- 580 Walnut St., Cincinnati, OH, 45202
- Overall User Rating:
- (0 ratings)
- 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 11 a.m.-3 a.m. Friday; noon-3 a.m. Saturday; noon-9 p.m. Sunday.
- Official Web Site:
I'm sorry, but for weeks - honestly, months - I could not get over the name of this restaurant.
Mr. Sushi? Really?
As happy as I was to hear Downtown was getting a sushi joint, I had a hard time imagining that a place called Mr. Sushi could deliver high-quality fish. All I could picture was some gigantic dancing sushi mascot waving you in from the sidewalk and placemats with smiley shrimp and plastic plates shaped like clams. Or maybe Mr. Sushi would be some creepster with slicked-back hair and a cheap suit meeting you at the front door with a sick grin. "Hello, ladies," he'd say. "I'm Mr..."
Anyway, I digress. The name weirded me out. But let's just get to the point where I, once again, was proved wrong by a Cincinnati dining establishment.
Just a few weeks after it opened, a friend and I headed to Mr. Sushi for an early dinner. The place, still gearing up for the later crowd, was mostly empty, putting all attention on us.
Mr. Sushi's décor is sleek, modern and minimal. No smiling shrimp placemats anywhere. We were led to a cozy booth across from the bar. Our server, soft-spoken but wickedly knowledgeable, delivered us a pair of wine glasses in just minutes (my friend considered a bottle of the cold, unfiltered sake but balked at the $13 price tag).
Mr. Sushi has a big menu of fish entrées, noodle dishes and teriyaki, but we'd come for the sushi. Still, it was cold outside, so we warmed up with two hot appetizers. The steamed pork dumplings ($5) were meaty and light, and the Korean pancake ($9), stuffed with shrimp, scallops and squid, was rich and almost too filling. When our sushi finally arrived, I didn't know how I'd manage it.
The plate was huge.
We'd gotten the sushi for two ($45), a chef's choice deal with gorgeous slabs of red and white tuna and salmon and shrimp and eel and oh my. There were spicy tuna and tempura shrimp rolls, and it was all so pretty that I should have stopped to admire it. Alas, I attacked it with my chopsticks and polished off piece after piece of delicious fresh fish before finally admitting defeat.
This was simple, unadorned sushi as good as any I've ever had in Cincinnati. Funny, considering all the thoughts I'd had before entering Mr. Sushi - that it would be treated with less seriousness, covered in mayonnaise or crunchy fried bits or whipped cream or whatever sort of torture befalls sushi these days.
Mr. Sushi does it right, no gimmicks, and it will probably end up becoming my go-to sushi place.
I'll just ignore the sign on my way in.