One hundred maki and nigiri. 15 sake options. Two kinds of ramen. Udon, too.
There’s also teriyaki, bento, poke and donburi.
If you want choices, Mio Sushi has plenty.
Eight pages. That’s how long the menu runs at the area’s newest sushi restaurant, which opened March 23 at Point Ruston, a retail-residential development that straddles Tacoma and Ruston.
This is the first South Sound location for the Portland-based sushi chain that was founded in 1995 as a neighborhood sushi haunt in northwest Portland. Since then, it has grown to a two-state franchise with numerous investors and 16 locations (two in Seattle).
Here’s a first-bite tour of what the restaurant offers at lunch (dinner prices will be slightly higher, but it’s the same menu).
It’s this newspaper’s policy to avoid criticism of food or service during a restaurant’s first month, which is why the focus here is on descriptions and the concept.
That big menu: It’s actually broken into two separate menus. The first is a mammoth four-page maki/nigiri list that takes two hands to negotiate. You use a dry-erase marker to indicate your order in the box next to each sushi name. They make sushi ordering simple here.
Maki/nigiri: 25 classic rolls ($4.50-$9.95), 11 vegetarian-friendly rolls ($3.50-$7.50), 40 two-piece nigiri selections ($2.95-$6.95), seven deep-fried rolls ($8.75-$11.95) and 23 premium rolls ($10.95-$13.95).
The entree menu: Four pages listing the greatest hits of Japanese cuisine.
Soups and noodles: Mio ramen ($8.95), kyu ramen ($10.50), udon/nabeyaki udon ($8.95-$10.50), yakisoba ($9.95).
Lunch entrees: Chicken katsu, spicy chicken and tonkatsu ($10.50); chicken teriyaki ($9.95); kalbi ($13.95); salmon teriyaki ($12.50); miso salmon ($12.50).
Lunch bento: $10.95 for two selections, $14.50 for three. Choose from chicken or salmon teriyaki, spicy chicken, yakisoba, tempura, rolls and more.
For kids: $8.50 for a mix-and-match menu where children select two items from a list that includes teriyaki, tempura, gyoza, rolls and yakisoba.
Sake: House sake, served warm, $5-$8. 14 additional bottles, $9-$42 each. Also eight by-the-glass sake choices ($5-$12).
The atmosphere: Definitely a younger vibe, with pulsating dance-style music and a neon palette of pink, green and deeper earth tones. Tall ceilings and concrete floors bounce the noise. Oversize windows let in lots of light.
Seating: 70 seats broken among two- and four-person tables. No booths, it’s all tables here. The sushi bar has seating for seven, but half the seats have a blocked view of the behind-the-bar action.
Plating: Sushi was thoughtfully plated with rolls wound tight. The focus is on a simpler presentation (you won’t find overflowing monstrous rolls a la Guy Fieri here).
Neighbors: Next door is the Century Point Ruston movie theater. Other nearby restaurants include WildFin American Grill, which opened in January, and Dolce Si, the Sicilian bakery that opened in November. In 2014, the Two Town Pub and Cafe opened.
Next restaurant openings at Point Ruston: Jewel Box, a cafe, is under construction and Farrelli’s, the pizza restaurant, also plans to open at Point Ruston. Vera’s Burger Shack is no longer opening next door to the theater and Point Ruston property developers are in talks with another restaurant for that space.
Where: 5051 Main St., Tacoma; 253-301-4512; miosushi.com.