Sampling Sushi: Local Japanese restaurants offer variety of cuisine, pique interest

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Illustration by Maddie Davis.

Maddie Davis, Co-Editor

Sushi Haru (3/5 stars)

Where: State Line Road and West Blue Ridge Boulevard.

Near Planet Sub.

Description: The chefs at Sushi Haru are constantly creating new rolls, so there is always something different to try. If a member of your party doesn’t like sushi, there are other options available such as salads, soups, rice, noodles and much more. Sushi Haru is a more casual place to enjoy sushi while still getting a quality taste.

Price Range: Most rolls are between $9.50 and $12.99.

Taste: The sushi here is fresh, delicious and not overly “fishy.” My personal favorites include the Tangy Roll (deep-fried shrimp and crabmeat topped with avocado, shrimp, pineapple and white hamachi sauce), Firecracker Roll (spicy crab, spicy scallop, topped with spicy tuna fish and chili oil), Nigiri Salmon and Nigiri Yellow Tail.

Seating: The restaurant has small tables for romantic dinners, larger tables for family or business settings and rooms that can be reserved for bigger parties.

Ambiance: Sushi Haru is definitely more low-key than places like RA and Drunken Fish. You can’t wear sweatpants, but you don’t need to be in a ball gown either. A flashlight is not required to dine here, and the background music fits the casual mood.

 Drunken Fish (4/5 stars)

Where: Roe Avenue and West 119th Street.

Near the Apple Store.

Description: Winner of the 2014 Open Table Diner’s choice, Drunken Fish should not be missed. It offers a diverse menu and hosts events such as Karaoke Night. The dessert rolls are also a must-try and light enough that you should still have room to eat them after dinner.

Price Range: Most rolls cost between $9 and $14.50.

Taste: Drunken Fish serves sushi with a clean and refreshing taste. My personal favorites include the Starburst Roll (crab, Japanese mayo, shrimp tempura, avocado, tamago and masago wrapped in soy paper and topped with honey-wasabi mayo and spicy sauce), Drunken Fish Roll (shrimp tempura, Japanese mayo and asparagus topped with red tuna, eel sauce, masago, tempura crumbs and sprouts) and Sashimi with a Kick.

Seating and Ambiance: Drunken Fish is a more popular place for dinner — however, it is open for lunch as well. The ambiance of the restaurant is much better at night as the lights are lower, and everything looks more sophisticated. Bar, booth, table and lounge seating are available.

RA Sushi (4/5 stars)

Where: Nall and West 117th Street.

Near Gordon Biersch.

Description: Located in the happening and upscale Park Place, RA is no exception to the collection of quality restaurants in the area. Happy Hour — Monday through Friday, 4-7 p.m. — is a great time to go get more food without spending as much money. Select sushi and appetizers are $3.29 to $8.99, and Happy Hour is a popular time to visit RA and brings in a lively crowd. For more of a casual dinner, the sushi bar is a fun place to sit.

Price Range: Most rolls cost between $10.25 and $13.25.

Taste: The sushi at RA has an exquisite and enticing taste. My personal favorites include the Yellow Monkey Roll (mango, roasted red pepper, marinated artichoke and cream cheese rolled in rice and seaweed, drizzled with a kiwi wasabi sauce), Viva Las Vegas Roll (spicy tuna, crab mix, sliced lotus root, crab and cream cheese rolled in rice and seaweed, topped with sweet eel sauce and spinach tempura bits) and Tuna Nigiri.

Seating: RA has booths, tables, lounge and bar seating available.

Ambiance: More trendy and formal than Sushi Haru, RA is an elegant dining experience. Although open for both lunch and dinner, RA is a more popular destination for dinner. However, if you don’t like a lot of noise, RA isn’t for you.

Price Chopper (3/5 stars)

Where: Metcalf Avenue and West 151st Street.

Near First Watch.

Description: Although it is primarily a grocery store, Price Chopper does have a sushi bar. The product can be eaten in-store or taken home. There is also the option to have fresh rolls made right in front of you, which is an experience often unparalled anywhere else. The sushi bar is open at Price Chopper seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. — just in case you’re craving some sushi for breakfast.

Price Range: Most rolls cost between $6.99 and $7.99.

Sushi Taste: The sushi here is fresh, but there aren’t a ton of flavors to thrill your taste buds. If you like your sushi simple, this is the best option. My personal favorites include the California Roll and Spicy Tuna Roll.

Seating and Ambiance: Obviously as a grocery store, the ambiance is not Price Chopper’s main concern. However, if you’re looking for a casual place to grab a quick assortment of sushi, this is the fastest and most convenient choice.