Right across from campus on Maryland Parkway, under The You apartment complex, there is a hidden gem. The little sushi restaurant called Sushi Joe’s is the perfect spot to walk to from campus without breaking the bank.
Chef and owner Joe Richardson got his start in the restaurant world right out of culinary school. At age 19, he worked his way up in the restaurant world from a dishwasher to the Chef De Cuisine at 172 in The Rio Hotel and Casino.
When going through his culinary journey, Richardson fell in love with Japanese cuisine and culture. When asked in an interview why he chose Japanese cuisine as his restaurant inspiration, he said he loves “that you can’t fake it” and “how precise you have to be in Japanese cuisine.”
When asked what he suggested for people to do when they are unfamiliar with ordering, Richardson said, “You should sit at the sushi bar. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about what is in things or tell the sushi chef what you like. My chefs can even make you a custom roll if you have something in mind.”
Richardson grew up in a military family, meaning they moved around a lot. He was able to live in Germany for 8 years as well as spend a large amount of time in the Caribbean. The Sushi Joe’s menu has inspiration from his travels that offer unexpected flavor combinations. Richardson worked for six months perfecting his miso creme brulee recipe. This dessert offers the perfect blend of sweet and salty, not to mention the perfect crunch of the torched sugar on top.
Their brisket gyozas are something many people would never expect to see on a Japanese sushi menu. The smokeyness of the brisket inside the gyoza dumpling is the perfect little bite. Their Tuna Truffle roll comes with a truffle ponzu sauce. Anyone who has had truffle before knows how hard it is to balance truffle in a dish, but this roll balances the truffle nicely with all of the other flavors.
One of the best things Sushi Joe’s has to offer students is the pricing. Majority of their dishes are made to be shared between people so everyone gets to taste everything. From tempura to rolls to even appetizers, all are meant to be shared for a group, unless you are anything like me and refuse to share.
All of their soy sauce is made in-house, which is very uncommon for small places such as this one. Their homemade soy sauce is the base for all of their other sauces, so you know the ingredients are all fresh. The flavor of fresh soy sauce is not something you can duplicate.
Although the curb appeal of Sushi Joes is limited due to the location, do not let that fool you. Sushi Joes has a very modern youthful vibe on the inside included with a sushi bar and large octopus mural. Sushi Joes is on it’s way to being the new UNLV hot spot.
For more information on new menu items and their grand reopening, you can find them on Instagram @sushijoes.