Craving sushi while cramming in study notes in between back-to-back lectures?
Sushi Times, located in Riverside, has your back. Not only is this family-owned, 40-year old sushi bar just a 15-minute drive from campus, but it offers way more than just sushi.
For example, not sure how to begin your meal? You can choose between exotic choices such as Quail Egg and an Oyster Shooter. Or keep it simple with deliciously salted and warmed edamame, my personal favorite of the appetizers.
For main courses, it only gets better. The fresh rolls are colorful and vibrant, ranging from bright pink sushi (Sapporo — spicy tuna wrapped in a fresh tuna topping) to loud yellow sushi (Mango Shrimp Tempura — fried shrimp wrapped in a mango topping). With only fresh ingredients being used and prepared on the spot, these rolls are just as mouth-watering as they are eye-catching.
The menu takes a wild turn under the Tempura Roll section, introducing creatively crafted dishes that you will not find anywhere else. For example, try the “Burrito,” a soy paper wrapped tempura shrimp combination, or go with the Tempura Lobster Roll and sit in shock as a plate is placed in front of you containing a full deep-fried lobster tail sitting on top of baked eel rolls.
In addition to the Tempura Roll section, there is a Baked Roll section, where again, the artistry of the sushi chefs at Sushi Times shines. The Caterpillar Roll is designed to appear like an actual caterpillar, with eyes and antennas composed of condiments. The Dragon Roll is delicately placed on top of strands of bamboo, making a larger-than-life impression. Not only do these plates satisfy the taste buds, but they can satisfy the Instagram feed, too.
The menu at Sushi Times is abundant, as you can also order the chef’s special rolls, hand rolls, regular rolls, no-rice rolls, additional side orders, sashimi combos, rolls combos or premium sushi.
However, once you pass the sushi items on the menu, there is a whole other section: ramen. The ramen at Sushi Times is homemade and can be specialized according to preference, much like most things on the menu, and extra toppings are only an additional $1.
Not in the mood for ramen, either? Udon or Japanese curry are there as options, too, with similar additional toppings available. You can also try something from the House Specialty section, or go simple with a teriyaki bowl or combo or BBQ plate.
If you cannot decide between all the different options, you can get a Combo Box, which combines some BBQ options with sushi options.
If you still somehow have room, browse the dessert list. Choose between tempura ice cream (vanilla or banana), mochi ice cream or plain ice cream with whipped cream topping.
If the large menu with endless options that prove Sushi Times can cater to almost every customer’s possible craving is not enough, the Party Trays will convince you otherwise. For $100, you can get 64 pieces of varying sushi (Sumo’s Roll Comb), and if you want to go big, for $200, you can buy 84 pieces (Great King’s Platter).
So there you have it: the sushi restaurant with quite possibly the most choices ever. And it is not just about quantity, either. Each dish is unique in its own way, both visually and in taste. Also, it is open late, closing at 11 p.m. every day except Sunday.
Even though it is usually busy, wait times are usually short. Service is fast, so make sure to bring your appetite. Take my word for it — Sushi Times is the perfect place to be for dinner time.