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Or take the teriyaki options -- they're not the usual steak and chicken but grilled shrimp with onion salsa or baby octopus. We were disappointed on one visit to find that the octopus had left the building. But the "hot hot" squid was still in the house, and our waitress assured us it was a similar preparation. We certainly couldn't argue after sampling it. Al dente pieces of calamari were glazed with a just-sweet slightly zesty sauce that took the teriyaki category to a new level.
Vampires beware -- at least of main courses. The jumbo shrimp, sautéed with shiitake mushrooms and leeks in a garlic-wine sauce, was practically crusted with the less-benign relative of the lily family. The only objection that regular citizens who don't sleep in coffins would have to the dish, however, would be the lack of zucchini, which was billed on the menu but missing from the plate. Garlic appeared again as a primary ingredient in the garlic- and ginger-studded tuna steak, which had a good seared flavor but was too mushy for my taste, as if the fish had been cooked when it was still somewhat frozen. Sides of sweet potatoes mashed with honey and ginger and a mélange of fresh broccoli, onions, and carrots compensated somewhat for the lackluster fish.
Folks, we're talking full liquor bar, and the benefits are obvious -- at least if you stop by the café from 5 till 7 p.m. on weeknights. That's when two-for-one well drinks are poured for happy hour. If you'd rather be brand-loyal, check out the Japanese and other imported beers, an assortment of sakes, and a wine list that could use some expansion but at least has more than chardonnays and merlots.
Put it this way -- it's not cheap. Appetizers and sushi rolls run to $10.75, and main courses top out at $21.95. But the price point is reasonable regarding the quality and consistency of this place. Not to mention, no matter where it's located or how old it gets, the everlasting novelty of Sushi Blues Café. You might walk away from a meal here with your palate jumping from the garlic and your ears ringing from the jazz, but rest assured you won't be feeling anything close to the blues.