By Denise Ortuno-Neil
Misaki Sushi & Grill is a dazzling experience. I’m not talking about any over the top décor or furnishings, I’m talking about their fabulous sushi and the way it is presented. It is on the tip top list of the best sushi in the Coachella Valley, and a definite new fave of mine. When you stop in for yourself, you will undoubtedly understand why.
Misaki Sushi & Grill opened in early 2016, and is located by the La Quinta Trader Joes off of Washington St. The Misaki experience starts right when you walk through the door, when all of the sushi chefs shout out a very audible welcome that is delightful and borderline startling. Guests can either choose to sit in their simply styled dining room (remember the dazzle is in the sushi), or up front and personal at the sushi bar.
I am a sushi bar kind of gal, as watching the sushi chefs spin a variety of raw fish into delectably designed rolls is part of the fun. So on our visit to Misaki, my boyfriend and I settled ourselves right up to the food stage.
After ordering our standard Sapporo and Hot Saki, we were dumbfounded by Misaki’s sushi. As we marveled at the sushi chefs detailed execution of their creations, we were equally impressed by the size of their specialty rolls, which were easily double in size of the average basic roll that they also offer. Besides the mouth stretching sushi roll size, there was also the way that the rolls are presented. The rolls are adorned with accents such as edible flowers, baby bonsai’s (not edible) dramatic plates and other suitable décor that makes their sushi stand out, far out, from other sushi restaurants.
But just like a good looking guy or girl, beauty is only on the surface, and if there is no substance, there goes the attraction. Food presentation is the same, it can look gorgeous with all of the bells and whistles, but if it doesn’t make your mouth happy, the visual aspect is gone and so is the restaurant from your memory. That is not the case with Misaki, they deliver both visually and in flavor. The sushi is awesome!
Misaki has a long list of specialty rolls. Guests can choose from creations which include the Crazy Burrito, Baked Lobster, King Caterpillar ( a really big Caterpillar roll), the Amazing roll and a ton more. We first went for the Hama Hama roll. The inside of the roll features Spicy Crab, Avocado, and Cucumber. It is then topped with Yellowtail, Cilantro. Red Onion, Masago and a Spicy Garlic Ponzu. Not only was it complex with flavors, the freshness of the fish was on point….not to sound cheesy, but it really is freshness you can taste.
One of the other rolls that we tried and loved is the Ichiban. This other mammoth roll has Spicy Tuna, Asparagus and Cucumber inside and Tuna, Yellowtail, Red Onion, Bonito Flakes with Spicy Garlic Ponzu on top. It was another raving taste bud treat, so good!!
Misaki also has smaller rolls, the usual suspects such the California roll, Spicy Tuna and more are normal size. Besides the specialty rolls that we tried, we also had straight up sushi including Yellowtail, Salmon, Unagi (Eel) and Uni, all of which melted in our mouths with fabulous fresh fish flavor.
Misaki also offers other traditional Japanese favorites on their menu to cater to those who perhaps have yet to get on board the sushi train. The restaurant seems to be busy for lunch and dinner. So just keep in mind that there might be a wait. But once you’re in, the friendly, hard-working staff will make sure that your needs are taken care of.
With many sushi restaurants to choose from in the growing Coachella Valley, Misaki Sushi & Grill has hurled itself up the scale to one of the best with its dazzling sushi presentations, attention to detail, and freshness. Just like me, once you try them, it will become one of your faves too!
Misaki Sushi & Grill is located at 46-600 Washington St. #1, La Quinta 92203