I’m often asked for recommendations on Reno sushi joints. Even in a town seemingly saturated in the stuff, there’s always someplace new looking to make its mark. Sushi Maki opened last year in the Plumgate shopping center for a short time but closed before I got a chance to taste the food. When I heard they’d reopened in a new location, I invited my friend and her two kids to join me for a meal. All-you-can-eat meals are $18.95 for lunch and $24.95 for dinner. Lunch and dinner prices for kids 10 and younger are $13.95 and $17.95, respectively.
The miso soup was a hot bowl of umami contentment. We folllowed it up with a couple of orders of mussels. One baked and one fried ordered provided a nice contrast. Gyoza—potstickers—were crispy and full of herbed pork and cabbage. A yakiton cream cheese eggroll was smooth and crispy. I was surprised by my order of agedashi. It’s usually cubes of fried, silken tofu, served with a bit of sauce or broth and sprinkled with bonito flakes and scallion. Sushi Maki’s version consisted of triangles of fried curd that were set on a plate drizzled with the same sauce as the gyoza and yakiton. It was fine, but not quite what I was hoping for.
All of the nigiri bites featured excellent cuts of fish with just the right amount of rice. We enjoyed simple, delicious servings of scallop, salmon, mackerel, eel, surf clam, snapper, escolar, octopus, salmon roe, seared tuna and smoked salmon. But the compound nigiri was something else. Sure, Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck made the scene—seared tuna, crab mix and avocado; and salmon, crab mix and avocado, respectively—but they brought some backup. Pikachu’s seared tuna was topped with crunchy tenkasu and a house special sauce, while Mrs. Puff’s mix of salmon, tobiko, cilantro, green onion and yuzu sauce—hot and sour citrus—was a combination that’s hard to describe but was easy to enjoy.
Completing the lineup was Hot Nemo (shrimp, spicy tuna, spicy crab, avocado), Shrek (unagi, shrimp, avocado), Ninja turtle (cooked scallop, shrimp, avocado, tenkasu), Volcano (tuna, cooked scallop, crab mix, green onion) and a tempura-battered take on upside down shrimp. The steamed shrimp was stuffed with scallop, deep fried, then topped with crab mix, avocado and sauce, with a nice sesame finish.
Several long rolls were also shared, each rolled tight enough to provide bite-sized morsels. The Zuly roll began with tempura shrimp and cream cheese on the inside and was topped with shrimp, crab, avocado and chopped macadamia. Cream cheese isn’t something I look for in sushi, but this combo worked pretty well. The same was true of the Lion roll, which featured cooked salmon, crab, scallop, cream cheese and jalapeno topped with spicy tuna.
Spicy crab, cucumber and jalapeño filled the Vegas, which was topped with salmon, avocado and thin-sliced lemon. It was a terrific mix of fresh and spicy flavors, with a bit of crunch and a hint of sweetness. But an old favorite was the one I liked best—Wayne’s roll, with cooked scallop, tempura shrimp and crab mix. The long roll was good, but the hand roll variation on it was exceptional.
The kids rounded out the evening with the Crabzilla, a tempura deep-fried roll of crab, avocado and green onion. They thoroughly enjoyed it, yet still had room for dessert—eating machines, indeed.