OPINION: Izumi offers all-you-can-eat feasts
All-you-can-eat sushi is cool and all, but loading up on rice and imitation crab can get to be rather unvaried after roll number four. The new sushi restaurant Izumi, (eee-zoom-eee), has an amazing all-you-can-eat option offered all day.
For $25 per person, you can pick from an extensive menu with not only sushi, but tempura, ramen, crab legs and raw oysters. For the number of options it has, Izumi definitely beats other all-you-can-eat sushi places in town.
There are a few exceptions with some items on the menu limiting you to “two orders per person” on selected sushi rolls. But pick just two rolls from that category and you’ll have almost paid for your meal.
Izumi, located at 3655 E. Speedway Blvd., is a casual but swanky dining restaurant with subtle blue accents, like the napkins and walls. There are two bars on either side of the building with seating, as well as tables and booths to sit at. Service was very fast when I was there around 1 p.m. on a Wednesday.
It serves beer, wine and cocktails, as well as a wide variety of sake. Plan on spending $6–$7 per drink or $14–$16 on sake.
I started with a couple of specialty items, crab legs and raw oysters. The crab legs were salty and flavorful, but with little meat. It wasn’t worth trying to crack them for the small amount of meat. The oysters, which comes with two, were pretty good. They’re topped with a dab of roe and a slice of green pepper. One slurp and they’re gone. I say, if it’s all-you-can-eat, give me one of everything, please.
I was surprised by how delicious the miso ramen was. The soup had a warm, cream-like broth with slices of cha shu pork, half a hard-boiled egg, noodles and slices of seaweed. If you’re into ramen, I highly recommend this dish because the broth was so tasty.
Other items on the menu I like include the following:
• Eel Nigiri: eel on a bed of rice with sweet eel sauce
• Shrimp and Veggie Tempura: veggies and shrimp with crispy deep-fried coating
• Inari Sushi: sweet tofu stuffed with rice
• Las Vegas Roll: salmon with cream cheese and avocado, blended well with the dynamite sauce and a deep fried crust on the edges
• Mexican Roll: drizzled with sweet eel sauce and avocado and deep fried
The restaurant had its grand opening on March 10, so it’s still working on introducing new concepts to the restaurant. Starting on Thursday, April 5, Izumi will have an all-you-can-eat lunch buffet from 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. that will cost $11 per person.
If you are planning on going out for Japanese food with a raging appetite, Izumi is a good option because of its varied menu. The portion size is excellent, and the rolls are stuffed full, unlike some places that slap rolls together. The service is fast and has a quiet atmosphere with not too many people and lots of parking.
This is a good place to bring a date, but expect to spend $35–$70 for two people with drinks. As far as overall sushi restaurants, this isn’t my top destination; however, I will definitely be back to try its new lunch buffet.
Rating: 4 / 5