- 2605 Ingersoll Avenue, Des Moines, IA, 50312
- Overall User Rating:
- (16 ratings)
- Mon-Thurs: lunch 11-2; dinner 5-10; bar open until midnight Friday: lunch 11-2, dinner 5-10; bar open until 2am Saturday: dinner 5-10; bar open until 2 am Closed Sundays
Ingersoll Avenue has hangouts for all ages. Those 35 to 50 anchor the crowd at Star Bar, while Noah’s tables fill with families. And Jesse’s Embers does well with the over-40-somethings (those who roll their eyes when they see the word “martini” used to describe tutti-frutti martini-shaped drinks).
But where, pray tell, are all the neighborhood’s 20-somethings? No, they didn’t all split for the coasts (as so many of us did in the ’80s). Many are happily piling into Sakari Sushi Lounge.
Fortunately, that doesn’t mean there isn’t something here for the rest of us.
Ambience: A black, gray and red color scheme pervades the sleek setting; angular lamps dangle over the glossy black bar, and abstract semi-figurative art adorns the walls. Flat-screen TVs are everywhere; while I’m not sure how well the documentary on the 1982 Little League World Series meshed with the sound system’s music (which could generously be described as techo, but sounded more like someone accidentally left their drum machine on), I’m not sure anyone else cared one bit.
Menu: While you can get a few Asian entrées, such as beef or chicken teriyaki, grilled salmon and udon noodle soup, the sushi here snags most of the spotlight. Find a huge selection of well-known combos and house specialties along with an admirable choice of vegetarian rolls.
Best Bites: Some rolls are — like the restaurant’s ambience — busy, busy, busy. When, as with the Fire Cracker roll, the tuna gets mixed in with spicy mayo and crab (actually, Krab), along with cream cheese, a jalapeño mix and flaked onions, you know that a vivid, pristine fish itself will not be the star.
But here, that’s OK, because any raw fish I tasted solo was merely fine, not exemplary. The payoffs here lie in the dressing up, not the paring down. This is not sushi for purists, but it brings its own party-in-the-mouth kinds of pleasures.
While the Fire Cracker Roll seemed overwrought to us, the Sakari roll brought the balance we sought; a roll of tempura shrimp, cream cheese, asparagus and rare beef arrived topped with precise slices of avocado and tuna. In fact, we found ourselves enjoying just about anything with the expertly crisp tempura shrimp.
Service: Although our first round of sushi was a long time coming one night, overall, the upbeat, engaged server added to the experience.