Saturday, January 4, 2014

Sushi Love at Love Sushi

There's an oddball little sushi joint in Jefferson City by the name of Love Sushi.  I knew that those in K's family who dug sushi liked this place, but we had yet to hit it.  Twice we made the trek over the holidays and I have to say, although my experience is limited, Love Sushi is ranking up there as one of my favorites sushi places.  From the bright, friendly atmosphere to the mouth-watering sushi rolls, there is much to recommend.

You know it's a different experience when you walk in the smallish restaurant and are instantly met with a resounding welcome from both the sushi chefs and the service staff.  We were there both times with Keith's cousin Jill and she has been a regular at Love Sushi since they opened, definitely knows her way around the menu and even has her own chopsticks that are kept at the restaurant (all regulars do, as a matter of fact).  Her husband Chris loves it as well and her girls are no strangers to the Love Sushi experience: they get bento boxes and eat with chopsticks themselves.  Tanner was pretty resistant when we brought him, but ended up enjoying the Crazy Roll; a deep-fried California roll.  Sushi in general was a new experience for Keith's mom Helen, but she tried it like a champ and liked it!  Among the superior rolls we tried were the 911 roll (spicy tuna, cucumber and avocado), the Crunch roll (with shrimp tempura and crab), the Eskimo roll (with spicy salmon and asparagus) and the table favorite; the Heart Attack roll (crab, tuna, jalapeno, cream cheese, deep-fried).  On our last visit, I got to sample Jill's vinegary octopus salad which was quite tasty.  Love Sushi is also known for its Korean menu with highlights like bibimbap; rice mixed with sauteed and seasonal vegetables and chili paste.

While the sushi is always the thing, attention must be paid to the offbeat environment at Love Sushi.  The staff is crazy-friendly and all of the flatscreen TVs around the place are playing day-glo K-Pop videos.  Various special menu items are presented with everything from dry ice to flickering flames.  The kids delight over the little sliced orange sculptures bearing orange slices that arrives at the end of the meal. Apparently birthday songs are equally over-the-top: they supposedly involve strobes, lasers and banging on some type of ceremonial drum.  All of this would just be delightfully cheesy and eventually tiresome if the sushi itself wasn't groovy, but no worries there: its all very good.

On your next trip toward Missouri's capitol, stop in and check out Love Sushi for tasty rolls in a friendly and slightly surreal atmosphere.


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