What it is: Hoshi Sushi Lounge replaced another sushi joint, 21, last month. Owner Jeremy Toland remodeled the interior and brought in sushi chefs with experience behind the counter at Waterfront Seafood Restaurant. The interior features a sleek bar with a few seats, a sushi bar with several more seats, and some tables up front. Given the limited space, I wouldn't pick Hoshi for a huge group outing, but I would definitely go as a couple or with a few friends for dinner and drinks.
On the menu: The drink menu includes Kirin on tap, specialty martinis ($7), mixed drinks ($5-$6) and both wine and saki. Given the proximity to Drake University, it's no surprise to see cheap happy hour specials (check their Facebook page or follow @HoshiSushidsm on Twitter for daily specials), such as $2 draws and wells and $3 sake bombs. The menu features appetizers such as edamame ($3.95), yaki soba noodles, fried tempura and teriyaki meals (starting at $10.95) and a full menu of sashimi, sushi rolls and specialty rolls, ranging from $5.95 to $14.95.
What we ordered: We took a seat at the sushi bar and decided to skip the entrees and try the sushi. Both chefs were engaging customers and seemed excited to be starting their new jobs. After skimming the sushi menu, we ordered a Hoshi Roll, made with tempura shrimp, cucumber, avocado, mango and cream cheese and topped with spicy mayo and eel sauce, and a Green Monster Roll, which has deep fried salmon, green apples and green onions topped with a special sauce. Both rolls were $12.95.
My fiancé also tried the seaweed salad and said it was very good. Though the rolls weren't as gorgeously presented as some of the other rolls I saw coming out, they tasted fresh and flavorful. I was intrigued by the crispiness of the deep fried salmon pieces in the green monster, and can't remember the last time I've seen green apples in a sushi roll. Next time we might try a Drake Roll, made with spicy tuna, crab and mango and topped with flying fish roe.
Why you should go: Though this location has been something of a revolving door in the past (housing Frank's Pizza and an African restaurant prior to the sushi tenants), Hoshi seems like a good fit for the neighborhood. With regular drink specials it appeals to the student crowd, but just about everyone can appreciate the creative sushi menu. I sat next to a 10 year old and his dad who both seemed at home in the restaurant. Follow Hoshi's social networking pages to keep up with specials that will help you get a better deal next time you stop in.