Fuji Sushi Bar & Grill exceeds all expectations

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I think it’s safe to say I’ve found my new go-to sushi place. Fuji Sushi Bar & Grill definitely didn’t disappoint on its main promise, sushi, but I have to admit it wasn’t all perfectly marinated chicken and just right tofu.

Driving past the restaurant at 644 Long Point Road, I was a little freaked out by how many people were waiting outside and how few open parking spots there were. I was about to pass up on Fuji all together and just go to one of my staple sushi spots, knowing there would definitely be a wait. And what if I didn’t even like the food after waiting an hour for it?

But my friends and I decided to give it a shot and check their wait time, me being the only one who had never been there before. The wait ended up being only about 25-30 minutes, time easily killed by walking around PetSmart right across the street and seeing some cute puppies.

As we walked in Fuji, I immediately noticed how small the entryway is by how many times I had to scooch closer to a potted plant to stay out of the way of the door, which explains why so many people were outside when we drove by.

Other than that, the restaurant feels comfortable. A little fancy, but comfortable. The lights are dimmed and the noise level is just right so you don’t feel awkward for talking too loud, but you also don’t feel the need to yell at the person next to you.

I was overwhelmed with how many options there were on the menu, but I settled on some miso soup along with the classic sweet potato roll and Alaskan roll. I decided to stick to the basics; one, because I thought maybe I should dip my toes in before jumping into this new restaurant, but two, because I wasn’t really trying to empty my whole wallet in one night.

First came the miso soup. I can not physically explain how refreshing it was. Recently, I’ve had a miso soup crisis. Now if you don’t know what miso soup is, if you’ve ever been to Yamato on a fancy night out, it’s the little soup they bring out while you watch them cook. If you still don’t know what miso soup is, it’s a pretty basic broth with little pieces of tofu, scallions and seaweed. But it’s more than just a sum of its parts. There’s no other way to describe it than satisfying because it perfectly satisfies your pre-dinner hunger in a way that it tides you over until the meal but doesn’t fill you up.

Back to the point: I’ve been in a miso soup crisis. Every time I go to my usual sushi place, I order miso soup in hopes of enjoying it, but it never, ever lives up to my expectations. The hunt is officially called off because Fuji’s miso soup really was that good.

Now that I’ve rambled about miso soup for longer than anyone ever asked for, the next course was our appetizer, agedashi tofu, described as on the menu as “lightly fried tofu with teriyaki sauce.” While the presentation was gorgeous, complete with an edible flower, the food itself left something to be desired. The tofu was cut into eight large pieces, not ideal for sharing an appetizer but not the biggest inconvenience either, and since I was using chopsticks, I just picked one up and put the whole piece in my mouth (not trying to risk taking bites and then ending up dropping it on myself).

Instant regret. The tofu was so hot that I think I burned every part of my mouth. You know that thing you do when your food is way too hot so you just frantically blow air out hoping the universe will have mercy on you.

There was no mercy.

Now that is absolutely no shade to Fuji. I take full responsibility for being dumb. But on the actual tofu, I didn’t really taste a whole lot of teriyaki, and the way it was cooked was lackluster at best. Being surrounded by almost all vegetarian friends, I’d say I’m a little more experienced with tofu than the average person, so take my word for it, it wasn’t great.

Next was the sweet potato roll and the Alaskan roll (salmon, cucumber and avocado), which were eight pieces each. First impressions, there wasn’t a whole lot to them that I hadn’t seen before. But when I ate that sweet potato roll, I was pleasantly surprised with its sticky sweetness, enhanced by a little bit of ginger on top.

In between bites, I had to steal a little piece of my friend’s chicken hibachi, which was well cooked, well seasoned and well sauced (if sauced can be a verb). The Alaskan roll, while delicious, was also honestly not memorable. There’s not a whole lot to say about that one.

Overall, even though it was a bit too pricey to be a high schooler’s once-a-week sushi fix, the mouthwatering miso soup, sweet potato roll and chicken give me hope for the potential of the other menu items. I’ll definitely have to make a trip (or five) back to try many more tempting dishes that Fuji has to offer.