I went on a recent Friday night to sushi restaurant 2 Tha Joint with my daughter and friends, and the place was hoppin’. But despite being busy, the table service was friendly, and the hot sake ($6, large) was actually hot. Food orders hit the table remarkably fast, and we were never lacking for attention. In a town with so many all-you-can-eat sushi options, 2 Tha Joint ($18.95 lunch, $24.95 dinner) stands out for exceptional service. Like its sister location, Tha Joint in Sparks, the menu has a prison theme. Make of that what you will.
We ordered nearly all the available appetizers, including yakiton, gyoza, miso soup, baked mussels, fried calamari and Angry Bird. The yakiton were adequate. The potstickers were crispy. The mussels were on the diminutive side, but they were tasty and spicy. The soup, while a bit watery, was hot and full of tofu and scallion. The squid wasn’t overcooked. The Angry Bird—a dish of tempura deep-fried chicken nuggets doused in hot sauce—was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone.
For nigiri, I went with maguro (tuna), tataki (marinated seared tuna), hamachi (yellowtail), cooked scallop, salmon, cajun salmon, smoked salmon, tai (red snapper), unagi (cooked freshwater eel), mackerel, tako (octopus) and upside down shrimp. The cuts were very nice, served with a perfect amount of rice, and all of them tasted fresh. The tataki was quite good. The tako was tender, and the mackerel was exceptional. The octopus and mackerel were so good, I had to have more of each. The scallop slices were on the large side—perfectly seared, buttery and beautiful.
My friends ordered a collection of long rolls, starting with Tha Death Row’s mix of spicy tuna, onion, spicy crab, asparagus, cajun salmon, avocado, habanero masago (omelet) and chili sauce. I noted a lot of spicy elements in much of the menu, so perhaps that’s the punishment aspect? This roll had a lot going on, with something of a beefy flavor. My daughter called it, “Sunday dinner agrave; la sushi.”
Tha Whole Nine Yards combined fried calamari, spicy crab, shrimp, avocado, cream cheese and pepper powder. It was crunchy, smooth and spicy. A Spider roll of soft shell crab, cucumber and avocado was pretty standard, with less presentation of big pokey bits than some, but it was long on crab flavor and texture. Tha Only’s use of unagi, asparagus, crab, spicy tuna and fried sweet potato was interesting, coming in second on sweetness to Tha Misfits’ tempura shrimp, mango, seared salmon, spicy crab and lemon sauce combo.
I’m not going to say much more about Tha Jail Bait and its tempura crab, tempura scallion, seared tuna, avocado, garlic pepper sauce and tempura crunch, other than it was a pretty tempting morsel. Oddly for me, Tha Wing Man’s inclusion of cream cheese with salmon, cucumber, fried jalapeño, lemon sauce and hot sauce worked. I’m not generally a fan of cream cheese in rolls, but the other items covered for it and kept it from being a nuisance.
Crystal shrimp, cucumber, sliced lemon, salmon, scallion and hot sauce completed Tha Frisco. I thought the ingredients were a bit overcome by the heat, though the friend who ordered it said it was her favorite. My last minute order of a Tha Joint hand roll turned out to be one of my favorites for the evening, loaded with crystal shrimp, spicy crab, cooked scallop, avocado, pepper powder and hot sauce. In this roll, the heat made sense—plus, the nori was easy to bite through.
We ended the meal with more drinks and a taste of green tea ice cream, because it just wouldn’t be a Reno sushi night out otherwise. If you’ve got to do some time, 2 Tha Joint is a pretty pleasant place to spend it.