I love sushi. Whether it's sushi at a place like Urasawa or the all you can eat sushi variety, I'll probably eat it. Though, with that said, I would probably steer away from the latter option now. Back when I was an undergrad at UC Davis, my buddies and I loved dining at the ever popular (popular in Davis at least) Fuji's all you can eat sushi buffet. Hey, at $8 for lunch (circa 2000) it was a steal. Now at $15, not so much. Those days are history, as sushi dining for me has become an enjoyment, not a gluttonous feast.
For the most part, I prefer traditional nigiri sushi and sashimi from the freshest fishes around the world. However, there are those times when I would want to just eat a spider roll and drink some sake bombs, and this is where RA Sushi comes in. I was recently invited to try RA Sushi's new menu.
You really can't go wrong with a bowl of edamame.
|Ginger Blossom - Hendrick's Gin, St. Germain, muddled strawberry, pink grapefruit juice, lime juice, ginger ale|
|Dragon Bite - Bacardi Dragonberry, strawberry puree, fresh lemon juice, Japanese yuzu, splash of soda|
To get the meal started off on the right foot, my dining companion and I ordered a round of cocktails. While the drinks may look similar, they had a distinctly different flavors from the fruit and liqueur used. Both were quite delicious and fruity. No complaints from me there.
|Otoko Salad - grilled chicken or beef tossed in a spicy yuzu dressing with grilled red green bell peppers, onions, asparagus; served over a bed of mixed greens in a rice wine vinaigrette and topped with watercress, fried ramen noodles|
The otoko salad was first served to us. Since it was a tasting, we were given both the chicken and the beef in the salad. I will have to say I was pleasantly surprised with this salad. The flavors and the textures were on point. Both the beef and the chicken were good options for this salad.
|Shishito Peppers - shishito peppers sauteed in an Asian seasoning|
Even though shishito peppers is being played out as bit too much these days, I still enjoy eating them.
|Vegetable Tempura Roll - lightly battered asparagus, sweet potato, Japanese eggplant rolled and topped with colorful crunchy tempura bits; drizzled with a sweet eel sauce.|
|Pacific Roll - a spicy mix of albacore, cilantro, jalapeno, and cucumber rolled and topped with fresh avocado, mango salsa; finished with red beet tempura bits, and sauteed cashew nuts|
|"RA" ckin' Roll - kani kama crab and cream cheese rolled in rice and seaweed, lightly battered and topped with guacamole and "RA" ckin' shrimp; finished with a creamy ginger teriyaki dipping sauce, red beet tempura bits and togarashi|
|Tropical Roll - cucumber, mango and avocado rolled and topped with spinach tempura bits, spicy shrimp mixed with masago and mango salsa|
The sushi plate is exactly how I had imagined and were quite tasty in their own ways. Sure, these were of the "Asian-Fusion," sushi varieties, but sometimes fried soft shell crabs and avocado hits the spot. Of the 4 served, my favorite was the "RA" ckin' Roll. I enjoyed the flavors of the crab and avocado, and again, sometimes the fried component makes it so much better!
|Red Lotus - Absolut Ruby Red vodka, X-Rated Liqueur, pink grapefruit and other fresh juices|
|Emperor's Cucumberita - Patron Silver and Citronge shaken w/ fresh lime juice, Yuzu sour and fresh cucumber slice|
A second round of cocktails were ordered and I was pleasantly surprised with the Emperor's Cucumberita. Originally, I figured I'd like the Red Lotus more based on the ingredients, but I really enjoyed the mix of tequila, lime, and cucumber.
|Lobster with Garlic Snap Peas - lobster sauteed with garlic, sugar snap peas and shitake mushrooms in an Asian seasoning; served with steam rice|
This was probably the most disappointing dish of the day. I wasn't able to get the taste of the shitake mushrooms, in fact, it was ground up somewhere in the dish. Also, I wasn't able to taste the sweetness of the lobster, which was sadly smaller than most of the shrimp I've encountered. The overall flavors were okay, but I was expecting more out of this one.
|Sweet Mochi - Mochi Ice Cream served with sliced kiwi and strawberries|
This is the typical mochi ice cream you'll find in most stores, even at Costco. No description is really needed here.
All in all, I was actually pleasantly surprised with my meal here. Although the main course and dessert were slightly disappointing, I enjoyed the salad and the sushi course. RA Sushi is probably not the best place for sushi snobs or people that are looking for traditional sushi fare. However, if your goal is to eat sushi rolls and drink beer or sake while catching the latest sports game on television, RA Sushi could be your destination.
RA Sushi - Tustin
2401 Park Avenue
Tustin, CA 92782
Note: This was a sponsored meal