If you’ve spent any time on S. Glenwood in Raleigh, you know what the story is. Crazy crowds on the weekends, clubbers walking about in 5″ heels and Ed Hardy t-shirts. Restaurants and food is always of the pizza and food cart variety but if you look closely, there are some decent eating spots. Take Sushi O Bistro for example. I had walked by this place probably dozens of times since it opened but never really bothered to eat here. There was always a crowd on its sidewalk dining area but I never really had anyone want to go visit. And yes, the pan-Asian (Japanese, Thai, Chinese) had me a bit worried but it was finally time to stop in for a meal!
Located right next to 518 West and next to DeMo’s Pizza, Sushi O has a pretty unassuming store-front and a busy sidewalk seating area. Inside, Sushi O presents the same feel. Bar on the left, crowded with tables and chairs, TV’s over the bar. It feels a bit hectic and thrown together given that many sushi and Japanese restaurants go for a more ascetic and spartan feel. Again, going back to the pan-Asian menu I’m expecting a more American-ized dining experience.
We grab some seats on the side and get our menus for the evening. With a large range of Japanese, Thai and Chinese, Sushi O provides a lot of options if you’re not sure what you want. But as usual, I’m suspicious about the quality of eats that you’re going to get with a menu this diverse. We order up some edamame, crab rangoon, a Hurricane roll along with another special roll for the day and red curry with beef! Thankfully, Sushi O does a BOGO special for lunch and dinner along with 1/2 price hot sake special for the evening. The starters are good. The crab rangoon were perfectly fried and stuffed well with cheese and crab, a fun and flavorful appetizer. We moved into the sushi which was a fried roll with tuna, salmon, yellowtail and avocado, yummy. The daily special roll with jalapeno had a decent kick and came stuffed with crab, mango and avocado. I thought the rolls were solid and a bit fancy but decently done.
And finally, we end with red curry which had plenty of bamboo shoots, beef and onion. A good version of a Thai classic and reasonably well-done. Service at Sushi O was solid but they do hire younger folks here as staff which means you can end up in a hit or miss service situation. Overall, the place reminds me of a version of Sushi-Thai which does a decent job with a wide menu but does cater to a more Americanized clientele. But that’s not a surprise given Sushi O’s S. Glenwood location. But colored me slightly impressed because they did a better job than I expected with the food and flavors. So thanks so much Sushi O for my dinner visit! I will be back sometime soon to work a bit more off your menu…
222 Glenwood Avenue
Raleigh, NC 27603