228 East Main Street, Montrose, 970/240-1100
Looking for a way to kick-start your pallet? Sushitini is Montrose’s Main Street destination for fresh Asian cuisine serving a variety of seafood, soups and salads, all under the watchful eye of Cynthia, the 12-foot metal dragon that hangs on the ceiling.
Co-owner Nick Rinne is also Sushitini’s head chef, and has been with the restaurant since it opened in 2011. The restaurant offers a Pan Asian menu, with influences from Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai and Vietnamese cultures and dishes that include Japanese teriyaki, Thai curry and Vietnamese Pho.
“We kind of hit a pretty broad culinary spectrum,” Rinne explains. “I don’t like to get bogged down with one type of food.”
Rinne says he uses the same techniques to massage octopus that are used in the 2011 documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi, about a Michelin three-star restaurant in Japan and its 85-year-old sushi master and owner, Sukiyabashi Jiro.
To newcomers, Rinne suggests starting with Sashimi or Nigiri sushi – something on the lighter side before transitioning into more spice.
“You don’t want to kill your pallet,” he explains.
Cooked appetizers, like fresh, homemade egg rolls or pork dumplings, bring more zing to the meal before moving on to more-substantial main dishes such as Vietnamese Pho, $8 for a small and $16 for a large or Thai Green Curry as $12.
The seasoned beef broth used to make the Pho, Rinne said, takes up to two days to prepare. Every dish at Sushitini is made from scratch.
“If you make food fresh, it’s going to taste better, especially when it’s without preservatives,” he said.
Rinne said Montrose is very lucky to have such access to quality seafood, which is flown in each day to the Seattle Fish Market, formerly owned by Andy Goldman.
“The change from Andy to Seattle Fish was shocking, but the quality remains the same and very high,” Rinne said. “The fish is plucked out of the water, stuffed with ice and put on the plane. We can get almost anything, anywhere in the world the next day.
Most of the menu is gluten free. A wide variety of specialty drinks are available, like the Asian Mojito, for $6, or fresh Sake (from $6 for an individual serving up to $40 for a carafe).
For the person who prefer fish, the sushi menu has other options, such as the Cowboy Roll ($8).
Rolled with shishito peppers, avocado and cucumbers and topped with Korean barbecue beef rib with scallions and a chili ginger sauce, the Cowboy is a must try: the Korean barbecue melts with the peppers, and the chili ginger sauce explodes on the back end of each bite. The roll is perfect for “any red-blooded American,” Rinne says. He has had to raise his prices for the first time in two years due to a shortage of beef (recent droughts have increased wholesale beef prices by 50 cents per pound in the past year).
If you haven’t tried one, the Viva Montrose roll, which has been on the menu since Sushitini opened, is a terrific fusion of tempura, crab, cream cheese and spicy tuna, topped with an eel sauce made fresh in-house.
Another instant favorite could be the Albacore Ceviche Lettuce Wrap ($9), a blend of raw Albacore tuna “cooked” in lime juice and served with lettuce, avocado and a honey chipotle sauce.
Sushi rolls start at $6. The best deal is happy hour, which runs from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. each day and features $2 well drinks, $3 sake, $4 glasses of wine and half-price California Maki rolls and Spicy Salmon hand rolls.
The Vibe: One of the best happy hours in town, with good tunes, fresh food and a hip, clean interior and spacious seating.
Stopping Through? Make an online reservation ahead of time at www.sushitinis.com.
The restaurant is located on the south side of Main Street, two doors west from Delmont Park. Hours: Monday through Friday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday, 5 p.m.-9 p.m.