Admittedly, Sushi Fever is one of those fake crab, deep–fried, mayonnaise-laden sushi joints we love to hate. Always crowded, always charmless, and always slinging fish and rice with the subtlety of Chris Christie at a buffet line; it is to true sushi what professional wrestling is to the sweet science.
ELV ascribes its popularity to the Immutable Mayonnaise Rule: Put enough mayonnaise on anything, and Americans will beat a path to your door.* The specialty rolls that keep Sushi Fever in business are enduring proof of this sacrosanct, alimentary axiom.
We like mayo as much as the next raw fish-hating customer, but our main objection to SF is how ugly the food is. From the plastic wrap sitting atop the sushi bar to the dried out cheap, pickled ginger to the sloppy sauces they drench everything in, this place screams “ersatz and overwrought” from the minute you sit down. It is the antithesis of all things Japanese and exists only so people who don’t like Japanese food can pretend they do. In that respect it pulses with the same bastardized, slapdash vibe that drives I Love Sushi across town.
Newly opened Island Sushi downtown ain’t exactly Bar Masa, Blue Ribbon, Shibuya or Yellowtail, but at least sushi-master Ernie creates rolls and platters that don’t look like a ten-year-old was given a squirt bottle, and he doesn’t hide his ingredients by smothering them in sauce.
Bottom line: If you want to actually taste the seafood you ordered in your sushi, maki or specialty rolls, head downtown to Island Sushi. If you hate such tastes, or abhor real Japanese food (or are in love with rivers of ponzu and spicy mayonnaise), Sushi Fever will be right up your alley.
ELV’s lunch for two at Sushi Fever came to $45 including tip, and his rolls at Island Sushi above came to $38 including tip.
7985 West Sahara Avenue
Las Vegas, NV 89117
ISLAND SUSHI & HAWAIIAN GRILL
In The Plaza Hotel and Casino
1 Main Street
Las Vegas, NV 89101
* A kissing cousin to the Perpetual Cheese Postulate: The more cheese you melt on an American restaurant meal, the better.