I’ve been going to Sushi Express to years, so this feels a little bit like reviewing my sister’s cooking. Fortunately for me, raves are easy to write.
This small, family-owned sushi-ya is perched right on the border between Sandy and Midvale on 700 East. It is my favorite local place to get sushi because it manages to address one of the top reasons that I don’t eat sushi more often, the price. Looking at a comparable roll from other local sushi restaurants, Sushi Express manages to be at least two dollars cheaper on each of them. Couple this with high turnover due to a constant stream of business and a real eye toward high-quality ingredients, it’s easy for me to spend my money here.
The dining room consists of five or six tables and a few additional seats at the sushi bar. I keep going back to a few rolls:
Unagi Special – combines two of my favorite sushi ingredients, grilled eel and tamago, which is a dense egg omelet, into one roll. Something about the sweetness of the unagi sauce, the egg, and the sushi rice itself makes this one a bit magical for me. Add in that it’s only $6.25 and it might just be the best buy on the menu.
Geisha – if you want to splurge a bit, if $10.50 qualifies as such when ordering sushi, this is a good place to do it. Generous portions of tuna, snow crab, and spicy shrimp are topped with a sweet sauce and the result is a very satisfying dish.
Salmon Skin – this one isn’t on the menu, but I asked about it once and consequently saw it the next week as a special, and they’ve been happy to have me order it since then. Crisp, meaty bits of salmon skin combined with carrots, sprouts, and cucumber that, to me, taste like the essence of the best salmon I’ve ever had, only crispy.
The menu is huge, though, so there is plenty of variety to choose from, which is a bit if a miracle given the extremely small open kitchen they are working out of.
My best experiences at Sushi Express have come courtesy one word: omakase.
Chef and owner Manabu Horikawa is very creative. And so, on the odd occasion that I’ve been seated at the sushi bar and he’s appeared to have a bit of time on his hands, asking him to make me whatever struck his fancy has always yielded impressive and tasty results. Among my favorites were some cucumber lollipops which used a carefully de-seeded English cucumber in place of the sushi rice and nori to wrap up the fish. His knife skills are something to behold, so if there’s a spot at the bar, I highly recommend availing yourself of the show.
For those who struggle with the thought of sushi, Sushi Express has teriyaki bowls, donburi, noodle dishes, and a variety of other food. Although I’ve not ever strayed much from the sushi menu, I can whole-heartedly recommend the tako-yaki, baked wheat balls filled with octopus and served with a sweet sauce. They contained some of the most tender octopus I’ve ever had. The tempura dishes are also very nice.