With so much sushi to choose from in Reno, service and flavor have to be present in equal measure for a place to compete. I can cope with waiting on food if the meal is outstanding, and a middle-of-the-road meal can be improved by quick and attentive service. Unfortunately, neither side of the equation made me want a repeat visit to the strangely named Sushi? OK.
The place was packed with families having dinner, so perhaps they were short on supplies. We were provided a single menu for the table to share. The order slip included half the items listed on the extensive menu—and some items that weren’t listed on the menu. We wrote a few selections in the margins and hoped for the best.
Everything but our drinks took a long time to arrive. Appetizers took about 30 minutes, and there were long pauses between plates after that. From the sizeable list of appetizers, we kept it simple with potstickers, miso soup and baked mussels. The soup and potstickers were tasty but served at lukewarm temperature. More disappointing were the nicely seasoned, spicy mussels that were served stone cold. At least my sake was served a bit warmer, though not really hot. Perhaps the oddest things was that we were presented with napkins, utensils and condiment dishes, but we had to ask for pickled ginger and wasabi after our first dishes arrived.
Although I appreciate hand rolls and long rolls, nigiri sushi is my favorite. The rice-to-fish ratio and freshness of fish were adequate. I sampled tuna, yellowtail, salmon, snapper and mackerel—which was about as fresh-tasting as any mackerel I’ve had in Reno. Unfortunately, my orders of fresh water eel and octopus were missing in action.
Moving on to complex nigiri, the upside down shrimp was topped with rice, raw bay scallop, scallion, black sesame seed and Japanese mayo. This was followed by the Volcano, a big piece of yellowtail rolled around a ball of rice, topped with raw bay scallop, scallion, black sesame seed and Japanese mayo. The Hollywood featured rice topped with sliced, raw jumbo scallop topped with cooked sea scallop, sesame seeds, and toasted sesame oil. Last was the Sexy Dory upside down shrimp, which was topped with rice, sea scallop, scallion and toasted sesame oil. Overall, the flavors of the two variations on upside down shrimp and the Volcano were quite sweet and mostly indistinguishable from one another. The Hollywood stood out on flavor and texture, most definitely something I would order again.
Our first long roll was the Sancho, a mix of jalapeño, crystal shrimp, salmon, avocado, spicy crab, cilantro, lemon and teriyaki sauce. Mostly I tasted rice, sweet with a bit of heat. The Show roll—crystal shrimp, jalapeño, spicy crab and seared tuna—had quite a bit of spice, cut by crab salad with a lot of mayo. The Guerra Fire roll’s mix of salmon, crystal shrimp, lemon and sesame seed was a bit overpowered by a seriously fiery habanero sauce. We used bites of deep-fried Jumbo roll—shrimp, crab, cream cheese and sweet teriyaki—to cut the heat, though I really couldn’t taste any fish flavors through the cream cheese, batter and sauce.
Three other rolls were ordered but apparently forgotten, so we decided to just skip them and move on. Sitting for two hours for a partial order is about my limit for adequate-to-mediocre food.