Issue #55, August 4th, 2009   Questions? Comments? Send us an email. You can Unsubscribe via email.

Austin Sushi News

Sanrio character 

¡Mucho Pescado Crudo!

"Choice" was the rule as the team descended on Sushi Zushi Monday night. With waiters sporting "Sushi is Going Weird" t-shirts (a riff on the "Keep Austin Weird" non-slogan), the sushi bar seemed upbeat. This is the 6th location for the San Antonio-based sushi bar chain and the 1st Austin location (4 San Antonio locations and 1 in Dallas).

With a menu sporting around 200 items, you can pretty much have it your way, and, even if many of the choices have cream cheese or mayonnaise (not my favorites), you can easily add or subtract ingredients from any of their 100 or so custom and traditional sushi rolls. They even provide a handy pricing guide on the menu for making those changes, including the option to tempura deep fry any roll.

Ambiance-wise, the upscale-ish operation has the feel of a mature sushi bar with a fair amount of table/booth seating, and a semi-private room that seats around 30. A separate take-out/delivery entrance and register (an Austin first for a sushi bar?) should speed the handling of those orders without interrupting the flow of traffic to the main sushi bar. They've also done an interesting job of automating things by letting people order takeout online and make table reservations via

The sushi? It was decent, but doesn't have the flair of an Uchi or Musashino. The prices were in line with the more upscale downtown sushi bars. I'm used to sushi chefs having difficultly understanding my nasally midwestern American accent, but I think this may be the first time that all the sushi chefs were Hispanic. The times, they are a-changin'.....

Sushi Zushi
1611 W. 5th Street (just East of Mopac)
(512) 474-7000

Summer Spike For Sushi

I've been waiting weeks, nay, months to bring my dear Austin Sushi readers a depressing tale of woe -- some fallout from the Great Recession. Perhaps it would be news of a sushi establishment on the verge of bankruptcy or a drunken sushi chef inadvertantly hit by a car.

Instead, I'm sad to report that this is one of the biggest single sushi months that Austin has seen in a long time, and the rest of the summer hasn't been too shabby either.

Piranha Sushi opens their first Austin location at 207 San Jacinto in "mid-August". You can keep calling them at (512) 473-8775 until they tell you when.

As mentioned in the article above, San Antonio-based Sushi Zushi opened their first Austin location at 1611 W. 5th Street, Suite 105 (just east of Mopac in the "5th Street Commons").

Proving that sushi comes in many styles and places, the folks at Deli Bento opened Austin's first sushi trailer, Sushi-A-Go-Go in July.

And finally, we don't want to overlook Simon's Sushi which has opened sushi joints in Barton Creek Mall, Highland Mall, and Lakeline Mall. They appear to be expanding service at their Barton Creek Mall location.

Awesome Karaoke Has A Name

As mentioned in last month's edition of Austin Sushi News, the old 14,000 square foot Salvation Army location in the Lamar Plaza shopping center (home of the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar) is being completely re-done. However, it will not be named "The Palace," but instead, "The Highball." You can follow the progress on their new blog. For more extensive details, see the recent Austin Chronicle article.

"Nobody goes to the supermarket with lobster on their list," notes a Maine fisherman. With the price of lobster at its cheapest in recent memory, these fisherman want people to buy more lobster. Get thee to the sushi bar! Read the story.

lobster sashimi 

How to make temaki (hand roll sushi) with your dog companion watching and waiting. What could be more fun than that?


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