T.S. is excellent alternative to hurried lunch
Nestled in the plaza on the NW corner of University Ave and NW 17th St is an elegant lunch stop that serves classy food where you would least expect it to find it, surrounded as it is by fast food and bar food restaurants in this college lunch stop mecca.
Tatu Sushi is a respite from the chaotic, demanding Western world. Step inside and it is dim – though not dark – and sounds are muted compared with most restaurants these days thanks to a low ceiling and wooden floor! There is sophisticated independent singer-song writer music that is playing at just the right volume – you can hear it clearly but at the same time it is easy to hear what your friend across the table is saying at the same time.
Tatu does not have a typical lunch atmosphere. It is just what the doctor ordered . . . if you have some extra time at lunch.
The GLOB Master and I did not want to drive far and were cruising University Ave looking for some little place not yet featured on the GLOB. We intended to go to the Fritanga Latin Grill in this shopping/restaurant complex but learned it had just closed in the past week. We kept walking in that direction anyway, and there was Tatu.
Asian. Hmm. Normally we would have saved this review for Bubba Scott, our Asian cuisine expert, but we were hungry and it was the best option at the time. Bubba would have been pleased to see that each table was aesthetically (not a Bubba word!) laid out with a small jar of soy sauce that you would not be likely to find at Publix or Winn Dixie and chop sticks on nice large napkins. I think Bubba will be making a visit eventually.
Neither the GLOB Master nor I are sushi aficionados, but we knew we would have to try some, so we picked the Veggie with asparagus, avocado, cucumber, and kampyo (a kind of squash). Note the unusual combination of ingredients. I chalk that up to either authenticity, creativity, or both. We also ordered Beef Yaki-Niku ("fire-meat"!), which includes onion and scallion.
For the sushi, we were able to get some additional sauces besides the usual wasabi and pickled ginger. The additional sauces were unremarkable compared with the wasabi and soy. BTW, Tatu has fresh organic wasabi. I LOVE wasabi -- I like just a little sushi with my wasabi. Speaking of little, we got what I thought was a rather small amount of wasabi, but maybe because it was fresh and organic, it seemed to go a lot further than I expected. The rolls themselves seemed a little loose. Does that matter? Probably not, except that I usually like to eat half a roll at a time. You can imagine what that does. So I'm messy! I loved the black sesame seeds TS sprinkled on the sushi rolls.
The Yaki-Niku came with salad, and the ginger dressing was fantastic. Once again, not the usual that I was familiar with – I asked our server to find out why it was so orange. It also had carrot, apple, and several other ingredients that made it special. There was a very nice mix of red and green baby field lettuces.
The GLOB Master thought the beef was tender. I agree. It was flavorful, not sliced too thin. I would have liked more sauce, but maybe that's the way it's supposed to be with most of the flavor coming from a marinade. The rice was appropriately sticky.
We cleaned all our plates of this Asian lunch, and we were both very satisfied. Our always smiling server was very accommodating and patient with our questions.
There is quite an extensive variety of Tatu Sushi menu choices, so, as the GLOB Master says, I'm going back. As this is a fusion restaurant, there happens to be, from the kitchen (as opposed to the sushi bar) a Coconut Cream Curry (chicken or shrimp) and a Pad Thai, and I want to try both. So far I haven't had a Pad Thai better than that at Tim's Thai next to Ward's (not open for lunch!) so I'm always on the look out to see if a restaurant can match Tim's in my stand-in throwdown challenge ala the Food Network's Bobby Flay.
The Pluses and Minuses of Tatu Sushi:
The Tatu Sushi + indicators: Great ambience, interesting ingredients, very good food.
The Tatu Sushi - indicators: Service is slow (though worth the wait).
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- Phone Number: 371-1700
- Address: 1702 W. University Ave., Gainesville, FL
- Urban GLOB Location: Midtown
- Web Site: Tatu Sushi
- Latitude: 29.652481
- Longitude: -82.34501
I eat there as often as I can. The "Calimari" appetizer is the BEST ANYWHERE!!! One night I had 3 orders for my dinner, instead of sushi. And that's saying something, because I love my sushi. Charles does it like no one else! I totally recomend Tatu, and try "Nuts about Eel." Nobody else in town puts macadamia nuts in sushi. 5 stars!!!
Bubba Scott Wednesday, 27 July 2011 16:42 Comment Link
Now that looks like some good eat'n. Great review Lynn and description of the food. Just looking at the pictures makes me want to get out my chop sticks and head east. I'll have to try Tatu's on a lunch out one day.
As for the 'aestetically'. That stuff got on my mators and tators this year. I think it was a spore. However, I caught it before it got to the melons. Used soap and water.