I feel like I have been in a rut lately and wanted to try something new. I have heard some good things about the new Sushi Bar on Broad Ripple Avenue and wanted to check it out. We were both impressed by how cute the interior of the place was when we walked in (ok, hubby would not use the word “cute,” but whatever). They have done a really nice job of giving it a feel that is more than just your typical Japanese restaurant. There’s a bay window in the front with a large sunken booth that was full with a family when we walked in—I can’t wait to take the kids back to sit there, they would love it (and the rest of the restaurant can’t hear them as well—it’s a win-win.)
|see the size of the glass?|
Anyway, we sat down and ordered some drinks—one of the first perks of this place is cheap alcohol. They have $1 domestic beers and $2 imports and while the wine list is, um, well, what you expect of most Japanese places, when you order a glass, it is a serious glass. As in HUGE. So you get your money’s worth here too (I think my glass was $6.99 which was one of the more expensive ones).
We started with an order of veggie tempura ($6.95). They also have an eggplant tempura appetizer that I was intrigued by and asked the server if eggplant was included in the mixed veggie option—she said no. So it was a nice surprise when she brought it out and told us they had gone ahead and added a couple pieces of eggplant. I appreciate these things. I also loved that there was a piece of broccoli in there as well (and various squash and a couple of onion rings). The tempura was only ok though—it just wasn’t quite crispy enough. The taste was good, but it needed another minute or hotter oil.
Next they brought us our rolls—we ordered the “2010 roll” which was a special on the board and was a roll with shrimp tempura inside and avocado, spicy tuna and crispy crab flakes on the outside (around $13). We both enjoyed the flavors of this one—there was also a light sauce beneath the crunchy crab flavored bits—my only problem with it was it was so tall, it was hard to get it in your mouth. I also thought it was interesting that the pieces of shrimp tempura that were inside the roll were much crunchier than the ones in the veggie tempura appetizer. I think a lot of places must fry the stuff that goes inside rolls longer to keep them crunchier once they’re in the roll. I just wish they would fry the other stuff as crunchy. Loved the crunchy bits on top to give the roll lots of texture.
We also had the red dragon roll (I am almost sure that was its name—around $12) and it was very good. Probably more up my alley because it was a little easier to eat and the tuna on top was great. It was eel and avocado inside and fresh tuna on top (actually rolled almost all the way around). There was also a lightly sweet unagi sauce on top. This one didn’t have the texture of the first one obviously, but it had a great, more simplified flavor. And the ingredients were extremely fresh and well done.
We also had an order of tuna nigiri ($4.50 for 2 pieces) because hubby really likes nigiri (which is just the rice topped with the fish). It was also very good—a good way to really get a handle on the freshness of the fish—this was melt in your mouth tender and the rice had that slight sweet/vinegar taste that makes nigiri shine. I sometimes don’t like nigiri as much because there is wasabi added (often a bit is put under the fish) but this one didn’t have that problem.
Our server was nice, but had a little bit of attitude—I think she was trying to be funny, but sometimes it came across as a little snotty. As the restaurant got busier, she was more focused on getting food and drinks out and I enjoyed myself more (the giant glass of wine didn’t hurt either). I was also entertained by the couple who came in toward the end of the meal and asked the server to explain everything to them—they had never had any type of sushi before (I love eavesdropping on the tables around me). I have to hand it to them though—way to be bold and just ask for help. The menu is quite large—I think there are probably 20-30 different rolls alone, not to mention a menu full of other good sounding things, including several noodle dishes that I would like to try.
Overall, while there are certain things that could use some improvement (the tempura for sure, as well as the fact there is no website to be found), this is a good addition to Broad Ripple village proper. The food is good and the prices are pretty reasonable (particularly for beer-- although it is technically a “special,” the special sign looked fairly permanent). They have a kids menu, which so few Japanese restaurants seem to have, and I know we’ll be back with the kids to give the place a try as a family. So who has had the noodles and other dishes? What else is good?
911 Broad Ripple Avenue
There is no website (there is a facebook page with nothing really on it). It is hard to believe in this day and age that a new restaurant doesn’t have a website, but maybe that’s just me.
***Update 11/2/12: they have a website!
***Update 11/2/12: they have a website!