shinano

I heart sushi. It’s up there as one of my favorite meals. For awhile now, I’ve been boasting that Pacific East gets my vote for favorite local place for sushi. And when the restaurant owners decided to open a second location in Eton, just a few miles from my house, I was downright giddy. So imagine my delight when Shinano, another popular sushi restaurant, closed its Richmond location and relocated to Solon. Now, my house is right smack in the middle of Pacific East and Shinano. For a sushi lover, this is ideal.

A few weeks ago, we made the super short trek to Solon to check out Shinano on behalf of Metromix. I’ve been to the Richmond location several times (and even more for takeout), so I knew the sushi would be satisfying, but what about the other items? Aside from the sushi, I’ve never given the menu a second look and was eager to dive in and try the non-sushi specialties.

You can read the whole store here. The short of it is, we will be back, but just for the rolls. The other items we tried were disappointing. In fact, the curry rice left such a bad taste in my mouth, it took several glasses of milk when I got home to erase (plus the dish itself is not appealing to the eye). Now I’m sure there are some stand outs, and to be fair, it’s not like we tried every single item. But in my opinion, sushi is their specialty and that suits me just fine.

Other low lights included the service and decor. I’ve heard from several people now that they too had poor service and I have now twice. Don’t get me wrong, service is super friendly, just super slow – with food, the check and picking up plates. I asked if the staff was all new and was told it’s mostly the same from the previous location, so no excuse there. As for the decor, truthfully, I wasn’t expecting much so it’s really not all that disappointing. Overall, the restaurant is very clean and neat, just on the cold and stale side.

But again, if it’s good sushi you’re craving, you will get it here. But in the end, Pacific East still retains my vote (but it’s nice to have options).

5 Comments

  1. bonnjill
    Posted February 10, 2009 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been to Pacific East and Shinano (new and old), and Akira Hibachi in Solon still has my vote for the best tasting sushi. Their service isn’t the fastest either, but it was still faster than Shinano, where we felt our order had been forgotten when folks who were seated after us got their meals and we were still waiting on appetizers.

  2. MelKeil
    Posted February 11, 2009 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    Have to agree with your assessment of service at Shinano’s… thought the service was much better at the old location. We id enjoy the udon soup as much as the sushi. We think that Pacific East is the best in the area right now. It always taste fresh and the porions are very generous. Especially LOVE their sushi lunch roll special. Two huge rolls, soup and salad all for less than $10!!!

  3. Anonymous
    Posted February 11, 2009 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    The entire staff at Pacific East is always friendy and professional. I had a bad experience with the owner of Shinano when they were still on Wilson Mills and rarely went back. Shortly after 9/11 when every restaurant was hurting for business, I was one of the few lunch customers. The waiter charged me 50 cents for an additional condiment that I had received many times before at no charge. When I told the owner I was polite and she was very nasty and insisted that I pay. I did but her attitude turned me off of the place. She could have easily said, sorry for not telling you we changed our pricing, I will take it off today. If she had done that I probably would have continued to eat there 2-3 times per month.

  4. Cara
    Posted February 13, 2009 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    Sasa (Shaker Square) also has really good sushi. I have to agree with you on Pacific East as well…Their sushi is amazing.

  5. SicklyBug and Cassaendra
    Posted February 15, 2009 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

    We’ve been regulars there for ~10 years. The servers have been the same in those years plus a couple new ones since their change in location. They’ve always been very friendly and efficient when we’ve gone…

    When we attended their soft opening, the food was painfully slow but it was expected since the place was filled to capacity.

    Shinano is the only place I can stomach eating Japanese food in NE OH, having been raised on home-cooked Japanese food. I often order dishes not listed on the menu. All the other restaurants in in the area are horrible where real Japanese food is concerned as it is glaringly obvious the cooks do not know the cuisine intimately.

    I can make sushi at home so I don’t really eat sushi at restaurants, but will order their volcano roll since I’m a Kewpie mayo addict.

    I agree that their beef curry rice is awful. Perhaps I should have warned you on your last post re. Shinano. I’ve mentioned my lack of fondness for the curry to them the last time I ate it 2-3 years ago. The aroma and appearance is fine, the flavor is close, but there is an inexplicable blandness. My husband has since learned to make it to perfection, soI don’t bother ordering curry rice anywhere. :)

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