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Ginza Sushi from the Far West

Our foodies are on a roll and they set their sights on Ginza Sushi Bar in Wauwatosa! Enjoy!

I’ll admit, I don’t consider myself a sushi connoisseur. However I’ve explored a fair number of sushi restaurants and plenty of sushi varieties over the years. In Milwaukee, there are a few spots I like to visit, but recently I’ve been drawn to Ginza, near the Mayfair Mall in Wauwatosa. If you happen to be shopping at Mayfair or running errands on Highway 100, bypass the mall dining options and drop in. They’re located in a strip mall just behind Starbucks (2727A Mayfair Road).

To fully explore Ginza’s variety I invited a few friends to join me in tackling the menu. We made it a weekend lunch date and immediately started out with some edamame. The modern atmosphere keeps things lively, including club dance music as well as bold red and black walls. The restaurant also features a 40’ sushi bar as well as some novel touches, like soft drinks (Coca-Cola products) served in traditional glass bottles.

We looked over the menu which is extensive. They even offered a separate “specials” menu that included about two dozen new features. We took liberty and ordered the following:

Caterpillar Roll ($9) = eel, cucumber, topped with avocado and served w/eel sauce
Dynamite Roll ($12) = shrimp tempura, mango, cucumber topped with spicy tuna and coconut flakes
Scorpion King Roll ($11) = soft shell crab, avocado, cucumber and topped in caviar
Funky Monkey Roll ($6) = eel and banana
Sashimi (15 pieces, $18) = tuna, white tuna, sea bass, red snapper and yellow fin tuna
Udon Noodles w/Chicken ($14) = chicken and vegetables stir fried in sweet soy sauce
Deep Fried Red Bean Ice Cream ($4)

Of the specialty rolls, I’d say the Dynamite and the Funky Monkey were my favorites. They were both unique and were actually sweet enough to order as a dessert roll. The Funky Monkey blended similar textures—banana and eel—really well. The use of fruit in rolls always brings out both sweet and spicy flavors, which made the Dynamite a wonderful arrangement. The sweetness of the mango and delicate touch of the coconut flakes really played well with the eel and spicy tuna. The Caterpillar was well suited, the group thought, for introductory sushi eaters. The roll is topped with generous amounts of avocado and was whimsically plated, featuring edible eyes and antennae. The Scorpion King lived up to its powerful name as it was full of flavor. The texture variations were very enjoyable, and the tasty soft shell crab and caviar was the perfect touch; each bite gave off a nice little salty explosion. The Udon noodle dish with chicken had a decent, light sauce on it, but in general the dish seemed to lack memorable flavor.

Overall, the sushi itself was very good. Unfortunately, we did have to wait for two rolls that were brought out about 15 minutes after the first set of rolls were served. But the food came through once again as we ended our lunch with Ginza’s deep fried red bean ice cream. Again, texture was the big feature here, as the cold creaminess of the ice cream contrasted deliciously against the warm, crispy tempura batter.

It’s good to know that if you don’t want to head downtown and search for a parking spot, you can head west and find comparable sushi. We’re willing to write off the service snafu as an aberration and will surely return in the future to try a new set of sushi rolls.

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