Sushi is one of my favorite foods.  I have lived in several states up and down the East Coast and have sampled sushi in each of them.  Even though sushi seems like a pretty straight forward food, with rice, seaweed and some sort of ingredients, the intricacies of seasoning the rice, cutting the fish and assembling the roll can make or break your dinner.

Sushi Blues is located on Glenwood South in Raleigh, NC.    The website states that it was voted “best sushi in the triangle” but doesn’t say who gave them this title.  The location is fantastic, the patio is large and comfortable, and the menu is diverse. So…how does it rate in my opinion?

Overall: 3.6 out of 5

Food/Beverage: 4 out of 5

Ambiance: 3 out of 5

Value: 4 out of 5

Service: 3.5 out of 5

Sushi Blues is probably my 3rd favorite spot for sushi in Raleigh.  My all time favorite is Waraji, followed closely by Yuri (but I’ve only had carry out from Yuri, so I can’t say that for sure).  But I keep coming back to Sushi Blues because of the deals.  Every night they have a buy one get on FREE special if you eat in.  Being able to get 4 rolls and spend less than $30 is something that makes the less than perfect rolls taste even better.  Here’s the break down of what we ordered…

We started out with two rolls, the Fire and Ice (shrimp tempura, ebi shrimp, jalapeños, cream cheese, spicy mayo, spring mix, tobiko and sesame seeds $13) and the spicy scallop roll (fresh scallops, scallions, spicy mayo, masago $11).

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They were presented with an eel sauce over top.  Both of our rolls were very good, but neither was very spicy.  Even with the jalapeños I still didn’t feel too much heat.

For our second course, we ordered the 74/83 and the @@Phillip Rivers roll.

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The @@Phillip Rivers roll has tuna, salmon, white tuna, avocado rolled in cucumber with ponzu and sesame seeds ($14).  The cucumber was overwhelming and made the roll very difficult to eat.  We ended up taking the cucumber most of the way off so that we could eat it, which is not something I like to do.  The ponzu made a bit of a puddle and created a drippy messy experience.  Our final roll, the 74/83 (tuna, avocado, cucumber, tempura flakes, spicy mayo, sesame seeds and tobiko $13) was my favorite.  The size was great, combo of ingredients worked well together and the addition of eel sauce was a very pleasant surprise.

At half price, I felt that the value for the rolls was good.  Had I paid $14 for the cucumber wrapped madness, I would have probably sent it back, but with the buy one get one deal, I can just pretend that this roll was free and enjoy what I could eat of it.

Ambiance wise…I love the patio.  I really do.  The tables are huge, the seats are pretty comfortable and they even have propane heaters just in case the temp drops while you are eating.  Inside is another story.  I just don’t go for the vinyl on the walls, neon lights and the rock and roll theme.  When I eat sushi, I want to eat in a place that looks like a sushi bar.  I want to sit at the bar and talk to the chefs while they roll.  When I go to sushi blues, I don’t have any interest in being inside.  Its dark and loud and doesn’t leave any room for intimacy.  Not my thing for sushi.

We’ve never had bad service.  For this meal, our waitress gave a lot of suggestions, including our wine.  She helped us pick a delightfully spicy tuscan red.  It paired very well with our food.

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Being that this was the last of my birthday celebrations, we also stopped by next door and enjoyed desert at Plates.  I enjoyed their creme brûlée and atmosphere.

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Hopefully soon I’ll spend an entire meal there and write a review on that experience as well.  For now, if you are headed to plates, save room for the creme brûlée. It’s served with a cookie – a really delightfully crunchy oatmeal raisin cookie.  It paired very well with the wine the owner suggested.

This was an amazing night! I hope you’ll give the patio at Sushi Blues a try and see how you rate the triangles 3rd best sushi spot.

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