5823 Kavanaugh Blvd., Little Rock
Cuisine: Modern East-West Fusion
Dress Code: None
Noise Level: Moderately Low
Price Range: $3 – $17.75
Credit Cards: All major
Reservations: Maximum 6 on weekends
Receipts: $998,844 (November-October)
Sushi Café is not you’re typical Japanese cuisine. The restaurant on Kavanaugh Boulevard in the Heights offers a menu that meanders from fish tacos to Texas Cowboy Burgers to spicy tuna rolls.
And we never thought we’d utter this sentence, but here goes: The Texas Style Hamburger ($6.75) at Sushi Café was phenomenal. The Black Angus patty arrived wedged between a lightly grilled bun and smothered in Swiss cheese and sautéed onions and mushrooms. And the Tempura-battered sweet potato fries were delicious. In fact, we need to pause a moment to reflect…OK, we’re good.
Sushi Café serves its house salad ($4) topped with fried wontons (a nice touch) and a creamy ginger dressing. The zesty offering paired well with the savory Miso soup ($3). But if you’re a sushi eater, you already knew that.
We also know from past experience that the Wok Fired Edamame is a slightly spicy but nonetheless tasty treat with which to begin a meal.
The specialty rolls at Sushi Café are as imaginative as they are succulent. The Café Roll ($10), a bundle of spicy crawfish, blue crab and cream cheese, arrives shouldering an ample portion of shredded crab salad, garnished with blue and red masago. This dazzling roll is also quite filling. For those sushi eaters who usually down a couple of rolls, this single roll would be sufficient.
The soft and sweet flavor of the Blue Dragon Roll ($10) – an ironic name for a dish with a flavor that tiptoes across the palate instead of burning a hole it – became a table favorite. The amalgamation of coconut shrimp, crab and cream cheese topped with slices of kiwi and a sweet chili vinaigrette enlivened our taste buds.
The Spice Girls Roll ($10) – a mix of spicy tuna, salmon, crab, avocado and fiery hot sauce – pleased the dinner who selected it. But, like the spice girls, if you’re not ready for a sensory wallop, this offering could quickly become unpleasant.
We entered the small restaurant (9 or 10 tables plus the sushi bar) at about 11:30 and departed in less than an hour. The arrival of our sushi was remarkably expedient for such a tedious culinary creation. We didn’t wait more than 10 minutes.
The sedate atmosphere at Sushi Café would make a great place for a business lunch meeting. In fact, one was taking place a couple of tables over.
We will certainly return, especially for those sweet potato fries…oh, dear sweet complex carbohydrates.