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Grin & Bear It

Sushi joint has more than just a cute name

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Am I the only one who loves the punny names of the sushi restaurants in this area? It’s a game to try to remember which is which, and where they are! Sushi Bear has seared both its name and location in my brain for its great service and traditional dishes. It has a large varied menu, everything from hibachi and apps to platters of sushi. There were some surprises, but we’ll get there, dear reader.

The Sushi Bear servers are delightful. They bring out fun treats throughout the dining experience. The first surprise was sprung as soon as we sat down. A small tempura roll of krab and cream cheese appeared. The app was complimentary and, while not my usual choice, it was piping hot and delicious! Grab the chopsticks.

The dinner selection is loaded. We went with a mix, featuring some traditional dishes and some items we’d never tried.

We began with good old-fashioned chicken hibachi with noodles and hibachi veggies. To me, the noodles were strangely sweet and the teriyaki had just a bit too much sugar. No one else at my table seemed to mind, though. The meat was juicy and flavorful, but hibachi veggies are always my choice. One of my favorite ways to cook veggies is on a hibachi. OK, probably not the healthiest way to prepare broccoli and zucchini, but it just tastes so good. I mean, look at that hibachi grill char!

Of all the sushi rolls, we wanted the one named for the place. The Sushi Bear roll ($12.95) includes shrimp tempura and mango, topped with spicy crab, avocado and spicy mayo. An eel avocado roll ($5.95) caught our eye, too–the combo of slight smoke with the spiciness worked. To be honest, the Sushi Bear roll had a lot going on, but the basic eel roll was more enjoyable!

I’ve saved the best for last. In the menu’s app section, I spotted Hamachi Kama, aka yellowtail tuna collar ($12.95). After a brief discussion, we decided to get it.

Full stop.

I don’t think I’ve ever experienced such an amazing piece of fish. This was the most moist, tender, succulent fish ever. Fish “collarbone,“ it turns out, just what it sounds like–it refers to the part just below the “neck,” or behind the head and gills. The flesh there is protected by a bone. It’s fairly pliable, but you do have to work a little bit harder than you would for a usual chunk of fork-ready filet. The momentary exertion for that perfect bite is well worth it. Oven-roasted, it was basted with a light, citrus soy sauce that complemented the delicate flavor of the fish. I can’t recommend this enough. Go now and try it!

The Sushi Bear experience ended with a complimentary sweet treat, too. I’m told it changes often. This time it was a little layered chocolate-and-coffee-flavored cake. Just because it’s my job, I’m going to say that I didn’t love the cake–it had an artificial taste to me. However, because it was quite a kind gesture, I loved the little cake!

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If you have a recommendation or know of a new place, shoot me an email at food@folioweekly.com.

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