BY GINA BIRCH
FORT MYERS LOCAL EXPERT
A majority of restaurants in the Fort Myers area offering Thai, Korean and/or Japanese cuisine also offer sushi. You'll even find Asian/Peruvian food with the sushi at Komoon.
Many of these spots, like Origami and Mr. Mee's are family run and have been favorites for decades. Mr. Mee isn't known for it's trendy decor, just good, affordable food with much more than sushi than on the menu.
Then there is the elegance of sushi bars found in Japanese steakhouses like DaRuMa and Tokyo Bay. Both spots have live piano music, cozy bars and lots of space, yet still manage to feel intimate for a date night.
Sushi is considered to be chic by many and Blu Sushi certainly fits the bill; a place to see and be seen. Not only does Blu offer a creative menu of food, but also cocktails and entertainment.
Not everyone in your dining party might appreciate sushi, so it’s nice to know that all of these 10Best also offer cooked options from numerous Asian inspired cuisines. This provides a perfect platform to get those who've been afraid to try or have never had the opportunity to try sushi, to finally take the plunge.
Photo courtesy of Tony Gladvin George
Patrons' love the quality and variety of the Thai and Japanese cuisine served here. Popular in Naples, with three locations, Sushi Thai finally opened a restaurant closer to Fort Myers so fans didn't have to drive as far. You can get brown rice and lots of vegetarian options here but diners especially love the sushi. Sushi Thai Too has enough sushi and sashimi combos on their menu to satisfy almost any party, large or small. For something different, try the Kimchee Roll with conch, spinach, asparagus, scallions, cucumbers and a spicy sauce. No matter how much you eat or what menu you order from, don't skip dessert. The Ice Cream Tempura is just the right way to end a meal.
Recommended for Sushi because: With three locations in Naples, this popular sushi and Thai restaurant expanded at the demand of residents to the north, not wanting to drive far.
Gina's expert tip: Ask about the popular sautéed cashew nuts
This sexy sushi bar sports sleek furniture, mod design and walls that recall the deep blue sea. Complementing the visually stunning interior are the beautiful people you find here from night to night. It's not unusual for some of the pro baseball players to show up during spring training to mingle with the college crowd, while popular DJ's spin the hottest tunes and patrons dance wherever they can find space. The skilled sushi artists take pride in their evocative creations and so do the bartenders with the imaginative creations both at the indoor and outdoor bar. There is more than just sushi on the menu at Brahma.
Recommended for Sushi because: With a chic vibe, a full kitchen, stunning rolls, creative cocktails and beautiful people, how could this not be a hit
Gina's expert tip: There are great happy hour specials on food as well as drinks here
Blu Sushi set a new standard for chic when it first opened in an obscure shopping plaza in Fort Myers, and it still delivers. This sleek sushi bar flaunts an alluring modern design complete with walls meant to emulate the deep blue of the sea. Complementing the visually stunning interior are the beautiful people you find here; Blu enjoys quite a crowd. The happy hour is generous and so are the lunch specials. The skilled sushi artists take pride in their evocative creations, which include eel, crab and salmon rolls that are as beautiful to behold as to consume. They are also known for artful cocktails and sakitini's. On weekends, the energy gets a tweak thank to a live DJ, holding court in the cozy bar area.
Recommended for Sushi because: Blu was the first sushi bar to bring the 'chic' to Fort Myers with crafty cocktails, a large selection of creative rolls and fun.
Gina's expert tip: A new location is now open downtown Fort Myers
Tokyo Bay has a feeling of class. Behind the welcoming waterfall at the entrance, you'll find a bar made out of rich cherry wood next to a smaller sushi bar. The restaurant is quite large and offers outdoor dining. No matter where you sit, you'll be impressed with the sushi. The tuna tataki presentation is artful, almost too pretty to eat. The rolls are generous and the sushi chefs are very personable. Tokyo Bay also has hibachi tables and offers tabletop Korean BBQ. Enjoy live piano music on Friday nights and outdoor seating at the tiki bar, yes a tiki bar. Locals have been enjoying this spot in Bonita Springs for some ten years
Recommended for Sushi because: The sushi chefs are entertaining, the atmosphere is upscale but friendly and the food hits the right spots.
