Price range: $7-$19 for sushi
Hours: 5-10 p.m. mon.-thurs., 5-11 p.m. fri.-sat.
Tip: Shinsei is open for lunch 11 a.m.-2 p.m. fridays only
An Asian restaurant that does both sushi and hot cuisine well is hard to come by, says Tracy Rathbun. “You get one or the other. It’s basically like running two restaurants.” She and her business partner Lynae Fearing try to master both concepts at Shinsei Restaurant. At the helm, they have sushi chef Shuji Sugawara, who rocks a pompadour and goes by Elvis, and executive chef Jason Czaja, a former musician from Chicago. When it comes to sushi, you can expect more than just plain old avocado or California rolls. Elvis gets creative with his signature Elvis Mack sashimi made with Spanish mackerel, cucumbers, radishes, yuzu and olive oil. Shinsei has fresh fish flown in three times a week from all over the world. Tracy heeds the advice from her husband, chef Kent Rathbun, on running a successful restaurant — focus on pleasing the top 5 percent of customers, the above-average diners. “Most people may not understand the food that’s on their plate, and that’s okay. I’m trying to exceed the expectations of the people who really, really understand what makes a good dining experience. Then, everybody will be happy.”
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1 Ku Sushi
Venture toward the back of Preston Forest Village, and you’ll find a hidden sushi gem. Ku caters to the beginners and the advanced — from cream cheese lovers to squid enthusiasts.
11661 Preston, Suite 160
The lunch specials make this Preston-Royal spot easier on the wallet. Grab a co-worker, and split a roll special — any two rolls for $12. It includes the California, shrimp tempura, salmon avocado, spicy California, avocado, cucumber and veggie.
This family-owned restaurant near Preston Center has a few signature dishes worth trying, including the No Name #3, which is double-pressed sushi with a layer of crab salad and spicy tuna.