Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Not Your Average (Sushi) Bear; Westside Restaurant Offers Extensive Menu - and It's Not All Sushi

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Not Your Average (Sushi) Bear; Westside Restaurant Offers Extensive Menu - and It's Not All Sushi

Article excerpt

Byline: Caron Streibich

If you're on the Westside and find yourself with a sushi or hibachi craving, add Sushi Bear to your rotation.

The menu is seemingly endless, but that means there's something for all tastes. The restaurant's name may imply sushi only but there are copious non-sushi options, too (but no bear).

Shumai ($4.95), plump bite-size steamed shrimp dumplings, is where we'd start. Accompanied by a soy dipping sauce, we enjoyed these small but satisfying dumplings. I was pleased to find our sashimi appetizer ($8.95) offered nine assorted pieces of chef's choice protein-packed raw fish. If you've never had sashimi, it's like sushi but without the rice and seaweed.

Also eager to try the oven-roasted hamachi collar, we were told they were out. Instead, we went with the yellowtail jalapeno appetizer ($11.95) - rectangular slices of raw yellowtail topped with thin slivers of fresh jalapeno and small dabs of spicy sriracha sauce. Fresh and full of flavor, it wasn't too spicy.

I love sushi and wanted to see how Sushi Bear stacked up against other spots in town. My Fancy Sushi Roll ($12.95) was loaded with salmon and cream cheese and topped with avocado, spicy tuna, crunchy tempura flakes and flying fish eggs. It was colorful and texturally exciting to my taste buds with creamy, crunchy and chewy bits. Two standby individual pieces of sushi - flying fish egga($1.95) and salmon roe ($2.50), two of my go-tos, added a nice saltiness to the plate.

My dining companion went for the sweet potato roll ($4.50) to start and the shrimp and chicken hibachi with noodles, vegetables and fried rice ($17.95), but was brought out shrimp and steak. After she mentioned it to our server, a manager came over and was incredibly nice about it, offering to replace it. He brought out a plate of chicken in addition to the abundance of steak and shrimp.

For dessert, we bypassed the tempura cheesecake and fried Oreos, landing on one of my personal favorites: red bean ice cream ($3.95). Though beans and ice cream may seemingly not go together, the small creamy adzuki red beans (not kidney beans, like you may expect) make for a smooth, unique flavor and texture pairing. …

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