Date Night at Fuji: Best sushi in town

I love reviewing sushi restaurants because there is so much that they can do right to make the evening wonderful. They are great places to go for a date night.

Fuji Japanese Restaurant has the best sushi in Longview — hands down the best. It is always good.

I do hold sushi restaurants to a higher standard, especially in the presentation and in their eel sauce. I base a lot of my judgment of a sushi restaurant on how good their eel sauce is, and I am not alone. I once had an owner/chef of a sushi restaurant tell me the same thing, that he judges all sushi restaurants by their eel sauce. So, I am sure you are asking, “How is Fuji’s eel sauce?” It is wonderful. Perfect. Not too sweet and not too thick.

And while we are on eel, I did ask the waitress one question that she answered incorrectly. (Every sushi restaurant in Longview has gotten this question wrong, including once by the owner himself at another sushi restaurant.) I asked her if the eel was fresh water eel or salt water eel. She looked at me bewildered for a moment and said, “It is just eel.” Okay it might have been an unfair question but not really, especially since the menu says, “fresh water eel.” Waiters and waitresses should know their menu.

The pieces of fish in the sushi at Fuji are never too small or too big. Yes, for me, pieces of raw fish can be too big. Also, the presentation of each dish is picture perfect.

I love the boat they use when serving multiple rolls and sushi. In our boat, we had four pieces of yellowtail, four pieces of of tuna and two rolls: the Fuji roll, which is shrimp tempura, crabmeat and avocado wrapped in soybean sheet topped with salmon, avocado and tobiko; and the Volcano roll which is baked crabmeat and avocado, topped with crawfish, kani, massago and crunch. Both were delicious. I enjoy dipping them in a bit of eel sauce, so I always ask for a side of eel sauce.

We had two appetizers. The Yellowtail Jalapeno was served with a yuzu truffle oil. It was very good, but perhaps a bit too much yellowtail for an appetizer. We also had the Squid Salad and it was delicious. I was able to taste several different flavors in the sauce that was blended with the squid and greens.

One other fun part of going to a sushi restaurant is drinking sake. Fuji has a great selection of sake and they are all reasonably priced. Here is a little-known fact about drinking sake: It is not proper for the person pouring the sake to pour some into their own bowl. So, when I needed more, my wife would pour it and vice versa. We chose the Nigori which is the cold, creamy white sake. The clear sake is normally served warm. Fuji also has a full bar, which I think is a nice addition for those who would like to have a drink but do not like sake.

Fuji had a small selection of desserts, including fried, tempura-style ice cream and tempura bananas. The presentation was better than the dessert itself. There was not much of a taste to them.

Finally, about the atmosphere: Fuji’s interior looks like a sushi restaurant. From the minute you open the door, the décor says Japanese restaurant. There are, or better put, were several sushi restaurants in Longview that had no décor to suit the style of restaurant. In fact, they had no décor at all. Atmosphere helps when enjoying a restaurant. Fuji has that and at a very reasonable price.

If you are now hungry for sushi or if you are looking for a great place for a date night, I highly recommend Fuji. I give Fuji an A for food and service and a A+ for its décor and atmosphere.