One of the longest-running sushi bars in Reno—Sushi Club—recently closed, and I have to say it had seen better days. In its place is a new restaurant with food I would return for on a regular basis—Paradise Sushi.
Perhaps because they’re new, the service was speedy and attentive. The chefs were quick with orders, and our server was fast on water refills. She even noticed—without being asked—that we needed more napkins. My order of hot sake turned out to be gratis, but it’s possible this was because they’re waiting on a license to sell the stuff. I certainly didn’t mind free hooch.
We started with a plate of Paradise slaw, a varietal mix of shredded cabbage sprinkled with black sesame seeds, tossed in a lightly savory dressing. It reminded me of Vietnamese cabbage salad but without the pungency of fish sauce. A serving of yakiton—cousin to crab rangoon—featured a single deep-fried wonton tube stuffed with cream cheese and crab, cut on the bias and served with a sweet and spicy sauce.
Our order of six potstickers was unique. The meat filling was average, but the wrappers were completely fried to a deep golden brown, resembling little chimichangas more than gyoza. The miso soup was piping hot and had a lot more miso paste than most—very tasty. Best of all the starters was an order of six baked mussels. They’re also available grilled and come topped with Japanese mayo and chili sauce. Ours were served at just the right temperature and in record time. Lunch All You Can Eat ($17.50) includes one order of mussels, but they’re unlimited for dinner ($23.75) diners. Mussel lovers, rejoice.
The rice-to-fish ratio in both nigiri and rolls was good, and all the fish I tasted was great—with a couple of exceptions. The octopus was a bit tough and chewy, and the freshwater eel had an odd aftertaste I couldn’t quite place. My wife said it tasted fishy. For me, it was just off enough I wouldn’t order it again, though it could have been the sauce I didn’t care for. I enjoyed all of the compound nigiri, with the Spicy Upside Down Shrimp Fire being of particular note. The flattened shrimp was topped with tuna, crab, avocado and fire sauce.
A Lulu roll with spicy crab, shrimp, salmon, ponzu sauce, lemon and cilantro was nice. The salmon tasted very fresh and the lemon really tied it all together. The Mt. Rose roll of salmon, spicy crab, lemon, cilantro and tobiko was also enjoyable, though my wife noted the cilantro seemed dry rather than fresh. Cilantro loses a lot of aroma and flavor once it’s dried, so fresh herbs would have been preferable.
The Wayne’s hand roll was a high point of our meal—perfect, just-cooked scallop with tender, crunchy crystal shrimp and a decent mayo-based sauce. I can’t recall when I’ve had one better. I followed this by requesting a more elaborate long roll—The Show—be converted to temaki with crystal shrimp, scallop, seared tuna, spicy crab, avocado and jalapeño. It was a complete mouthgasm in a crisp seaweed cone.
Similarly, a signature Paradise maki roll was rendered temaki on request, sans cream cheese as neither of us care for this ingredient in sushi. My wife loved it but wondered about the lack of jalapeño, until she found it in the bottom of the roll. It certainly added a bit of bang at the finish.
Typically, a meal of AYCE sushi ends with a scoop of ice cream or mochi, but my wife wanted something more. Her tempura banana ice cream featured big slices of banana deep-fried in tempura batter, served with a whole strawberry, chocolate ice cream, strawberry cinnamon sauce and whipped cream. A great finish for a very enjoyable dining experience.