Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

A Neighborhood Restaurant 'Find' Sushi Lovers Will Delight in Wasabi in East Arlington

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

A Neighborhood Restaurant 'Find' Sushi Lovers Will Delight in Wasabi in East Arlington

Article excerpt

Byline: Belinda Hulin, Times-Union staff writer

Dinner out doesn't have to be a major production. Sometimes all you want is a simple respite, a happy medium between going home to cook and grabbing fast food.

A low-key restaurant with a few good dishes, a pleasant dining room and decent service, preferably close to home, will do the trick. If this neighborhood eatery offers some interesting ethnic cuisine, so much the better.

Unfortunately, the Jacksonville area has a real dearth of good neighborhood restaurants, unless of course you count the myriad chain establishments at every intersection. Residents of East Arlington, however, might want to consider dropping in on Wasabi Sushi and Grill, a small, bright storefront tucked into a new shopping center at the corner of San Pablo Road and Atlantic Boulevard. It's a quick, casual, kid-friendly place with enough good dishes on the menu to recommend it.

Sushi lovers will delight in Wasabi, which boasts an extensive sushi and sashimi menu, all of which is available for take-out as well as dining in. Indeed, the sushi bar is the centerpiece of this 60-seat establishment, and the chefs behind the counter turn out everything from the routine (California roll, shrimp tempura roll and cucumber roll) to the exotic (Volcano roll with crab, conch and mayo on a California roll). We tried Rock 'n' Roll, a fun combo with shrimp tempura, crab, cream cheese, cucumber and fish eggs ($4.95), as well as Spicy Tuna ($3.25), the Japanese Veggie Combo roll ($3.90) and Salmon Sushi Nigiri (that's fish and rice, sans seaweed wrapper -- $1.50). Our sushi platter was beautifully presented, and the ingredients in each item were very fresh. The salmon and tuna were high quality cuts and perfectly tender.

The rest of the menu was a bit of a mixed platter, so to speak. The Yakitori appetizer ($3.25), grilled skewers of chicken, onions and green peppers washed in a savory-sweet teri yaki glaze, melted in our mouths. Steamed gyoza ($3.95) was less successful. …

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