Reporting Sara Pelissero
Sushi in the skyway has certainly seen its ups and downs. The establishments that opt for the trays of 4-hour-old maki rolls and soggy bento boxes are typically the ones that have a short lease in the lunchtime corridor. And the ones that get it right can often be tucked away, off the beaten path of the lunchgoer thoroughfares.
So it’s with great curiosity and even greater hope that we welcome a new sushi spot to the hub-bub of the IDS Crystal Court.
One Two Three Sushi is a new take on the typical raw fish counter. In a similar process to Subway or Chipotle, this sushi spot offers customizable rolls where the diner chooses their ingredients and it’s made right before their eyes.
Nay Lin and Nay Hla, founders of Sushi Avenue, Inc., (that brought us the award-winning Masu Sushi and Robata) are behind this latest concept — hoping to fill the void in custom-order skyway sushi.
Brent Sokup, director of operations, said the idea is to bridge the gap between the sit-down restaurant and the stagnant sushi counter.
“It’s very much customizable,” he said. “The guest will be able to choose all of their own ingredients to put into the roll.”
Upon entering the establishment, guests move along a service line, choosing brown or white rice, a large selection of seafood, meats, vegetables and other toppings before choosing a specialty sauce. The custom rolls are $7.99.
“Any dietary restrictions, any personal preferences can be met since they’ll be able to pick what they want in their sushi,” Sokup said.
For the less adventurous, classic rolls — shrimp tempura, spicy tuna, California, etc. — can be purchased for $7.99 and will also be made-to-order.
Sokup said they will offer a grab-and-go case for lunchgoers in a hurry but even those cases will be made right before the rush, keeping the rolls as fresh as possible.
According to Sokup, it’s the opposite of stale, plastic tray sushi and will be the highest quality sushi in the skyway system.
“We use really fresh, high quality ingredients and premium fish, lobster, soft shell crab, yellowfin tuna, a lot of real crab, snow crab leg,” he said.
Beyond the sushi, they also offer Ramen noodles for $8.99 and steamed buns for $5.99. In case you are unfamiliar, and in that case — shame on you, the noodles selection includes the incredible pork belly ramen, which is one of my personal favorites off the Masu menu.
Looking for a perfect combo? One Two Three Sushi offers an upgrade with a beverage and edamame to any roll, ramen or steamed buns for $1.99.
The spot itself takes some of the clean lines and bright colors of Masu, with the same design partners of Shea, Inc., in its flagship store on the second level of the IDS. The 736-square-foot space has 16 seats, or bar tops, for dining in — but puts most of the emphasis on carry out.
“We have a similar feel and a similar menu items but it’s not an extension of Masu — more of another opportunity for quick-serve Japanese cuisine,” Sokup said. “We want to aim for the high quality in regards to what Masu does in a quick-service environment.”
One Two Three Sushi will open in the IDS on Wednesday, Feb. 13 in downtown Minneapolis.