What sets Midori Sushi apart from the others may be its implementation of an “all-you-can-eat” menu. If you’re anything like the average sushi-eater, hearing the phrase “all-you-can-eat” associated with sushi might frighten you. But rest assured, at Midori the food is nothing to be concerned about.
The location is easy to find. The restaurant, a few blocks west of Balboa Boulevard, has plenty of parking in the back lot, even on a Friday around 8 p.m.
The restaurant itself, though fairly narrow, is typical of a Japanese setting. Bamboo sticks adorn both the front and back entrance, along with various Japanese symbols painted along the walls.
Overall, Midori Sushi has a very clean and comfortable atmosphere. The dim lighting is perfect for a Friday night date, and the afternoon sunlight coming adds a nice touch for a lunch out of the office.
The food and atmosphere at Midori Sushi is so great that I went twice in one week. I went on a Tuesday afternoon around lunchtime, and there was no wait to be seated.
The food came out after 10 minutes of ordering, making Midori the perfect place to consider going with your co-workers during your limited lunch break.
On Friday night, the wait to be seated was 30 minutes. This is understandable, considering the limited space inside the restaurant. Although the restaurant was packed, our food took only 15 minutes to arrive to the table. The waiters and hosts were very attentive, always making sure that our drinks were refilled and empty plates were removed from the table.
With the “all-you-can-eat” sushi, comes rules which are quite strictly enforced. You can only order the “all-you-can-eat” option if everyone at your table decides to participate. If not, there is an a la carte menu available.
If the “all-you-can-eat” selection is chosen, the flat rate is $20.95 per person for lunch (from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m.) and $25.95 per person for dinner (from 3 p.m. until 30 minutes before closing). The “all-you-can-eat” menu is also served during the weekend.
In addition to the other restrictions, the “all-you-can-eat” meal is limited to one hour only. However, the food is brought out fairly quickly. Every item that is ordered, including the rice, must be completed before the next order is brought out.
Any item that is not completed will be charged additionally according to the menu price. Leftovers may not be taken home, and the “all-you-can-eat” meal option is not applicable for take-out orders.
The food itself is appetizing and fulfilling. There are quite a few different choices of rolls, specialty rolls, appetizers, soups, salads and alcoholic beverages to choose from. All the fish is fresh and tender. The rolls range from as simple as the cucumber and avocado rolls to those with unique and intriguing names, such as the Hot Night Roll and the Kamikaze Roll. Midori Sushi is definitely not at a loss for interesting specialty roll names and combinations.
Seeing all the creative sushi rolls on the menu with all the different descriptions intrigued me to try as much as I could.
For the basketball lovers, there is the “Clipper Roll,” a deep fried spicy tuna and crab meet roll with eel and spicy sauce drizzled on top, and the “Lakers’ Roll,” a deep fried California Roll with eel and spicy sauce on top. The fish in both these rolls melt as soon as it hits the tongue.
For those who love spicy food, there is the “Jalapeno Bomb,” spicy tuna and cream cheese in a deep fried jalapeno with eel sauce on top, a “Fire Roll,” spicy tuna topped with seared tuna and garlic jalapeno ponzu sauce, and a “Burner Roll,” featuring salmon and cucumber with extra spicy seared salmon and onions.
The prices of the sushi on the a la carte menu range from $3.50 to $12.50, making Midori Sushi a perfect place to grab lunch or dinner for the college student on a strict budget. You will always be guaranteed fresh and tender sushi, a great atmosphere and polite service.