Restaurant Review: Mizuno

A couple of months ago we were in need of a sushi date. We had planned to go to Mizuno then, but while I was sitting in a waiting room I read a magazine article that said Hayashi was the best sushi in the area. Hayashi is MUCH closer, so we changed our plans. Unfortunately, dinner at Hayashi was a complete disappointment. So, when I started craving sushi again, I made a reservation for Mizuno, and this time that’s where we actually ended up.

Mizuno is in Virginia Beach, and it’s in a really pretty shopping center. We went inside and were instantly impressed with the very cool decor. Especially the bar. I LOVED the bar.

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We had a reservation for 8:00, but our table wasn’t ready yet, so we had a drink at the bar while we waited. G had a beer, and I had an Asian pear ginger-tini. It was made with Absolute Pear, fresh ginger and Ji sake. It was delicious, and I was happy I couldn’t taste the sake.

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The wait & the quest for a decent table was the most annoying part of our evening. I make reservations so I don’t have to wait. A few minutes is one thing. 25 minutes is another. Also, an employee (I’m guessing a manager, although she never said) kept trying to get us to sit at the bar. She asked if we just want to eat at the bar twice, and then while we were waiting, she asked if we’d like to eat at the sushi bar. Not to sound like a spoiled brat, but no. I want a table. So, that was annoying. When we finally got a table, it was VERY tiny, wedged in between two parties (one was a HUGE party of drunk, loud, rich, obnoxious white people). Keep in mind that this was a really small table (a two top)… So small, they apologized for the size of the table twice. And the size of the table would have been fine if it hadn’t been missing a chair. So, they sit us in a very crowded area, and make us both sit on the bench on one side of the table, because they don’t have a chair for the other side. Seriously? SO annoying. I love my husband, but I need a little room to breath. We ask for a different table and end up being moved. Our new table was much, much better; so we were finally able to order.

We were both starving, and none of the appetizers were jumping out at us, so we both went with salads. G ordered the house salad with the ginger dressing, and I ordered the seaweed salad. Our server told me that the seaweed salad was different from what I was used to, but I ordered it anyways. She was 100% right. It was large chunks of seaweed, on top of a bed of greens, and then served with the ginger dressing. It was okay, but I prefer the what you typically get when you order a seaweed salad, and I probably wouldn’t order it again.

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Once the sushi came out, my annoyance with the wait and the game of musical tables went away. The sushi was absolutely delicious. They had a pretty creative sushi menu (they even have a selection of Atkins/low carb sushi!), but we narrowed it down to three specialty rolls, and two smaller, ordinary rolls. We had a spicy tuna roll, a yellow tail roll (the small, cheaper ones), a rainbow roll, the Tuna Crunchy Crunchy, and the NYPD roll. They all tasted fresh, and the except for the two small rolls, they were all pretty large.

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The rainbow roll was my favorite, because it is always my favorite. The combination of fish, avocado & cucumber just speaks to me. And this one was excellently done. None of the flavors overpowered the others, and there were HUGE chunks of avocado in the roll. I prefer that to a slice of it on top, since when it’s on top, some pieces always end up avocado-less.

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The NYPD was my second favorite (and G’s favorite). It was pretty spicy, due to wasabi in the roll, and a thin slice of jalapeno on top of the roll. I love spicy foods, but after one piece my lips were burning, so I picked off the rest of the jalapeno.

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The tuna crunchy crunchy was our least favorite. The “crunchy” didn’t add anything to the roll, it just made it messy. And the roll itself didn’t have a lot of flavor. I definitely wouldn’t order that one again.

The two small rolls were nothing special. The spicy tuna was really good though. It had heat from different sources, and although it was small, it was good. The yellow tail was very meh. There wasn’t much to it, and it lacked flavor.

All in all, I liked this place. I liked their creative bar menu, I was pleased with the quality of the sushi, but I don’t know if I’ll go back. I didn’t like it anymore than I like Kero, and Kero is a better value, and a heck of a lot closer. If you’re in the Hampton Roads area and have a sushi restaurant you think is the absolute best, let me know! (And I already know about the all you can eat place on Jefferson. That’s our next spot…)

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