I’m taking a study break to tell you about sushi. And yes, it’s not Friday, but it IS Sunday and for some reason, Sunday seems to be a pretty good day for sushi specials, so listen closely. 🙂
Just as 2017 brought dozens of restaurants closings to Indianapolis, 2018 is bringing dozens of new restaurant openings! I am so excited for summer when I can start visiting them all, but until then, I’m going at a pretty slow pace. One of my friends is from Nebraska, where Blue Sushi Sake Grill is pretty prominent with four locations, so she was ecstatic when she found out the chain would be coming to the Ironworks building on the Northside (home of so many other of my favorite places, like Rize and Provision) and she quickly planned a girls night to check out the new location.
I was impressed by how packed the restaurant was after just days of being open and I was very happy that I had already made a reservation (online reservations are not available yet, so you have to be old-school and pick up the phone). The interior has a very colorful, stylish vibe with large pictures on the wall and huge paper cranes hanging from the ceiling. I got a bit of an Asian rock n’ roll vibe with the loud music and packed rooms, but maybe that’s just me.
Because my friend was so excited about the Indianapolis location, she wanted to order just about one of everything, so I happily went along with it. We tried the Mango Crab Rangoon ($8) and Dragon Shrimp ($13) to start. We then jumped straight to the sushi menu and ordered the Crunchy Blue roll ($7.5) with spicy crab mix, cilantro, crispy panko, eel sauce, the Thriller roll ($11) with shrimp tempura, spicy crab mix, ponzu, creamy thriller sauce, the Tidal Wave roll ($11) with shrimp tempura, crab mix tempura, cream cheese, sweet wasabi and eel sauce, and the Lion King roll ($10.50) with crab mix, cucumber, avocado, spicy salmon, eel sauce, spicy mayo. I watered everything down with a Tropical Mule ($8). ALL THE THINGS! Even after sharing with 2 other people, I became way too full and started to regret some of my sushi choices.
Here’s what I liked: I liked the large sushi menu with a variety of fun and unique options. Our service was also friendly and relatively prompt. And here’s what I didn’t like: Everything had such a “chain” feeling to it. Like the sushi version of P.F. Chang’s. The food didn’t have a signature flavor or feel very original. The appetizers didn’t even really taste fresh and had a “just came out of a frozen bag” flavor to them. Also, our bill added up quickly. Yes, we shared everything AND I had a $10 off coupon, but I still felt we paid a bit much for some apps and rolls.
So, good news first: They have sushi lunch specials! And happy hour with food specials on Mondays-Thursdays from 3-6:30pm and food AND drink specials on Sundays from noon-9pm. So that’s good! You can read all about the specials here and can also sign up for their email list for even more deals. But the bad news: I’m going to keep going to FortyFive Degrees on Mass Ave for my fix of 1/2 price Sushi on Sundays. Yes, it’s also not super authentic, but I like the flavors better and feel it may be one notch fresher.
Overall? Not a bad experience, but my distaste for chain restaurants continues. Unless you are Panera and then I love you always.
Overall Rating: 3/5
Blue Sushi Sake Grill
2721 E. 86th Street
Indianapolis, IN 46240
I’d love to hear from you! Where is the best sushi in Indianapolis?
I LOVE sushi and your pictures make my mouth water, but I feel the same way you do about chains (unless it is Panera…And does Starbucks count as a chain?;p) I am not a fan ESPECIALLY when it comes to sushi. Sishi is one of those signs that always should be fresh. Foodie law ;p ❤
I agree with you on Panera being an exception to the chain rule. I’d also throw in b.good, which is a local Boston restaurant chain, though that might not qualify in this imaginary list of legitimate and semi-satisfactory restaurant chains.
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I don’t eat sushi myself, but my mother and sister love it. They buy theirs at the grocery store, where an in-house sushi chef prepares it, but have yet to eat at an actual sushi restaurant. That’s too bad about the lack of originality and pep at the Blue Sushi Sake Grill. Sometimes it pays to stick to the tried and true, like Forty-Five Degrees.