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Shari, Orlando, Florida


Ranking: 2Read Full Review


  • Food9-10
  • Pricing7(Reasonable)
  • Atmosphere9(Lounge Style)
  • Service9-10
  • Selection9-10
  • Value9

June 2011 Award

Best Sushi Restaurant Nationwide - June 2011 This place has it all. Style, charisma, great food, great music, a great vibe, great employees and a great location. Each dish was a house creation. The sauce was homemade. Even the edamame had it's own special spice.

We're thoroughly pleased. It's not the largest place we've been to but they definitley put love into their menu and their food.

The Review

We strolled into Shari after finding some parking close by. The restaurant, across the street from what looked like houses, was in a quaint area of downtown. There was an area outside with some high tables and lounge style chairs. The interior was flashy, yet comfortable and had an awesome vibe. One side had a large bar and the other side had lounge style booths and an upstairs loft. The place had an industrial feel and there was soft jazz music playing. The manager Chris took us to a booth upstairs and we were placed in the care of John, our very helpful and beyond knowledgeable, server.

  • Edamame

    We started with edamame which to our delight was cooked with roasted garlic. We've tried Edamame at 30+ restaurants. This was GOOD.

  • Edamame Spices

    We were also brought a blend of 7 spices they call shichimi to try. The pepper blend was spicy and fantastic and we can say that Orlando can make some good edamame

  • Japanese Buffalo Lobster Next we had an appetizer called Japanese Buffalo Lobster. It was lobster tail, tempura fried with a spicy yuzu aioli. We were told it's a favorite and we easily understand why. It has an incredibly smooth taste and while fried and crispy on the outside it still melts in your mouth. It had a nice spice and was served stuffed inside the lobster tail itself - very cool. We had to restrain ourselves to leave room for other dishes.

  • From behind.

  • The close-up.

  • Peking Duck Tacos Peking Duck Tacos arrived next. They were small flour tortillas stuffed with peking duck, avocado, cilantro, mixed greens and hoisin barbeque sauce. We haven't seen anything like these on a menu before and were eager to try them. The sauce was impeccable and not overly sweet with just a subtle honey taste. The duck was succulent and they were quickly gone.

  • A shot of what's inside.

  • Sirloin appetizer Next we were treated to three new menu options. The first was a Sirloin appetizer. It was sirloin steak encrusted with nori, sesame seeds and chili flakes. The steak was topped with wasabi butter and pepper crusted, thinly sliced onion rings. We expected to be overpowered with spice, but the wasabi butter had just the right amount of heat. The steak was perfectly cooked and the crust added a slight crunch to the flavorful dish.

  • Getting personal. Amazing sirloin.

  • Love Roll The next new dish was called Love. It was salmon sashimi, wrapped around tuna tartar, avocado and crab. It was topped with a spicy lime ponzu sauce, salmon roe, shallots and cilantro. The taste of the sauce, shallots and cilantro were strong and complimented the fresh fish. We "lovingly" referred to this roll as "Mexican sushi" with its blended ingredients, mild heat and incredibly smooth taste.

  • Another angle of the Love Roll.

  • Alaskan Summer Our third new dish was a sushi roll called Alaskan Summer. It has spicy tuna, tempura flakes and avocado inside. It was topped with salmon, thin slices of lemon and dotted with sriracha. This roll should be called the "Michael" as it is all his favorite flavors blended together. It was a very good roll.

  • Alaskan Summer up close.

  • White Gypsy Roll Next was the White Gypsy Roll, created and named by a regular customer of theirs. It had shrimp tempura, crab and avocado inside. On top there was sweet shrimp, eel sauce and mayo. While everything blended well, good job customer, the roll is on the sweeter side.

  • White Gypsy Roll up close.

  • Jalapeno Pepper Hamachi We took a small sushi break and ordered Jalapeno Pepper Hamachi. It was hamachi with wasabi lime, black pepper, lime zest, chopped serrano pepper and a small amount of cilantro. The dish was tasty and of course had a great heat to it. Hamachi is the perfect fish to blend with spices and this dish is a must have. We loved the blend of cilantro and lime and found the sauce extremely addicting.

  • Jalapeno Pepper Hamachi plated solo.

  • Rolls Then came the time to further explore their sushi and we ordered four rolls to sample.

  • BFF The first was called BFF and if we could, we'd be friends with this roll. It was crab, avocado, sweet chili and tempura flakes inside. It was topped with bluefin toro, fireball sauce and tempura shallots. This roll was my favorite. The shallots are crunchy, the crab is delicious, the sauce is spicy and the bluefin is amazing.

  • Romeo and Juliet Roll The Romeo and Juliet Roll had volcano crab with tempura flakes. It is topped with spicy tuna tartar and fireball sauce on one half and white tuna tartar and mango sauce on the other. It was not what we envisioned as far as typical volcano rolls. It was light, not drenched in mayo and masked with spicy sauces. We were split on which half of the roll we liked best.

  • Juliet.

  • Key Lime Roll Next we had the Key Lime Roll. It was composed of white tuna, asparagus and tempura flakes inside. It was topped with more white tuna, thinly sliced lime and a light coconut mayo. This roll grew on me with each bite. The lime and coconut are tart and sweet and the white tuna goes down very easily.

  • Chiquita Next is roll that could have doubled as a dessert. It was called Chiquita. It was eel, volcano blue crab and avocado topped with banana, kabayaki honey sauce and toasted sesame seeds. The roll is crunchy and sweet between the eel and banana and the crab gives some added substance. We've had similar rolls with banana before but they are typically very heavy, we were pleased this was not the case here.

  • Eel Nigiri topped with a slice of mango and avocado We had both pushed back a bit from the booth at this point, but ordered some sashimi to finish things off. We started with Eel Nigiri topped with a slice of mango and avocado. The fish was fresh and perfectly cooked.

  • Escolar, Salmon and Tuna We got a plate of Escolar, Salmon and Tuna. Each piece was super fresh and we were definitely eating high quality fish. All were delicious, but the escolar was the clear winner of the bunch.

  • Salmon

  • This overexposed picture below does not do the fish justice. We'll update it when we are back in Florida.

  • Hitachino Nest Beer The restaurant had a full side bar and an extensive alcohol menu. We tried a few different things as per our waiter's recommendation. Our favorites were the Hitachino Nest Beer. It was a red, rice ale that was like an amber beer but slightly more enjoyable. It had a strong taste and was a little tart toawrds the end. Our favorite sake was Momakawa Diamond, very good. Our pick for martini was the Kyuurihana. It was a mix of gin, muddled cucumber, cucumber vodka, mint and a splash of sour. It was very light and refreshing.

  • Ginga Kogen Beer

  • Kyuurihana Martini

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