Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A great food option near Mall At Millenia: Sushi Katana

It's not like Orlando has a dearth of sushi choices. A quick search brings up 122 options; google sushi orlando" and you'll get over 3 million results. Everyone has their favorites, of course, from the very basic and quite overpriced selections in the Japan Pavilion at EPCOT Center to grab-and-go lunchbox options in most area grocery stores (a staple for the kind of healthy, vacationing mom who likes to bring her own cooler to the theme parks). Both International Drive and Downtown Orlando offer dozens of choices, but it's in the middle of those two areas that I most often find myself when I am in the mood for some raw fish -- Sushi Katana.

Located in a side strip mall bordering the parking lot of the Mall at Millenia, Sushi Katana has a contemporary, hipster vibe. Tables are spartan and sleek; there is even a wraparound couch option for parties of six or so. Lights are low while still keeping the place well-lit, so you can see what you're eating. The decor is a nice combination of style and comfort; you won't feel out of place in jeans or cargo shorts, but if you feel like dressing things up a bit, you could do that too. Most nights, you'll see a combination of both; the restaurant does not have a dress code.

Sushi Katana's menu is extensive, offering sushi, sashimi and traditional Japanese cuisine for the non-fish eaters in your party. They also offer an impressive wine and sake menu, with options from sparkling to sweet -- yes, even the sake has two sparkling options! Most wines are available by the glass or by the bottle; sakes are available by the bottle only.

Sushi, sashimi and rolls are available in combinations or a la carte; all the basic favorites are here, of course, and their spicy tuna doesn't skimp on the spicy (yum). Special rolls are inventive, fresh and delicious. Some are even served without nori -- seaweed -- and are wrapped in cucumber or rice paper instead; they're definitely worth trying.

Some personal faves of mine, from all the sections of the menu:

Spicy garlic edamame

Seafood sosumashi soup

Beef short ribs kalbi-style


Citrus Tobiko

Black Tobiko

Spicy Tuna sandwich roll

Miami Soy Paper roll

Spicy Conch roll

Sweet Potato roll (it's like dessert sushi!)

Beef Yakiudon

Prawn and Sea Scallop in tangy sauce


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