My favorite restaurants always end up being unassuming spots that almost make you wonder if it’s safe to be walking through the door. I love getting dressed up for a fancy meal, but most of the time, I long for one of my little hole in the wall spots that are so good I can’t help going back over and over.
Enter Samurai Sushi. This tiny little restaurant nestled across from Exit Inn on Elliston happens to be where I had my first date with my now husband and remains one of our favorite places to eat!
2209 Elliston Place, Nashville, TN 37203
Samurai has been serving Nashville for over ten years and is consistently voted the best or one of the best, sushi restaurants in Nashville for many years. They have all your normal sushi rolls but owner and head sushi chef Yun Ho Choo has created a variety of specialty rolls that you won’t find anywhere else.
The building is small, and Nashville locals know it’s the place to get good sushi. If you go during regular dinner time, especially on the weekends, be sure to give yourself plenty of time because there will be a line out of the door. If you don’t have the time, you can call ahead to order takeout and eat sushi in your PJs, which is always a good idea.
We always start with an order of Edamame, which is perfectly steamed and salted. As we go down the list of endless sushi options, we always order the Choo Choo and Philadelphia rolls. The Choo Choo is the chef’s namesake, and at first glance, you might say, “no way that’s going to be good.” I promise you; it is delicious. Made up of salmon, crab, eel, cream cheese, avocado, with strawberry, peanut and eel sauce on top, it could be considered a dessert roll. Philadelphia is a basic choice, but for the price, the flavors of smoked salmon, cream cheese, cucumber, and avocado make it impossible to pass up.
Next, comes the hard part. We usually order five rolls for two people. Picking the last three is always a challenge. This visit we ordered the Oyster Roll, Jane Roll, and Crazy Roll.
I can’t eat the Oyster Roll because I’m gluten free, but my husband says it’s worth ordering. It’s deep fried oyster, cream cheese, and oyster sauce all rolled up in perfect sushi rice. The Jane Roll is one of my favorite rolls. Its base is a dynamite roll (spicy crab, cucumber, and fish roe) wrapped with yellowtail, avocado, spicy mayo, and green onions. The Crazy Roll was a new choice this visit. It’s comprised of four kinds of fish with spicy mayo, cucumber, smelt roe and avocado. If you don’t like spice this would be a great option, but we need a spicy kick.
Even though we truly enjoy everything we’ve tried we have a few other top choices. Mr. Daniel, made of spicy tuna, and cucumber, covered with tuna, avocado & spicy mayo. This is a beautifully colorful roll bursting with fresh flavor. Usually, if we get the Jane Roll we don’t get the Volcano due to similar flavors, but it’s a fantastic and filling choice. It’s a roll of avocado, tuna, asparagus, cream cheese topped with a heaping serving of warm spicy crabmeat.
One of my personal favorites is the Poki Roll. This simple little roll is a Spicy Tuna Roll topped with seaweed salad. I am a huge fan of seaweed salad. Not only because of the taste/texture, but it’s also excellent for you! These are just a few of our favorite choices, but from what I can tell after eating here consistently for three years, you can’t go wrong no matter what you order!
When visiting Nashville, if you’re craving sushi, this is the place to go! You won’t be disappointed…Unless you can’t get a table!