In the Blue (Sushi Sake Grill)



The wait is finally over for the opening of the Blue Sushi Sake Grill in Lincoln Park. After walking around Lincoln Commons several times over the past year, I for one am happy to see Blue Sushi finally open! I have experienced Blue Sushi in their Indianapolis outpost a few times before and was delighted to hear that the lovely town we call home would have our own location! The Lincoln Ave spot officially opened on October 30 and is sure to be a favorite spot for any sushi lover in the area! Below are some of my favorites from previous visits to Indy as well as our most recent at the new Chicago location.

Small plates

Start your meal with a small bowl of addicting charred edamame. These “you can’t have one” pods come with your choice of classic pods – with pyramids of Maldon sea salt or spicy – with garlic, tamari and togarashi. We opted for the classic iteration proving that sometimes the simplest preparation is the best!

The charred edamame cocktail and china doll

Medium plates

Continue to fill your table with one of the delicious options from this section of the menu. Our choices ? Mango Crab Rangoon – crispy wonton wraps stuffed with a mixture of crab, mango, cream cheese and green onions, served with mango and Fresno pepper sauces; Shishito peppers – Japanese peppers sautéed with citrus, tamari and togarashi; or Calamari – sesame-crusted squid, tempura vegetables, miso aioli.

Large plates

Shareable and so healthy, the Large Plates portion of the menu offers lettuce wraps, a crunchy chicken salad or the tuna tower – a skyscraper of bigeye tuna marinated in sesame and ponzu, a spicy crab mix, an avocado. and a sushi rice, topped with black tobiko and wasabi sprouts, served with honey, wasabi, mango and eel sauces.

Specialty Nigiri

You really can’t go wrong with any of these specialties, but we kept coming back for the Cherry Bomb – two pieces of bigeye tuna on tempura rice, topped with serrano sauce, sriracha, togarashi and ponzu. So good, we ordered another round before dessert!

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The cherry bomb

The insolently named Itchy Seabass, made with 2 pieces of sea bass baked on a spicy crab mix, topped with serrano sauce, cilantro and ponzu, is another CFM-approved duo.

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The itchy bar

Specialty sashimi

I have met a few people who generally don’t prefer the flavor of the truffle to anything, including my plus one on the night of my visit. However, Blue Sushi surprised my guest with the elegant Truffle Salmon – five pieces of Atlantic salmon drizzled with hot sesame oil, topped with ikura, truffle ponzu sauce, and wasabi sprouts. The flavor of the truffle was almost imperceptible among all the other delicate flavors surrounding the fish.

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Truffled salmon

maki

Now for the slightly overwhelming part of the meal … the entire back of Blue Sushi’s menu has dozens of maki options ranging from raw to raw to completely vegan with additional offerings of nigiri and sashimi. Although the list is quite long, it is best to choose your own adventure. If you are a newbie to the sushi world, you can stick with what you know or are comfortable with eating. Otherwise, step out of your comfort zone and try something you wouldn’t normally order. The rolls can come in 5-8 pieces and are handcrafted right at the sushi bar, visible from almost any seat in the house.

A few of our favorites come from every part of the Maki menu, so we’re sure you’ll be able to find something you like:

Cloud Nine 2.0 – avocado, spicy crab mix, tempura shrimp, baked sea bass, coriander, serrano, ponzu sauce

Hawaiian roll – fried tempura, mango, salmon, crab mixture, mango sauce

Hot popper – smoked salmon, cream cheese, jalapeño tempura, soy leaf, sriracha

Crunchy blue – mixture of spicy crab, coriander, crispy panko, eel sauce

Blue Happy Hour Spread2

Blue Sushi Happy Hour Spread, including Hot Popper and Crunchy Blue Maki (Photo courtesy of Blue Sushi Sake Grill)

Lion King – mixture of crab, cucumber, avocado, spicy salmon, shallot, eel sauce, aioli pepper

Cali roll – mixture of crab, avocado, cucumber

Cali Hotel – fried tempura, spicy crab mix, cream cheese, jalapeño, avocado, sweet chili sauce

Pretty in pink – snow crab, cucumber, salmon, bigeye tuna, soy paper (pink!), wasabi tobiko

Alaska Blue Prettyin Pink Nigiri

The Alaska Roll and Pretty in Pink Maki (Photo courtesy of Blue Sushi Sake Grill)

Alaskan Roll – snow crab, cucumber, avocado, sockeye salmon, ikura, lemon

Spicy Tekka – spicy bigeye tuna, cucumber

THE crisp – mixture of crab, avocado, cucumber, crispy panko, sweet chili sauce

Negi’s yellow tail – amberjack, garlic chips, shallots

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Maki Spicy Tekka and Alaska Roll

Dessert

Even after all that decadent sushi and seafood, I hope you still have room for dessert. With fun Asian-inspired dishes like the Chocolate Spring Roll (crispy wontons stuffed with toasted cashews, raspberry puree and chocolate syrup, served with vanilla ice cream); or Tempura Fried Ice Cream (pound cake, vanilla ice cream, topped with chocolate sauce, raspberry puree and powdered sugar), there is bound to be something to satisfy gourmets. We went for the Mochi ice cream and got EVERY FLAVOR. Impossible to choose so we devoured the black sesame, mango, matcha (our favorite), hazelnut chocolate, lychee and their seasonal mochi: salted caramel. Each was equally delicious as the next, but as matcha fans this one surpassed the others.

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Every flavor of mochi on the menu!

Aside from all the delicious food, what we love the most about Blue Sushi is their approach to sustainability. Although it is a national franchise, the restaurant takes great care in knowing where and how it responsibly sources high-quality seafood, meat and eggs. They created a program called My Conscious Earth, educating customers about their commitment to positively impact the oceans while providing the best ingredients possible. Diners can go to SeafoodWatch.org to learn more about the fish they buy at all of their locations. These seafood carry an eco-certification and are harvested or grown in a way that has little or no effect on ocean ecosystems.

Blue Sushi is now open at Lincoln Commons (2351 N Lincoln Ave). They are open at 11 a.m. from Monday to Friday and at 12 p.m. on weekends. Happy hour is from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Saturday for on-site and take-out dinner and all day Sunday, for on-site dinner only.


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