228 E. Main St. Montrose. 970/240-1100
Located within a few blocks of Mountain Valley Fish and Oyster, purveyors to high-end restaurants across the Western Slope, Sushitini has the ability to serve the freshest fish in the Rockies. Master Sushi Chef Kevin “Kong” Chiang uses it to produce nigiri, sashimi, maki, and specialty rolls to delight the most jaded sushi maven. And yet, despite the restaurant’s name and its dedication to raw fish as a point of departure, general manager Nick Rinne observes that there are a lot of cooked items and non-seafood items on the menu, this in recognition of the fact that to thrive in Montrose – where there may be more familiarity with Rocky Mountain Oysters than with the shellfish variety – to offer more than sushi is wise.
Standard Japanese restaurant fare, tempura, teriyaki beef, chicken and salmon, along with assorted sushi, are offered at lunch and dinner, but included in the bento box special at lunch, the side of sunomono, a salad of sliced cucumber, seaweed and crab with ponzu sauce, is both more unusual and delicious. Those bento boxes, ranging from $8.50 for chicken to $12.50 for sushi are an extraordinarily good deal, as downtown workers have discovered, to judge from the clientele at a recent lunch hour.
There are additional items on the evening menu, including a small plate of Korean style beef ribs ($8), marinated and grilled similarly to the boneless short ribs traditionally served in Korean restaurants, but here made from a cut that is perhaps a shade less chewy. If your only experience of short ribs is braised to the point of fork tender, the Korean treatment is a delicious revelation. (This Dish correspondent has been known to travel a long distance for Korean ribs, now, thanks to Sushitini, no longer necessary.) Evening entrees include the aforementioned teriyakis, but also slow braised pork belly ($14) and grilled yellowtail collar ($13), each of them a delectable specialty you won’t find outside most big cities.
If you’re feeling less adventurous, there’s nothing wrong with the comforting simplicity of Chef Kong’s “special chicken fried rice,” ($10), also available with beef (add $2.50) or shrimp (add $3), or traditional gyoza ($6), deep fried pork-filled dumplings served with a seasoned soy sauce.
Sushitini’s dining room is dominated by a steel sculptured dragon hanging from the ceiling, the room is sophisticated and casual. The –tini in Sushitini is represented by an assortment of specialty cocktails ($8 each).
For dessert, try traditional Japanese mocha, cubes of ice cream wrapped in rice dough ($5).
MUST TRY: Sugar cane skewered shrimp ($8), served as a starter, and reputedly already gaining an enthusiastic fan base in Montrose. Tuna Poke is a Hawaiian dish of spicy marinated tuna mixed with avocado ($9.50). Korean style beef ribs!
VIBE: Self-styled as “an Asian bistro,” a big city trend finds its place in downtown Montrose, on the menu combining approachable Japanese restaurant fare with several more exotic offerings.
Lunch, Tuesday – Friday, 11-2.
Dinner Tuesday – Thursday, 5 to 9, Friday-Saturday, 5 - 10.
Sushitini may expand its days of operation in summer.