Monday, October 15, 2012

Sushi Bar

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?

Sushi Bar
911 Broad Ripple Avenue
Indy  46220
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! 

Sushi Bar on Urbanspoon


  1. I absolutely love this place. Erin, they have a wonderful lunch deal, too. You can get either two or three rolls and a salad for under $10 and their salad dressing is THE BEST. I've quit grabbing grocery sushi for lunch, because this place is actually cheaper and tastes much better. I've been there way more for lunch than dinner, so I haven't had a lot of experience with their fancier rolls, but I agree, this place is a great addition to Broad Ripple. I, too, wish they had a website, but in the meantime I took a picture of the sushi menu with my phone to make take-out easier. :) has a $5 off coupon, too.

  2. I live in Silicon Valley and it always boggles me when new places don't have a website. It's oddly common!

  3. 26I'm with everyone on the lack of website; this is a big pet peeve. With the proliferation of free sites, it seems like this shouldn't be an issue. If a restaurant doesn't have a website I am less likely to eat there, unless I have a recommendation from someone.

  4. We tried Sushi Bar last night when our usual place had a (temporary, I hope) problem with an unappetizing odor. So glad we made that decision—this place was excellent.

    Saturday night around 8 PM and we got a table no problem, although the restaurant was busy. (That sunken both was empty at first but a party of women with gift bags was in there when we left.) Got a great two-top in front of the window that was perfect for conversation with The Huz.

    Our waitress was super friendly and very helpful. I asked her for her top three favorites and she asked a few follow-up questions (raw or cooked? cold or hot? fried or baked?, spicy or not?), then gave us suggestions for a variety of choices.

    We decided to skip the special roll with the jalapeño on it (I can't remember the name, might be Jalapeño Roll) because she said it was very spicy and that's not my thing, then Huz said I could make all the choices because he always likes what I pick. I like to spread our choices out between hot & cold plus a variety of fishes. In L-to-R order we got the following:
    — Spicy Girl ($10.99) has "sword fish, white fish, crab meat, pineapple with green spicy sauce on top". The sauce didn't look green but it did have a kick and a little sourness to it as well. The bits of pineapple were a nice surprise in the bite & not overdone. The waitress recommended this one for someone who likes the level of heat to not exceed that of spicy mayo (e.g., me).
    — Tokyo Roll ($10.99) has "spicy salmon, baked salmon with spicy mayo on top". The roll was topped with crunchy bits, too. It was a creamy, salmon-y taste that was very good. May have been Huz's favorite, which makes me smile because it was the only one I chose that the waitress didn't specifically recommend.
    — Dynamite ($9.99) has "spicy shrimp, eel, avocado, crab meat, salmon" and is deep fried. There was spicy mayo and (I think) eel sauce on top, too. It is a wide roll but the slices are thin enough that one bite will do it. I loved all the different flavors in this one and saved this for my last bite because it was my favorite.
    — Statue of Liberty ($15.99) has "crab meat, avocado, mango, baked lobster, scallop with spicy mayo on top". This one was baked & piled high with stuff, although the slices themselves weren't very big. I didn't taste the mango. It was good but not our favorite and, as the most expensive roll, had the "lowest flavor to price ratio" according to Huz.

    The waitress told us that the baked roll would take longer so when we ordered we asked for the rolls ready earlier to come out first, which the lady who took our paper said was a good idea. We got some edamame to eat while we waited and all of our rolls came out together 15–20 minutes after we were done with the edamame. I didn't mind at all because we were having such an enjoyable time together. As a matter of fact, I thought it was great since the restaurant was so busy and we've had horrible experiences with waiting too long for sushi elsewhere. I liked having all of the rolls at once because I like to compare the flavors.

    Huz drank two Kirins on special for $2 apiece, although I see in this review that the special price might be the regular price. That sits just fine with him.

    We would go back to Sushi Bar in a heartbeat. Everything was delicious and service was outstanding. Oh, and I loved saving $5 using Coupons4Indy.

    FYI, since tipping is a hot topic on this site, we tipped 20% on the pre-tax, pre-coupon amount, cash.