‘X’ will leave you satisfied

Sushi restaurant a local favorite


Damian Lewin

Samurai X Sushi Chef Ben Seo prepares one of many choices of rolls for a customer.

Located at the Walmart shopping center just around the corner from campus, sandwiched between a discount tobacco retailer and a check cashing office, the first glance at Samurai X might be unappealing for some.

From the outside, the sushi and teriyaki restaurant blends in with its neighbors. It’s not the most pleasing facade, but one must “never judge a book by its cover.”

Once inside, the mood is quickly changed. As guests are welcomed into the dining room adorned with light green walls accented by silhouettes of white bamboo stalks, they have the option to sit at one of the many dining tables. For individuals or smaller groups, a spot at one of the four seats located at the bar is almost always available.

A large collection of photographs detailing many of the restaurant’s specialty items adorns the right wall. Beneath the name of each item, a small description lets guests know the ingredients in each of the special rolls. Full color menus with detailed descriptions are also provided for those who desire a closer look at the extensive menu.

A variety of items are available for those looking to escape the grip of the many fast food eateries that surround the local area. The teriyaki chicken and tempura dishes are popular items served. The chicken is not too sweet and is cooked well with the right balance of taste between the poultry and sauce. The tempura, which includes shrimp and a variety of fresh vegetables, has a crisp coating that doesn’t overpower its contents, providing a more pleasing taste than ordinary fried foods.

Now, on to the sushi.

Whether your taste is sashimi or nigiri style, or one of the many custom specialty items offered, the end result will leave you satisfied and coming back for more. All the choices are fresh with no offending aftertastes that would leave you to question the length of time between the fishing boat and plate.

Some of the more popular items created by Sushi Chef Ben Seo include a couple of the restaurant’s specialty rolls. One dish, the Bodega Bay Roll, is a more traditional fresh style roll that includes shrimp tempura, cucumber, avocado and soft and hard shell crab.

Another popular item, the Lion King Roll, offers guests a different taste in a baked roll filled with crab, avocado and topped with salmon. It’s a little too saucy, but with an even amount of savory and sweet flavors. It’s not the best item on their menu, but definitely something worth trying if you’re in the mood for something different.

During the week guests can be seated quickly, and those willing to sit at the bar often may sit immediately. However those seeking their sushi fix may have to wait a little longer on weekends due the high demand placed on this tiny establishment.

While there is an option to call in an order for take-out, something that can often help those students and professors trying to satisfy their craving in between classes, the wait times can vary from weekday to weekend as well. To assure that orders get to their guests in the timely fashion they need, Chef Seo recommends allowing 15 to 20 minutes for take-out orders during the week, and 25 to 45 minutes on weekends.

With prices ranging from $4 to $7 for most smaller dishes and more extravagant items getting as high as $12 to $24, the final bill can get a bit pricy. But for those seeking just a quick sushi fix the damage to your wallet stays minimal.

With a friendly staff and a variety of options to choose from, Samurai X is an excellent restaurant for those who prefer a fresh alternative to the fast food jungle in which it resides.

Samurai X is located at 2171 Loveridge Road in Pittsburg and is open Monday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Sunday from 3 to 9 p.m. For more information and take out orders please call 439-2000.