Blue Sushi Bar & Lounge

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118 N. Old Litchfield Road, Litchfield Park
623-535-4935

This terrific-looking restaurant breaks the sushi bar mold in more ways than one. For starters, although Japanese design elements are put to good use, the space feels more cool and contemporary than your typical sushi bar, thanks to a rugged looking brick wall, a silver-topped community table and a semi-enclosed lounge area, furnished with sleek banquettes, pillows and retro suspended lamps. The menu, which offers a handful of traditional Japanese dishes, leans more heavily toward sushi -- and elaborate sushi rolls in particular. If you're a traditionalist, you may be put off by this. But relax, try a few and you'll probably leave with an entirely different perspective. A couple of my favorites include the Arizona Roll (spicy crab and spicy salmon with jalapeño slivers and sriracha), the Crunch Roll (deep-fried shrimp, gobo, cuke and smelt eggs, dusted with crunchy tempura batter) and the Marilyn Monroll (shrimp tempura, spicy tuna, avocado and cuke, dusted with tempura batter). Oh yeah, the Volcano is awesome too. Lunch and dinner daily. $$