Kai Sushi and Sake Bar
Friday nights almost always turn out to be sushi night for me. Typically I stick to one of three places. But this past Friday, I had an event out in North Raleigh to attend and decided to give a new spot a shot.
Overall: 2.75 out of 5
Food/Beverage: 2 out of 5
Ambiance: 3 out of 5
Value: 3 out of 5
Service: 3 out of 5
I wasn’t blown away, but my dinner companions seemed happy, so I increased the food score a bit because of that. If it had been all me, I probably would have given a 2.5 on the food front. The wine menu was pretty good, price wise and selection wise as was the sake menu. I don’t remember there being a huge beer selection, in fact I have no real recollection of their beer menu at all.
One of my dinner companions started with the house salad, served with a delicious ginger dressing. For $4, it was a gigantic portion with a nice selection of vegetables and a good amount of dressing. It was very tasty.
I ordered the uni, after seeing it on the specials board. I don’t remember the price, but remember thinking it wasn’t too bad! They were both delicious. This was the saving grace of my dinner. The uni was soft, and sweet, just as it should be.
The sushi we ordered for dinner was ok. Nothing amazing about any of them. They do have a wide variety of rolls, and occasionally have a 3 for $23.99 or 5 for $36.99 special. We opted for the 5 roll special. The ones we selected were fine, but the fish didn’t taste quite as fresh as other places I’ve visited. Even though the selection was big, and they were willing to sub whole tuna for the chopped (and salmon as well), the flavors just didn’t go together as well as I thought they would. On one roll, I think it was the Screaming O (originally $11), they used seared tuna on top. The flavor of the tuna once cooked kind of played against the delicate balance of inside, and was too much cooked fish with the tempura shrimp.
My friend, who is gluten free ordered two rolls that I don’t see on the online menu, and loved them both.
I’d certainly go back and try again. It’s always hard to know if I’m just not feeling it or if I really don’t like the food at a new sushi place. I’m a creature of habit and during the season when allergens are all around us, I do often struggle with flavor. Just usually not that much.