- 3005 Skyline Blvd., Reno, NV, 89509
- Overall User Rating:
- (12 ratings)
- 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday-Monday
I call it the sushi lull. In a busy all-you-can-eat restaurant, it's the period between rolls that begins as a simple wait and stretches, after the wait persists, into mild annoyance.
In Reno, where all-you-can-eat flourishes, the sushi lull is the sad norm in certain loud, crowded, soulless joints.
Hiroba Sushi Restaurant on Skyline Boulevard, however, is different. It's smaller, quieter, more intimate, away from it all above Reno.
Yes, the restaurant can get busy: Owner Osu Kwon's loyal following and bottomless sake on Tuesdays and Wednesdays see to that. But service doesn't falter, at the bar or tables. In fact, at the tables, service is outstandingly efficient, with nary a hint of a lull ever allowed to develop.
This efficiency doesn't mean the chefs shortchange aesthetics or construction; far from it. Hiroba's sushi is nicely crafted, with a good balance between fish and well-made rice. You won't find gummy gobs of nigiri here.
What you will find are bite-size (truly bite-size) fingers of rice topped with salmon and bracing slashes of lemon or with decently fresh hamachi. Inari, typically fried tofu pouches brimming with sushi rice, arrive nigiri-style instead, as strips of tofu bound by nori bands over rice fingers. I like the variation.
Maguro isn't as deeply fresh or richly textured as I prefer — it's a bit stringy, actually — but it's acceptable, and I've learned that's the best you can hope for with all-you-can-eat sushi. High quality, à la carte maguro doesn't come cheap.
The all-you-can-eat price covers appetizers, too (you don't see that everywhere), including trays of plump, juicy baked mussels and deep-fried, gently garlicky gyoza pouches dotted with spicy sriracha, like a beaded clasp on a purse.
But it's the long rolls that elevate Hiroba Sushi.
They're slimmer than many rolls in town, more elegant, more tightly fashioned, and they show the same mediation between rice and ingredients the nigiri display.
A tundra roll features a sweet-smoky tussle between chunks of charred salmon (an unexpected ingredient), chopped mango and teriyaki sauce.
A guapo roll, rich yet kicky, incorporates cream cheese, crystal shrimp, avocado, cilantro and spicy crab and sauce. Normally, whatever sushi traditionalist remains in me abjures the union of sushi and cream cheese, but the guapo is appealing, with each flavor distinct.
And I wonder about the roll's name which, beyond Hiroba's menu, refers both to a town in Brazil and a British art rock band.
The Hiroba roll is a variation on the guapo, with cucumber substituting for cream cheese to lighten and brighten the roll.
Asparagus performs the same duty in a black sunshine roll, which is also topped with eel and -- pop! -- salty orbs of tobiko.
Lunch and dinner include dessert (again, something not every sushi place offers), but my party always skips the sweets and orders more gyoza and a final guapo roll. Sometimes, you just want rice, salt and heat. And at Hiroba Sushi, thank goodness, they're usually in balance.