Sushi King Continues to Reign SupremeFeatures Inside Feature
March 24, 2013
Story By: Kyle Galdeira | Photos by: Rachel Breit
For more than two decades, Sushi King has occupied its throne as the go-to place for traditional, authentic Japanese cuisine — whether it’s for lunch, dinner or late-night cravings.
Since opening its doors in 1992 at the convenient South King Street location just east of University Avenue, Sushi King has continued to add popular favorites to its menu. All the chefs at the eatery bring experience from working in Japan to each dish prepared for their local customers, and the friendly, knowledgeable staff completes the dining experience.
“Consistency in the food and our staff are key; we really haven’t changed much,” says Shu-Lee Kondo, Sushi King’s owner and manager.
Customers have grown fond of Sushi Deluxe ($22.95), a beautifully arranged platter featuring 10 pieces of sushi — including maguro, hamachi, salmon, shrimp, white fish, cooked egg and squid — along with an ahi and cucumber roll. Requests continue to roll in for Chirashi Deluxe ($24.95), which features fresh seafood such as maguro, hamachi, salmon, tako, cooked shrimp, salmon eggs as well as cooked mushroom and sweetened gourd atop a bed of sushi rice.
“The Sushi Deluxe and Chirashi Deluxe are two of our most popular items,” Kondo explains.
Sushi King also has added new menu items that are growing in popularity, including Fresh Kona Abalone ($12.50, dinner only) prepared cooked or sashimi-style, and Karei Karaage ($14.50, served at dinner, but available at lunch with advance notice), a deep-fried flounder served with ponzu sauce and grated radish with chili. Diners also may choose from new pupu-style offerings such as Bacon Wrapped Enoki Mushrooms, Ebi Mayo with Chili Sauce and Bacon Wrapped Asparagus ($5.50 each for two skewers, available for dinner).
“I’m sure customers will enjoy these new items,” Kondo says. “I look at it as if I was the customer: ‘Am I happy with this product and the price?’ They’re all items that I enjoy.”
New menu items are born via requests from customers, and Kondo and her skilled staff do their best to bring the suggestions to fruition. On the same note, loyal customers asked for live entertainment, and Sushi King responded by offering live music every Tuesday from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Customers also asked for butterfish, and thanks to the demand, Sushi King now offers a Broiled Miso Glazed Butterfish ($9.50 a la carte), which also can be included as a combination meal item.
“There’s a lot of loyalty here, and our repeat customers often give us lots of suggestions to work with,” Kondo says. “We plan on adding more menu items as soon as our skilled chefs continue to create them.”
The idea of instituting a special lunch and “midnight” menu came to Kondo after she went to a popular local eatery late one evening and observed customers enjoying local comfort food. The line to get in to the establishment was sprawling out the door, and she decided to mirror the concept and offer the late-night menu to appease her customers, many of whom work in the restaurant industry and come to unwind after a tough shift.
Sushi King offers a host of special items available at lunch, from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and again from 10:30 p.m. to closing, designed to provide stellar selections at a great value. The eatery features special platters for $11.45 each that include rice, salad, soup and a choice of California Roll (six pieces), Cone Sushi (three pieces) or Spicy Tuna (six pieces, limited availability). The popular platters are available in Chicken Teriyaki, Beef Teriyaki, Shrimp and Vegetable Tempura, Calamari and Vegetable Tempura, Salmon Katsu, Eel Teriyaki and Ahi Cutlet.
The special menu also features “Curry Rice” combination plates, which include salad, house soup and pickles, and a hearty portion of rice covered in a savory curry for $11.45. The special dishes include main choices of Ahi Katsu, Chicken Katsu, Pork Katsu, Salmon Katsu, Oyster Katsu or Ebi Fry. Additionally, one may order Chirashi Special ($15.95), the aforementioned assortment of fresh fish and rice.
The special menu also includes a selection of refreshing pau hana beverages available after 10:30 p.m. Customers may choose from Budweiser, Coors Light or non-alcoholic beers for $3, small bottles of Sapporo for $4 and large bottles of either Sapporo or Kirin for $5.75 apiece.
Additionally, a new pupu menu was created recently to enhance the late-night dining experience. From 7:30 p.m., customers may choose selected items for $4.50 apiece, including Arabiki Sausage, Chicken Karaage, Ebi-chili Mayo, Edamame and Yakitori.
Kirin Draft also is on special with $3.50 pints and $12 pitchers.
Sushi King is adept at handling large takeout orders, and even can assist with off-site catering, including preparation and creation of fresh sushi and tempura items.