For the 10th straight year, October is Dining Month on OnMilwaukee, presented by the restaurants of Potawatomi Hotel & Casino. All month, we're stuffed with restaurant reviews, dining guides, delectable features, chef profiles and unique articles on everything food, as well as voting for your "Best of Dining 2016."
106 W. Seeboth St.
Mondays are generally not a prime night for eating out. It’s the beginning of the week, many restaurants are closed and people are coming off the weekend and more inclined to stay in – particularly after a late Sunday Packers game and a depressing presidential debate the night before. So it's usually pretty slow. But if you deign to dine out, and want good food and a great experience, Screaming Tuna is the spot to go.
Offering a robust Service Industry Night menu of maki rolls and small plates that closely resemble their regular options at a nicely reduced price, Screaming Tuna was packed and perfect tonight when a friend and I ventured in for a quick bite and some sake.
The Asian bistro that straddles the Third Ward and Walker’s Point border on the Milwaukee River was crowded enough with mostly 20-somethings (and a blissful birthday party) at 8:30 p.m. that we had to sit at the sushi bar. That was fine, though, because we were able to watch the action of the sushi chefs and received prompt and patient service from Joanie, our pleasant server.
Type of food: Sushi and Asian fusion
Prices: Entrees $7.00-28.00
Vegetarian friendly? Certainly pesca-friendly, but plenty of both veggie-only options and meat choices, too.
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 to 10 p.m.; Friday 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 to 11 p.m.; Saturday 10:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.; and Sunday 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Parking: Metered and street parking available, but not easy.
Vibe/dress: Upscale but casual. Booth, table and bar seating is available; dimly lit, trendy and modern decor with views of the river. Good for a special occasion.
Hits: After ordering a round of the Dragon Ball Z, hot sake with Fireball cinnamon whiskey ($11), which was sweet, sour, savory and seemingly everlasting – we each had five shot-glass servings – we ordered three items off the S.I.N. menu. The spicy tuna maki, which consisted of tuna, garlic, chili, sesame oil, scallion and mayo, was quite good. The spice level was manageable, even a little tame; the tuna tasted fresh, and at $4.50 it was a delicious deal (and gluten free, apparently).
The shrimp tempura ($5.50), a delightful shrimp, avocado, cucumber and eel sauce dish, was an excellent complement. Sushi is about the ingredients and the roll; Screaming Tuna’s ingredients were exactly what we hoped for and expected, and we watched as they were rolled proficiently onto the plate.
For a non-fish addition, we got the Korean tacos – on the suggestion of Joanie – and the two flour tortillas with Korean pepper and soy marinade, citrus coleslaw, kimchi and chicken ($6) were overflowing, literally, with vibrant flavor and color. Coming with a side of fried rice, it was enough for a meal on its own.
My friend, a local chef who knew a few members of the staff but had never been to Screaming Tuna and is not given to effusive praise of area establishments, was – for him – glowing in his assessment of the restaurant’s Service Industry Night selections, declaring "that was damn good" and "I’d come back here."
Misses: Eh, parking's not the greatest, but it's a Downtown restaurant on the river. Haven't you heard? Milwaukee's coming up! Ubering, Bublr biking (there are two locations each within about two blocks) or walking is best, especially if you want to work off the nigiri, but parking's not impossible.
Inside tip: S.I.N. specials Sunday and Monday and Sake Tuesday ($3 bombs, $6 hot, $9 select bottles) are two of Screaming Tuna's daily deals.
In all, the two of us spent $28 for an excellent meal at one of Milwaukee’s most popular sushi joints that had a vibe that felt a lot more like a Saturday night than a Monday. It was fun and the food’s good. Make sure you get some sake.
Born in Milwaukee but a product of Shorewood High School (go ‘Hounds!) and Northwestern University (go ‘Cats!), Jimmy never knew the schoolboy bliss of cheering for a winning football, basketball or baseball team. So he ditched being a fan in order to cover sports professionally - occasionally objectively, always passionately. He's lived in Chicago, New York and Dallas, but now resides again in his beloved Brew City and is an ardent attacker of the notorious Milwaukee Inferiority Complex.
After interning at print publications like Birds and Blooms (official motto: "America's #1 backyard birding and gardening magazine!"), Sports Illustrated (unofficial motto: "Subscribe and save up to 90% off the cover price!") and The Dallas Morning News (a newspaper!), Jimmy worked for web outlets like CBSSports.com, where he was a Packers beat reporter, and FOX Sports Wisconsin, where he managed digital content. He's a proponent and frequent user of em dashes, parenthetical asides, descriptive appositives and, really, anything that makes his sentences longer and more needlessly complex.
Jimmy appreciates references to late '90s Brewers and Bucks players and is the curator of the unofficial John Jaha Hall of Fame. He also enjoys running, biking and soccer, but isn't too annoying about them. He writes about sports - both mainstream and unconventional - and non-sports, including history, music, food, art and even golf (just kidding!), and welcomes reader suggestions for off-the-beaten-path story ideas.