ISLAND SUSHI – First Bites
Holy Humuhumunukunukuapua’a Batman! There’s an actual sushi bar downtown that’s open for lunch!
It’s called Island Sushi and is right at the front of The Plaza hotel.
Good news: It’s owned by local sushi maven Terrence Fong.
Even better news: The Food Gal’s favorite sushi chef (Ernest) is running the fresh fish operation.
She goes back seventeen years with Ernest, first eating his concoctions at Pumi and then Wasabi Cafe.
So imagine her surprise when we ducked in here late last week and she saw him carefully composing our spicy Island roll. It led to lots of hugs and joking all around — all of which distracted ELV from his food — but also gave him hope this place might be a small game-changer downtown.
Think about it: a nice light lunch of sushi or sashimi gives everyone an interesting, healthy dining option in a area previously confined to sandwiches and Mexican food. It’s easy to get to, clean, new, bright and friendly — five characteristics usually not found in the same sentence with anything “downtown.”
And the fish looked good.
And our sushi roll was as fresh and spicy as any we’ve ever had in a neighborhood sushi joint.
And you can even get Hawaiian food here. Lot’s of it. Like a crispy, Tonkatsu curry bowl, noodle bowls, and doughy, warm, yeasty-fresh malasada doughnuts. There’s even a deli counter where take out food like dry aku and tuna poke kimchee are available for those who want to get their Hawaiian on. ELV’s perplexity* over all edible island things is well documented, but if fake crab and macaroni salad are your thing, go loco moco.
As for us, we’ll be dropping by soon to test the waters of Ernest’s fish chops…to make sure he hasn’t lost his fastball.**
Our lunch for two came to $35.
ISLAND SUSHI & HAWAIIAN GRILL
In The Plaza Hotel and Casino
1 Main Street
Las Vegas, NV 89101
* Hawaiian people eat so much white food, it’s a wonder their bowels ever move.
** Mixed metaphors are as much fun as shooting monkeys in a barrel.