, you shouldn’t be surprised when a kid acts the fool. I’m talking about the kinds of places where adults go in search of a fun evening. If teaching your kids basic manners is too much to ask, get a baby sitter or stay in. The rest of us shouldn’t have to suffer.

There I was at Sushi Axiom (2600 W. 7th St.) after a hard day of Christmas shopping when the kids in the booth behind me started playing their chopsticks like drums for what seemed like an eternity. I peered around the booth wearing my best “Oh, God, please shut up” look, but the kids and their parents were oblivious. I’m not sure those kids had time to eat anything in between drum solos, loud belches, and playing YouTube videos.

My guest and I had gone to Sushi Axiom only because there was a long wait next door at Gloria’s Restaurant, and we had been to the sushi joint’s other neighbor, Bite City Grill, just a few days earlier. It’s not that I dislike Sushi Axiom, I just see it as entry-level sushi. There’s nothing that really blows me away, but it’s not offensive, and the prices are reasonable. It’s the kind of place to take someone who has never tried the raw fish.

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Needless to say, the constant clanking of the little drummer boy and girl didn’t create the best atmosphere. Unfortunately, the food didn’t salvage my experience. For example, the tuna and crab nachos ($6) appetizer tasted fresh and zesty. But the seafood was piled into those Tostitos Scoops. The dish wasn’t bad — it just brought what could have been an elegant dish down to family-reunion buffet level. The edamame ($5) was way overcooked, which turned the little beans into paste.

Luckily the service was prompt, so there wasn’t much lag time between the courses. A good sushi roll generally soothes me, and I needed to soothe my felonious urge to strangle those kids. Alas, the sushi that night was just as hit-and-miss as the appetizers. The sashimi dinner ($20) is a chef’s choice of 15 little fishies, and most of them were bland and unremarkable. The highlights included the fresh-tasting white snapper and the oily, rich hamachi (yellowtail collar). The lowlights were white tuna, slathered in mayo or something like it, and slimy, stringy scallops.

I paid the tab just after the entrées arrived and bolted as soon as we’d had our fill. I tried to burn a hole in the parents of those kids with my gaze as we walked by, but they were too busy chewing their fried rice to notice.

I don’t blame the restaurant for the behavior of those children. But it is the kind of place that attracts amateur-night sushi diners. It’s nice that they have a place to go. I just won’t be joining them again anytime soon.

Contact Chow, Baby at chowbaby@fweekly.com

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