Assuming diners can find it, Suzushii Sushi & Grill has rolled out another success.
The first Suzushii opened in Mansfield in 2007 in a highly visible location and almost immediately found a loyal customer base. There is also a Cedar Hill location.
The newest Suzushii opened recently in north Arlington in a practically invisible spot near Lincoln Square (hint: Look behind the Citibank) and is still working on establishing its customer base. But it should happen in good time; as neighborhood sushi spots go, this one’s a cut above.
Suzushii is small — only a dozen or so tables — but stylish. There’s nothing bashful about the red walls with black trim, and lighting in the bar area cycles through a color show.
We thought we’d start our meal with a flavored sake, but we arrived at Suzushii a day before the liquor license arrived. Next visit we’ll try the Fuji apple sake.
The menu is large and includes a handful of Thai dishes (owner Jamie Pisesnakornkit is Thai) as well as the expected tempuras, teriyakis, noodle dishes and bento boxes. We wanted to get a good sampling of the menu, so we decided on a Thai noodle dish, a teriyaki bento box and several rolls. The roll menu features more than 50 selections and makes it easy on “gringos”; cooked selections and spicy selections are marked. About half of the rolls are cooked seafood.
Veggie Roll, not a regular selection but a daily special, was pretty in an unassuming way, with an assortment of veggies of varying shades of green contrasting nicely with the white rice, and a lettuce frill adding a dashing air. It was a mild-tasting, safe choice for even the most squeamish of sushi restaurant diners.
We liked the cucumber wrapper on the Crazy Roll, another eye-pleasing selection, which features spicy tuna and shrimp tempura, though we were a little taken aback that the tail was still on the shrimp. The roll provided a pleasing combination of flavors, melding peppery tuna, crunchy shrimp and the cool smoothness of the cuke.
You wouldn’t call the Mansfield Roll — a battered and deep-fried roll with jalapeño, avocado and cream cheese — pretty, but it’s certainly got a Texas twang to it. The cream cheese muffled the heat of the jalapeño, making the overall effect smooth and enjoyable.
We didn’t try the Incredible Roll — shrimp tempura, crab meat and cream cheese, topped with tri-color and hot sauce — but Pisesnakornkit says it’s Suzushii’s most popular selection.
The steak teriyaki bento dinner ($14.95) was an enormous quantity of food. A choice of miso or a chicken-based soup for starters, followed by a salad with an orangey, ginger-flavored dressing with a nice bite. Then the box arrives, with shrimp and veggie tempura, California roll, crab Rangoon that featured actual chunks of crab, steamed rice, and teriyaki beef that was sweet but not excessively so. It’s enough food for two meals.
The Thai spicy noodles dish ($9.95) is similarly portioned. The waitress asked us if we wanted mild or spicy and some macho person at the table — not naming names — requested spicy. The udon noodles and chicken may have been flavored with onion, bell pepper and lots of basil, but all we could taste was the fiery sauce. Next time we’ll back down on the heat.
Good to know: Suzushii has lunch-size bento boxes at lunch-size prices and cutely named kid’s meals (the Ninja Kid, the Karate Kid and the Pokemon) at even smaller prices.