Roll with it
Forging its own identity in the space formerly known as Hiroba, Sushimi’s is both familiar and new. We waited a bit for a table on a Monday night—not more than 20 minutes—and we were warmly greeted upon entry. My wife’s friend and I availed ourselves of free sake, available Monday through Thursday, and I was surprised to see large bottles served for each of us—not a bad way to get things started.
Service was quick, with appetizers rapidly filling the table to capacity. Luckily, we brought a pair of 7-year-old eating machines, twin brothers raised on sushi. You’ve got to be pretty quick to snag a bite when dining with these enthusiasts. AYCE lunch is $17.95, dinner $22.95, but kids under 12 eat all they can for $11.95 during lunch hours and $14.95 during dinner hours.
Piping hot miso soup was followed by a plate of excellent baked mussels. Deep-fried gyoza, calamari rings and yakiton filled out the table, each with its own sauce and crispy character. Seaweed salad provided a light and refreshing contrast to the fried tidbits.
All of the sushi was top-notch. The rice-to-fish ratio was perfect, with each piece holding together well. The boys and I rolled through nigiri orders of tuna, seared tuna, yellowtail, salmon roe, salmon, smoked salmon, red snapper, fresh-water eel, shrimp, upside down shrimp, octopus, squid and sea urchin roe.
The seared tuna was topped with sesame seed and a sweet sauce, and the salmon roe was a fun, salty pop of ocean flavor. Both fresh and smoked salmon were delicious. The octopus was tender and buttery, and the sea urchin roe was that creamy, velvety, melt-in-the-mouth apparition of sea spray that is completely unique. Shrimp and squid are apparently the boys’ favorites. I didn’t get a bite of either—but I did manage to snag one upside down shrimp. It was stuffed with crab, and I thought it might be too much for smaller mouths. I was wrong. I’m told the squid was a bit crunchy, but I’ll just have to take the boys’ word for that.
Next was a pair of hand rolls, one spicy scallop and the other crystal shrimp. Each featured plenty of seafood mixed in with rice, veggies and sauce, and the nori wrappers were dry and easy to bite through. They were so well executed I wish I’d had room for more. Next time, perhaps fewer appetizers.
Three long rolls followed, including the Golden Gate (crystal shrimp, cucumber, thin sliced lemon, salmon and green onion), Tundra (crab, mango, tempura shrimp, charred salmon, macadamia, balsamic and teri sauce), and Guapo (cream cheese, crystal shrimp, cilantro, avocado, spicy crab and spicy sauce). The textures and flavor of the Golden Gate were quite good, if a bit on the sweet side. Though I liked the Tundra’s complexity, it was even sweeter, which I find a bit distracting. Finally, the Guapo became the one and only roll containing cream cheese that I’ve ever liked. It was spicy, savory and—shockingly—something I’d consider ordering again.
Unfortunately, it took about 20 minutes to get our server’s attention to order dessert, but the mochi, green tea ice cream and green tea cheesecake hit the table fast. The cheesecake was semi-sweet with a texture like soft butter, and the boys loved their ice cream rice balls. Despite this small glitch in service, our overall experience indicated a meal worth repeating.