After months of waiting, Horizonites got their first taste of Sunny’s Sushi a little over a week ago. Located in the heart of the High Desert’s Restaurant Row, Sunny’s features not only Sushi, but seafood and steak as well.
Having arrived just after the lunch rush, we pretty much had the restaurant to ourselves, save two other couples and a group of women enjoying the late summer afternoon. Upon entering Sunny’s, one is met with a hearty, friendly greeting from the staff, all with beaming smiles.
The restaurant’s decor is modern, bright and brings to mind some of the finer dining establishments – not only in El Paso – but Phoenix and LA as well. Once seated, I thought the selection of my late lunch would be easy, but it was not to be.
Sunny’s overflowing menu provides a challenge for any restaurant-goer looking for a simple meal; every selection listed in the colorful menu is practically begging to be ordered.
I started with the squid salad, while my wife selected the tempura veggies and shrimp, both to be washed down with iced green tea. In the blink of an eye, our miso soup was brought out, along with a small bowl of cucumber kimchi. I’d never had kimchi before, much less with cucumber, but it was delicious – with just the hint of heat on the back side of the flavor.
Before we were even halfway done with our soup, our appetizers appeared. The tempura was perfectly flavored, flaky, and – the word you’re going to see a lot of in this write-up – delicious. The squid salad was served with cucumber strips, a unique twist that I had not seen (or tasted) before.
As were were just about halfway done with the appetizers, our main courses appeared. (Side note: the staff at Sunny’s are as QUICK, as they are FRIENDLY…from the time our order was placed to when it all arrived was not much more than 5 minutes.)
My Golden California Roll (avocado, crab meat, cucumber, fried and topped with eel sauce) was huge. Easily twice the diameter of my now former-favorite sushi restaurant in El Paso (which will remain nameless.) However, my wife’s Lunch Box easily dwarfed my sushi roll.
Packed with Hibachi Shrimp, Tempura, Gyoza, Crab meat puff 2 pieces california roll, Soup and Fried Rice (you can sub steamed rice); the meal took up 1/4 of the table.
Now, I warned earlier that the word ‘delicious’ was going to be used a lot in this review. That is an understatement, each piece of both meals were easily the best we had ever had. Period. The freshness of the veggies, the texture of the rice in the rolls, the various spices within the squid salad, miso, kimchi – all were blended perfectly. And were pretty darn delicious.
The serving portions were as HUGE as they were DELICIOUS. In both cases, the food won, and rode home with us in a take-home container. But Sunny’s wasn’t done with us yet.
Here’s where the ‘delicious’ train leaves the rails. So the ‘sushi chef’ – the itamae – decided to send us a pre-desert treat: a skillfully cut and rendered ‘orange bear’ served with whipped cream and a cherry. Who knew that an orange could be so tasty?!?
Then our ‘real’ desert showed up: Mochi. Never heard of it? Neither had I. Should just be called OMG.
Placed at table were two each of Red Bean Paste and Mango Paste, surrounded by this pounded rice layer, drizzled in chocolate and served with a cherry. Ice Cream has NOTHING on MOCHI aka OMG.
Seriously, it was the sweetest thing I’ve ever tasted, even made my green iced tea seem bland. WOW.
Bottom line, fellow Horizonites: This was just our first visit, and simply ordering off the lunch menu. I can’t wait to go back. Delicious doesn’t even begin to describe the food. And the decor and the friendly staff only make the experience that much better.
In the case of Sunny’s, it was certainly well worth the wait.