I’m pretty much addicted to sushi. You could probably guess that if you follow my instagram. I’ve found that a lot of people are intimidated by sushi, so I thought a little break down of the sushi restaurants in Peoria would be helpful. Keep in mind these are my preferences and I’m not exactly a food critic, but I think I can do a pretty good job directing people to a dish they’d feel comfortable with if they’re not sushi-savvy. These are in no particular order.
I probably frequent this one the most, mainly because it is the least expensive and delicious. I usually get the avocado roll (they put a little bit of mayo in it, that makes it tangy, very good!) and a Boston roll (red tuna, cream cheese, and avocado). Both these rolls are about $5 each. Sushi Ko also has all your standard Chinese food selections – noodles, fried rice, orange chicken, crab rangoon, etc. This is a good restaurant to go to with people who absolutely do not want sushi, but are okay with Chinese food. A lot of their rolls are more “specialty rolls” and fun. I love the sushi chef there, he always says hello to me and tells me how much he loves my mini cooper. When I worked at Peoria Camera, I’d walk here for lunches. They’re inexpensive and they give you a ton of food. I tend to get take out when I eat here because I’ve had some slow experiences when sitting down.
This is probably my favorite place to get sushi. They have quite a large selection, especially specialty rolls for those who aren’t super into raw fish. They also have delicious hibachi, noodle bowls, and teriyaki for our non-sushi friends. I frequently get whatever is on special, a Las Vegas roll (crab, avocado, spicy mayo), a tuna martini (seared tuna steak), and yummy yummy roll (shrimp tempura, spicy tuna, crunch, eel sauce). They have a sushi special Monday through Thursday 3-5pm where if you get 2 specialty rolls, you get one free. Love when I happen to crave sushi in the early evening, but it doesn’t happen too often.I usually get the agadashi tofu from them, because it’s amazing. I don’t like agadashi tofu at other places, though. Osaka slices the tofu a lot thinner than everywhere else and it soaks up the flavor a lot better. Their cocktails are very good here, as well.
I actually like Hokkaido more for their hibachi than their sushi selection. Typically when I go here, I get the Las Vegas roll (crab, avocado, spicy mayo) or a simple roll like red tuna and avocado. They have an all-you-can-eat sushi special that I wish I could eat enough to qualify getting. I just can only do one or two rolls max, so I can’t justify the money on the all you can eat. It seems like a lot of people get this, though. The hibachi is superb here. Their miso soup and ginger dressing are some of my favorites. The fried oyster appetizers are amazing, as well. Sometimes the sushi is amazing and other times, I am less than impressed. I’d prefer a little more consistency because their rolls are pretty pricey. They offer Japanese, Chinese, and Thai food if sushi isn’t your thing. Sometimes the service leaves much to be desired, though. Sometimes it takes a long time to get your food, refills, or just get an interaction with the waitstaff. Hokkaido is beautifully decorated inside, with my favorite feature being a little fish stream in the floor!
Sushigawa is the most traditional sushi place in town, hands down. Their rolls are always delicious, but they don’t have a lot of “specialty” rolls for those who aren’t hardcore sushi lovers. They have added about 20 specialty rolls, so I think it’s a little less intimidating now. I’ve loved their teriyaki dishes for years, way before I got into sushi. It’s a very small, stylish restaurant and fills up quick. Overall, I’d say they have the freshest fish and the most “honest” sushi rolls in the area. It’s definitely worth checking out, but come early so you can get a spot! They do close down 2-5pm and I’ve been bummed out pretty regularly when I’ve got the itch to go there at about 1:45pm.
I frequented Happy Fish pretty regularly when I was a student at Bradley. It’s been really hit or miss for me. Sometimes I’ve gone and had an amazing roll and sometimes it’s been just okay. My biggest complaint is the service. It’s usually poor. One time we went and they ran out of rice (rice! at a sushi place!) and I sat and watched my boyfriend eat his meal for 45 minutes before we finally had to ask where my rolls were. The waitress was very apologetic and they did discount my bill 50%, but I was full from the crab rangoons I had at the beginning, so I just ended up taking it home and ate the next day. I do really like that they deliver, though. I haven’t been disappointed by the two times I’ve tried that yet. Plan on it taking an hour or so to get there, though, no matter what they estimate. I went in with this mentality, so that was okay for me. I do really like their udon noodles and they do have some non-sushi things for people.
I sampled this at the Wine and Whiskey walk in July of 2014 and it was great. They even had mushroom sushi! Then they kept postponing when it was supposed to open. At the Wine and Whiskey Walk ’15, they said they’d open in September. That came and passed, as well. We noticed that a new Facebook page called NOVU Sushi popped up and had the same address. They finally opened at the very end of March! My mom and I tried it out and I also got take out a couple days later. The decor is GORGEOUS. It’s easily the best-decorated sushi place. They had a variety of rolls and I quite enjoyed the Junction Roll (escolar, avocado, snapper, tempura asparagus, cream cheese) and Roasted Veggie Roll that I got. Yes, they have some vegetarian options that aren’t just a vegetable with some rice, which is always appreciated! They have a few other entrees, as well, for the non-sushi eaters – mostly meat dishes like filet. The cocktail menu was fantastic – I got a mango-mito and it was very tasty! This is pretty close to my house, too, so I’m excited to try it some more! I’ve gone back a few more times now and the service is hit or miss. Sometimes it’s quick, the waiter is attentive and other times we have to wave them down because we’ve been sitting so long. I usually get the roasted veggie roll and on one occasion they forgot the sauce that basically makes the roll. So, I’m hoping they’re still working out the kinks of being new, but I hope they maintained the great service I got the first couple of times I went.
And, as far as I know, those are all the sushi places in Peoria, Illinois. Did I miss any? Please let me know! And which is your favorite place to indulge in sushi?