Thursday, March 3, 2011

Japanese Flair In The City Of Oaks

Sushi has been a staple of Japanese diets for hundreds of years, but only in the last decade has it grown to such a massive popularity in the United States. For Americans eating sushi is all about trying something out of the norm and breaking out of your comfort zone- after all it isn’t every day that you eat raw fish wrapped in seaweed. And with the growing popularity of the Japanese dish dozens of restaurants have opened up in Raleigh to cater to the hungry masses. One of my favorite spots is Sushi Blues Café

Sushi Blues is a cozy restaurant and bar on Glenwood South (301 Glenwood Ave Raleigh), filled with a constant stream of locals from downtown rather than those who are more interested in bar hopping. This is why my friends and I frequent the spot so often, even in a sea of crowded night bars you can manage to get great service, a wonderful atmosphere, and authentic sushi for less than the price of a cover at most clubs.

At first glance the interior looks more like a spot to lounge around and listen to music rather than a place to eat, and while I haven’t experienced it myself I have heard that the live music is great! Along with the musical offerings there are also several big scream televisions to catch the game and plenty of spots to socialize until your food arrives….But of course the most important thing isn’t the ambiance, it’s the sushi! If you’ve ever traveled to Japan you know that some of the greatest food can be found in some of the most underwhelming of locations. Good sushi is all insider knowledge after all. Luckily Sushi Blues looks great and has a cool feel, but once you head to the dining area you’ll be treated to the great taste of Japan from the city of Oaks.

Sushi Blues Café’s menu consists of dozens of items inspired by various regions of Japan. The sushi list is extensive and offers traditional rolls such as the California and Salmon but also features various rolls named after and based off of local spots and famous faces. One of my favorites is the “Lena Horne”, a roll including mackerel, scallions, avocado, cucumber and spicy mayo which provides a great kick at the end. Accompany the meal with a bottle of Sake and you’re set!

If you’re low on money Sushi Blues Café offers a buy one get one free deal after 11pm on weekends. This deal allows patrons to get several varieties of sushi and share with their friends. The great deal on food and drinks at night is one of the major reasons why Sushi Blues Café is full from dawn till dusk.

Monika Webb, 21, a local student from Raleigh frequents the late night sushi scene.

“I’ve been here before and it’s always a good time, the sushi is great and the Sake is good too”

Elaina Bright, 21, a student from Peace College stated it simply:

“Affordable, Assessable, Perfect atmosphere for a college student”

Sushi Blues Café is open seven days a week, and offers several drink and food specials daily:

Monday-Friday 11:30am - 2:00pm

Sundays/Mondays 5:30pm-10pm
Tuesday-Wed 5:30pm-12am
Thu-Sat 5:30pm-1:00am
Half Priced Sushi
Sunday-Thursday: All day
Friday-Saturday: After 11pm

*Photos courtesy of Sushi Blues Cafe's website