Fish vibrations

Gluttony doesn’t seem like such a bad way to die when faced with an eclectic plate such as this at Sushi Pier 2.

Gluttony doesn’t seem like such a bad way to die when faced with an eclectic plate such as this at Sushi Pier 2.

Photo By David Robert

One of the best things about Reno is the many all-you-can-eat sushi restaurants. Other places just don’t have all-you-can-eat sushi of the same high quality. Whenever I go out of town for extended periods of time, I find myself craving the unique sensations of too-much-sushi and, upon returning, first chance I get, I go for sushi and stuff myself silly. One of Reno’s best sushi places, the best, actually, as voted by RN&R readers, Sushi Pier, just spawned a second restaurant, Sushi Pier 2, a little farther upstream.

Some friends and I went to get stuffed silly. Actually, my friends were just there to eat; I was the only one who wanted to completely incapacitate myself.

Sushi Pier 2 is that rare sequel that’s even better than the original. It’s bigger, nicer, quieter and darker. It seems more like a fine-dining restaurant and less like a sports bar that just happens to serve sushi—which isn’t to say that they’ve cut down on the fun quotient. The chefs are friendly, and it’s always nice to sip on one of those huge 24-ounce Sapporo beers.

Plus, they have an impressive amount of sushi, what seems like more rolls than ever, with names like the Marilyn Monroll (salmon, avocado and cream cheese—really, really good, $5.75). The lunch all-you-can-eat lasts until 3 p.m. and is only $11.95; the dinner version is $16.95. I, of course, recommend eating all-you-can-eat rather than ordering à la carte. However, for some, à la carte might be a viable option.

“If you’re vegetarian, it’s good to go à la carte,” my friend Nicole said. “And if you’re eating big wads of wasabi, it’s good to have a napkin,” she added, wiping her mouth.

I set about eating at a brisk pace, enjoying the fresh water eel unagi (individual orders are $3.25), the salmon ($2.50), the yellowtail ($2.75), one of those delicious tempura-fried Godzilla rolls ($6.95), and the snap, crackle and pop of salmon roe. The sushi was notable for having the biggest portions of fish per piece of anywhere I’ve been.

I looked over at my friend Leah who was eating a great-looking handroll.

“What is that you’ve got there?” I asked.

“It’s a spicy tuna ice cream cone,” she replied, laughing.

So, I ordered a spicy tuna handroll ($3.25). And it was delicious, with a lot of meat, fresh and cold and soft, in such a way that the ice cream analogy was indeed apt.

I was enjoying myself thoroughly, and just when I thought it couldn’t possibly get any better, I took a really eye-watering, mind-blowing bite of a wasabi-heavy caterpillar roll ($7.95) just as the first “I …” of the Beach Boys’ “Good Vibrations” came on.

“I love this song!” I said. “I love this food!” Sushi Pier 2 has definitely upped the ante in the local sushi game.

After we’d eaten a bit more, my friend Dan turned to me and said, “I’ve got a pretty good sushi high going.” This was after we had decided to eschew our customary wasabi-eating contest.

I turned back to the menu, contemplating my next order and then realized that, although “Good Vibrations” had long since ended, I was bleating out my own awful fake-trumpet-sound rendition: “dee! di de di dee! da duh da da da dee di di di dee dah.” I stopped when I realized what I was doing. Everyone started laughing. I laughed with them.

Silliness had been attained.