Blue Sushi Sake Grill brings extra vegan sushi to Houston

Lately, Houston has had fairly the revival in sushi bar openings, however few enchantment to vegan diners like Blue Sushi Sake Grill, now open on MKT Heights, does.

The favored idea of the Nebraska-based Flagship Restaurant Group has a complete of 30 eating places in 11 states, with Houston’s MKT outpost because the nineteenth Blue Sushi location.

Uni at Blue Sushi.

Blue Sushi Sake Grill

Blue Sushi places a highlight on accountable seafood and has one of many largest plant-based menus within the nation. For Flagship co-owners Tony Gentile and Anthony Hitchcock, Houston residents who started their friendship greater than 20 years in the past on the College of Houston’s Conrad N. Hilton Faculty of Resort and Restaurant Administration, it was an ideology that began from the start was essential.

“Sustainability was one thing we have all the time been captivated with,” stated Gentile, who famous that he and his chef locked themselves in a room and mentioned provide chain challenges till they might make it work. “We spent at the very least three years laying the scientific basis to get the idea off the bottom.”

Blue Sushi will rejoice its twentieth anniversary in 2022. Gentile attributes the model’s success partially to the relationships he and his companions have constructed.

Cocktails and mocktails can be found on the menu at Blue Sushi.
Cocktails and mocktails might be discovered on the menu at Blue Sushi.

Blue Sushi Sake Grill

“Accountable sourcing is all about placing stress on folks to do the proper factor,” Gentile says. “We’re working with folks throughout the nation who share the identical beliefs.”

Buying from suppliers resembling Caviart for a caviar different and Kuleana for mock tuna has resulted in Blue’s substantial vegan menu, which Gentile says is extremely wanted. “No matter is ‘standard’ is 20 instances as a lot,” he stated.

The vegan sushi menu gives a whopping 18 rolls and 7 various kinds of vegan nigiris. A VLT roll mimics the flavors of a BLT and contains smoked tomato paper, avocado, cherry tomatoes, shallots, and vegan mayonnaise. The vegan unagi maki is made with grilled eggplant as an alternative of eel, and a Thai Hippie roll is a spotlight on the listing, made with tofu tempura and greens, then topped with Thai peanut sauce.

Blue makes use of the very same strategies to make vegan varieties as its non-vegan sushi – they simply use plant-based substances. Nevertheless, they use totally different utensils, identical to for allergy victims.

Blue Sushi's signature tuna tower made with vegetable tuna.
Blue Sushi’s signature tuna tower made with vegetable tuna.

Blue Sushi Sake Grill

Of the various choices, Gentile explains there’s one thing for everybody: “The best way we categorize our vegan sandwiches is a few folks do not need to eat something that mimics meat or seafood, some do, after which there are flexitarians.” A self-proclaimed flexitarian himself, Gentile follows a principally vegetarian weight loss plan, with the occasional seafood, and says his accomplice Hitchcock has by no means eaten beef or pork in his life.

For individuals who favor the graceful style of actual fish, the avo-kaluna is a vegan must-try. “Vegetable tuna is difficult to nail,” admitted Gentile. “If I can not make it nearly as good as somebody could make it, I attempt to determine it out.”

His favourite supply? Kuleana, a fish substitute from a plant-based meals tech start-up that has a agency, buttery texture much like the true factor, and many umami taste. “You instantly style the style of fish, however with out it changing into too fishy,” says Gentile.

The Everything Smoked Salmon is packed with bagel-inspired flavors.
The Every little thing Smoked Salmon is full of bagel-inspired flavors.

Blue Sushi Sake Grill

Diners have been identified to bask in Blue’s vegan choices, regardless of not likely being vegan – Gentile says they simply take pleasure in the best way they style. The remainder of the menu is equally spectacular. Artistic dishes embody coconut crab soup with roasted corn and candy potatoes, Blue’s signature tuna tower, and specialty nigiri cuts just like the Every little thing Smoked Salmon, with smoked salmon over cream cheese-filled rice tempura, dressed with “all the things” furikake.

From oyster bars to craft beer and burger joints, Flagship Restaurant Group is properly represented throughout the nation, however Blue stays the large restaurant, and based on Gentile, “the Houston location is the perfect but.”

Discover it: 600 N Shepherd Dr Suite 500, Houston, TX 77007; (346) 816-2583

Hours: Sunday, 12 noon-9pm; Monday-Thursday, 11am – 10pm; Friday-Saturday, 11am-11am