Sushi: Roll Call
Nevada is fixated on fresh fish.
Sushi is something of a Nevada specialty. This might sound surprising, given that the nearest wharf is some 150 miles away, but it’s true. The Silver State is home to some of the best sushi around with daily offerings as fresh as you’d find in any oceanside community. Best of all, amazing sushi restaurants are found all across Nevada, not just in our metropolitan areas.
The sushi we all know today originated as fast food in 19th century Tokyo. In the 1970s, advances in refrigeration and local rice cultivation led to the U.S. opening its first sushi restaurants in Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago.
The first sushi restaurants catered mostly to wealthy Japanese businessmen and the American upper class. In the 1980s, Americans became obsessed with all things Japanese, and as the appetite for anime and Zen gardens flourished, so did our love for sushi.
AYCE SUSHI CAPITAL OF THE WEST
So, how did a landlocked, desert state come to reign supreme in serving a signature Japanese dish? It all comes down to the casinos, or rather, competition with them. In the 1990s, sushi restaurants in Reno needed to find a way to compete with the high-class sushi bars popping up in the casino resorts. Their answer? All-you-can-eat (AYCE) sushi.
AYCE soon became standard fare in restaurants across the city, offering sushi fans the chance to indulge and engorge for a reasonable price. Las Vegas picked up on the craze, and today you’ll find many AYCE experiences in both cities.
At most restaurants, guests can sit at a table or at the bar, where you’ll be chatting up other diners and placing orders directly with the chef. For AYCE, you can order all the sushi you’d like, but you may get charged for uneaten rolls.
Sushi culture is so prevalent in Nevada that plentiful sushi experiences are found in our smaller towns as well. Keep these options in mind as you make your way across the state.
BLUE MOON ASIAN CUISINE & SUSHI
Blue Moon offers a spread of Asian plates from Pad Thai to Vietnamese Pho, not to mention a full bar offering dozens of imaginative cocktail combinations. Sushi includes classic choices with plenty of special and signature rolls including the Ruby Mountain: crystal shrimp with assorted fish, avocado, and sweet and spicy mayo.
Momo’s is a popular spot with a considerable menu. They also offer generous drink specials including sake flights and buy-one-get-one-free house sake. Try the Heart Attack: a fried roll with jalapenos stuffed with cream cheese and spicy tuna.
MINATO’S JAPANESE RESTAURANT
Minato’s features classic Korean and Japanese entrees alongside all varieties of sushi—including deep fried and baked. If you’re not sure what to order, try the Chef Special Roll; this inspired piece changes every day.
LAS ARENITAS SUSHI
A Mexican and sushi restaurant in a cowboy town? Yup, it totally works. Las Arenitas is one of the few places to serve up enchiladas next to edamame and mochi alongside tostadas. Their sushi menu has dozens of options, many embracing the cultural fusion like La Playa: crab, mango, salmon, and cream cheese topped with mango sauce.
Making a stop in our state capital? You’ll find one of the best sushi experiences in northern Nevada at Kei Sushi. In addition to beautiful presentation and talented chefs, this spot shows off a considerable AYCE menu that includes unlimited appetizers. Try their dessert long rolls, like the Ladybug, which includes sweet potato, cream cheese, honey, chocolate, whipped cream, and strawberries wrapped in soy paper.