Gina's expert tip: Check out the Japanese 'tiki bar' for outdoor fun
Photo courtesy of TMAB2003/Flickr
Kumo is almost always busy so it never hurts to make a reservation. The sushi here is expertly prepared and served, with popular specials like the Capa Coral Maki. Great for carb counters, this roll has salmon, tuna, cream cheese and avocado, wrapped in cucumber. If you're hungry, try the Titanic: spicy tuna and avocado topped with salmon, yellowtail, crunch, and tobiko. Besides sushi, try the many noodle dishes and hibachi, all of which are served for lunch too. Many Japanese Steakhouses in the area are not open for lunch and of those that are, most do not offer hibachi so early in the day. Kumo also has a location in Fort Myers, just off of I-75.
Recommended for Sushi because: This friendly spot not only has a good sushi bar but unlike many Japanese places in the area, also offers hibachi at lunch.
Gina's expert tip: The website has a great online ordering system for grab and go
At first it may seem like an odd combo of cuisines, Thai, Peruvian, Japanese and Sushi, but boy does Komoon make it work. The menu here is extensive and the sushi rolls are mind-boggling with the Slammin' Salmon, Black Dragon and Dancing Eel. Besides the sushi, try the baked green mussels topped with crab, shrimp, masago and a tasty mayo sauce. And certainly try a ceviche dish. It comes with sweet potato and an addicting Peruvian corn. The bar also shakes up some delicious sake cocktails. The place gets rockin' on Thursday nights with a live band that lures patrons to dance. You'll love the variety here.
Recommended for Sushi because: With an eclectic menu of Japanese, Peruvian and Thai, Komoon's dishes are full of flavor and style.
Gina's expert tip: Enjoy live music on Thursday nights
Sushi lovers consistently laud Origami for setting the bar high when it comes to service, authenticity, creativity and taste. Catering to connoisseurs since 1994, it is also regarded as the number one site for converting locals to sushi fandom. The Japanese chef serves up signature house rolls like the Yami Yami, the Scooby Doo and the Green Spider, along with the freshest sashimi and nigiri. Origami is also known for Korean cuisine as well as traditional Japanese noodle dishes. Try the Korean BBQ for dinner or a satisfying Bento Box for lunch. The new location features a large, ornate bar and a spacious yet welcoming dining room.
Recommended for Sushi because: This well established sushi restaurant consistently serves good sushi as well as Korean cuisine.
Gina's expert tip: After being in the same location for nearly two decades, Origami has moved a few miles east so double check your GPS
Situated in a business park that bumps up to a golf course, this seems an unlikely spot for a restaurant of any kind. But Rock'n Sushi is just that….rock'n. Not in the rock-n-roll sense, but the sushi sense. Try the Lobster Roll, full of delicious chunks of meat or the Daniels Preserve, baked with spicy crab, salmon and eel. Besides sushi you will find popular Thai dishes, Pho and delicious desserts. You can also choose from a good selection of sake and sake based cocktails that accompany the dishes perfectly. It might take a little effort to find this sushi restaurant but you'll happy you did.
Recommended for Sushi because: This family owned sushi restaurant serves superb food in an unusual location, a business park on a golf course.
Gina's expert tip: Try the fried banana's for dessert, they look like taquitos.
Authentic, fresh and affordable, the stellar sushi served at Mr. Mee's is some of the best you'll find in the area. The menu is versatile and extensive, encompassing Thai and Korean inspired dishes in addition to traditional Japanese fare, which includes lots of sushi. Sit at the bar and let the chef's create a roll just for you The atmosphere is unpretentious and although the interior could be called a bit dated, it is clean and intimate. The no-frills service is efficient and courteous, which will come in handy, as you may need help navigating all that the menu has to offer. Mr. Mee's also offers tatami seating, great for large parties or simply getting cozy with your date.
Recommended for Sushi because: This strip mall Japanese/Korean/Thai restaurant is no-frills, offering some of the most affordable and delicious sushi in town.
Gina's expert tip: Try the spicy peanut dressing
At DaRuMa, diners indulge in spectacular sushi rolls, as well as other Japanese delights, that are as fascinating and fun as they are delicious. Though the main emphasis might seem to be the classic hibachi dishes, unlike some other hibachi restaurants, DaRuMa excels in the sushi department. Settle in at one of the hibachi tables for simultaneous entertainment and eating, or dine in the sushi lounge, there are lots of seats. The talented sushi chefs do wonderful things with lobster and the crab here is real. You'll find rolls with fire for an impressive presentation or you can stick to the traditional, handmade maki and fresh sashimi. Try the escargot with smelt roe for a an appetizer with zing.
Recommended for Sushi because: The bar is comfy and the sushi at DaRuMa is always fresh. The rolls are creative and some even include fire.
Gina's expert tip: DaRuMa serves dinner only