Sampling RA Sushi's New Menu

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By Dori Zinn

The Outback of maki rolls RA Sushi unveiled it's new menu this week. All three South Florida locations - Palm Beach Gardens, Pembroke Pines, and South Miami - will be slinging new dishes, which Charlie sampled at media dinner this Monday. The menu rollout - an annual fall occasion - brings some kinky new names, but not all of them are anything special.

New appetizers - the better part of the added items - included Sweet Onion Salmon Tapas, Ra Chips and Salsa, and Kaisen Ceviche. The sashimi tapas ($7.50) were pretty spectacular: salmon with marinated red onions and a sweet onion dressing. If I had only eaten this the entire night, I would have been perfectly happy.

Luckily, I got my hands on the coolest Japanese twist on an American

craze: chips and salsa. Made with tuna tartare, cucumber and fresh

salsa, RA's version ($8.50) was spicy, but not overpowering. Enough

punch to make me want more of it.

The Kaisen Ceviche ($9.50) was a little disappointing, with a total

onion takeover in the salsa. The shrimp, scallops and squid were all

cooked perfectly, but I missed their flavor because the onion was too

busy stealing (and ruining) the Ceviche show.

New sushi rolls included the Hot Mess ($13) - crispy rice balls topped

with king crab mix, baked, and then topped with the "hot" jalapeno. Not

as messy as one would think going into it, but RA went a little heavy

on the rice balls. The main act was the king crab mix and there could

have been more emphasis on that.

Cute new roll "RA"llipop ($15) is for those who are looking for the

roll without the rice. Made with a combination of tuna, salmon,

yellowtail, and a spicy tuna mix, the roll also includes cucumber,

lettuce, and asparagus all wrapped in lobok - a Korean root vegetable

that's almost like an Asian radish. The presentation was cute with

skewers in the roll like an actual lollipop, and it was a great way to

eat sushi sans carbs. However, unlike its spiffy name, the taste was

good, but wasn't anything spectacular.

For dessert, the Banana Split Maki ($6.75) was delicious. Fried banana

maki, topped with whipped cream, strawberries, kiwi, and mandarin

oranges surrounded by drizzled chocolate and raspberry sauces. It was

rich, but not overwhelming. It was light enough from the fruit that the

sauces made the flavor sweet without being heavy. It was a great way to

end the RA experience without feeling like you need to put on

sweatpants when you get home.

RA Sushi
201 SW 145th Terrace,

Pembroke Pines

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