Sushi restaurants are a dime a dozen these days, but great sushi restaurants that consistently serve fresh fish and are relatively reasonably priced are tad bit harder to come by. My local sushi place has fallen on hard times…or is confused…or they’ve changed something in the water but its gone all horribly wrong. I wont mention it by name (hint: it sounds awfully similar to Jee Tay in the North Broward area… ) but something has run afoul there. I don’t know if its the rice or the fish or the rice and the fish but something is different. I’ve asked the owners a couple of times what they’ve done differently and they swear they’ve changed nothing but I’m not alone in this feeling; therefore, they’ve definitely changed something in their formula. So I was forced (forced I tell you!) to look outside my immediate area for a sushi joint to satisfy my sushi cravings … aaaaand I found one.
Sushi Rise is nestled away in a little shopping plaza conveniently located across the street from my hair dresser (the best gal around – Luciana at Donna Pascoe Salon) and a few minutes from my office. Located on 18th Street in Boca Raton (north of Hillsborough Blvd., but south of Palmetto Park Road) off Military Trail its a relatively small restaurant that I’d estimate to comfortably sit about 50 or so diners. Its a tight squeeze at times, particularly at dinner where you can expect a bit of a wait for your seat. It has a clean modern slightly Boca feel to it with its neutral and amber colors. As with most restaurants these days, there are televisions in the dining room in case your company is dull and/or your Iphone just died.
The menu is large and offers everything you’d expect from a sushi restaurant…appetizers from the sushi bar, soups (everything from miso soup to Vietnamese Pho), noodles, sushi, sashimi, rolls, special rolls and your basic, Japanese and Thai main dish offerings. Is Sushi Rise on par with Morimoto and other high end, pure Japanese resaurants. No, probably not. It falls some where in the middle of the sushi spectrum. But the sushi is incredibly fresh and the rolls are creative and consistent. I happen to like sushi rolls with mango in them. There aren’t many places that offer them – Sushi Rise offers several that I’m quite fond off.
In addition, Ive fallen in love with several of the appetizers they offer. Namely, the seafood salad which is comprised of long slices of cucumbers, imitation crab, shrimp in masago in a light creamy dressing that has a soy base. Its a nice alternative to a ginger dressing salad and the crunch of the cucumber makes it a really refreshing choice.
I’d also high suggest the salmon shrimp tar tar with avocado, mango and masago cream. Served with some wonton crackers, its a really deslightful dish with a great interplay between all of the ingredients. You can choose from a full size or half order – just go for the full size anything less would be quite stupid. (And yes that is the half order below…shut up.)
Two of my favorite rolls are the Geisha Roll and the Crunchy Tuna Roll. These rolls fall under the signature rolls of Sushi Rise of which there are several. They also provide the typical traditional rolls you’ll find at most Japanese restaurants. But I’m partial to creative ones that include some of my favorite ingredients – like mango.
The Geisha Roll includes shrimp, masago, asparagus, avocado, cucumber with tempura flakes; the roll is then topped with spicy tuna, mango and some sort of seaweed salad. The ingredients blend together really well, the seafood salad provides a nice little burst of coolness with every bite, along with the mango, making this one of the best rolls Ive ever had. (My all time favorite roll is and will always be the citrus salmon roll at Tatu at the Hard Rock… in case you care, but this is a close second.)
If you want a lot of the same flavors but prefer your rolls slightly unhealthy (and hence even more tasty) then try the Spicy Crunch roll with shrimp, spicy tuna, crab, avocado, mango (hooray), masago and sesame seeds, lightly battered and fried with a squiggle of spicy mayo. Not overly battered or greasy but perfectly so, this roll is indulgent and is probably better balanced with a non-fried roll for proper enjoyment.
At lunch, Sushi Rise offers lunch specials of pad thai and sti fry’s for reasonable prices if you decide to deviate from the sushi menu but I’d strongly suggest you not. And do us a favor, dont tell anyone else about this place – its busy enough. You’re lucky I even told you about it….
4 out of 5 forks
Sushi Rise, 6060 SW 18th Street, Boca Raton, Fl