Sushi Pier – Reno
A fellow BRC denizen recommended this place as a good Reno pitstop, so we came here after 8 days of extreme desert camping, absolutely famished for some fresh raw food. Calling ahead, the person on the phone said it was totally okay for two grubby campers to come in.
Arriving just a few minutes after the beginning of lunch service, the place was already packed and we were among the last few to be seated before there was a queue by the door. We were promptly served a little salad.
Most of the patrons were the sturdy types who obviously appreciate the “all you can eat” menu. I took my cue from the friendly man sitting next to me at the bar and ordered most of what he was having.
I generally stuck with nigiri, which offered the most variety of seafood. Unfortunately, there was no ama ebi available, and the first round of saba was disappointing, which the chef was very upfront about as he said it was the last of a batch and promised more saba would be available soon. The vegetable tempura was also a bit spartan, it would have been a real bummer if this was an a la carte item, but hidden amongst the piles of ayce options, we weren’t put out.
The albacore, hamachi, flying fish roe, tai, unagi and later round of saba (with extra pieces on the side) were all A-Ok, on par with all other mid-range sushi places! I enjoyed the upside down shrimp, filled with spicy roe and scallops. In second place was the Mickey, and finally I had the tempura upside down shrimp, which was underwhelming due to mainly tasting like fried food rather than fresh raw seafood. But duh, that’s exactly how it’s described on the menu, so that’s my bad.
Top: unagi and flying fish roe nigiri, hamachi nigiri, and albacore nigiri.
This was my first time having a quail egg shooter, which was fine.
I only had one roll, the Moondog Long Roll. It was underwhelming and most of the other rolls seemed to be that way as well – mostly filling, mostly drenched in sweet sauce. We struggled to finish this one.
If you can really stuff a lot of food in your gob, the handrolls are extremely generous with your choice of filling. If your stomach real estate isn’t as ample, like mine, the handroll will provide a lot of the same item, which might be great if you only like one item. But I prefer variety, so I stayed well away.
The sushi is Americanized, very sweet, and very sauced. It’ll fill your gut quickly and I know that’s very popular. Sticking with the nigiri will provide the most variety (and supposedly the most skill of the chef) Sushi Pier has available in the ayce section, including a few items off the beaten track of salmon and maguro. Again, I understand that making the nigiri pieces themselves all fancy dolled up is very popular, but it does mean that the first bite will be rice rather than fish, as there’s no way the nigiri can be flipped over with all the accoutrements stacked up on top.
Props to all the folks working there. We were tucked into a terminal point of the bar, out of eye contact range with the chef. But he made a point to look over and check up on us, as did a number of the staff.