Upgraded Sushi & Sushi delivers fine atmosphere at mid-range prices

Carly Horton Stuart

There's a lot to love about sushi. It's healthy, rich in omega-3 fatty acids and hunger-suppressing protein. So long as you skip the deep-fried and sauce-covered versions, it's relatively low in calories. And it just looks so pretty, a culinary rainbow of pastel-colored fish accented by forest green nori and day-glow mounds of wasabi.

Oh, and it's delicious. Did I mention it's delicious?

Sushi & Sushi is a popular destination for Anchorage sushi lovers. Located in a strip mall behind Moose's Tooth Pub and Pizzeria, the unremarkable exterior belies an interior that is among the most well appointed in the city. Gleaming granite surfaces, stone columns and artful glass work characterize the space. A bar serving beer, wine and sake stretches along the west side of the room. Uniformed sushi chefs create their culinary masterpieces under a glowing neon sign that proclaims "Sushi Bar." It's a tasteful mix of traditional elements and fun accents that works.

Sushi & Sushi used to be your run-of-the-mill sushi restaurant -- good food, but unremarkable ambiance. A complete overhaul of the interior changed all that.

The space closed June 2010 and reopened nine months later. The current owner, Sun Kim, purchased the newly renovated and expanded restaurant in January 2012.

The menu at Sushi & Sushi is fairly standard. Appetizers range from $5 for an avocado roll to $18 for fresh oysters and include gyoza ($7), vegetable and shrimp tempura ($9) and mixed sashimi ($15).

The restaurant boasts more than 50 sushi rolls ($12-$20), as well as teriyaki dinners ($16-$22), yakisoba ($15) and udon ($13-$14).

Sake aficionados can choose from hot, cold and flavored versions. Sushi & Sushi even offers a five-variety sake sampler for $15.

My husband and father-in-law and I wandered into Sushi & Sushi on a recent Thursday. As my father-in-law resides in Montana, he was looking forward to the fresh seafood Alaska has to offer.

Shortly after being seated, we were brought a bowl of edamame and hot hand towels. We perused the menu while we shared a bottle of Ginjo sake ($17).

We started our meal with the four-piece chicken yakitori ($8). My father-in-law decided on the "oh my peter roll" ($16 -- that's the name of a sushi form, not one of the Urban Dictionary definitions) with tempura shrimp, spicy tuna, crab and seasoned tofu.

I opted for the Hawaii roll ($16) with tuna and avocado, while my husband chose the beef bento box ($23) that included tuna nigiri, a four-piece California roll and vegetable and shrimp tempura.

All our meals came with miso soup and green salad.

The yakitori was done to perfection, deliciously charred but still moist. (We fought over the last skewer.) I was pleased with my Hawaii roll which, in addition to avocado, was also topped with a generous helping of raw tuna.

I love raw fish so I couldn't have been happier, but someone who prefers a lighter hand with raw ingredients would be better served ordering the baked salmon roll ($14) or deep-fried Las Vegas roll ($14).

One thing to note about Sushi & Sushi's menu: The rolls are conveniently broken down by featured ingredient (soft-shell crab or lobster, salmon, eel, etc.) and an asterisk denotes whether they contain raw ingredients.

My father-in-law enjoyed his roll, though the tofu was the most prominent ingredient (thick slabs sat atop the roll) -- something to note if you're not a fan of the venerated health food.

My husband's bento box contained what was likely a strip steak, which was nice and tender and served perfectly medium rare.

The tempura was piping hot, the California roll sturdily constructed, and the tuna nigiri was fresh and velvety.

Our only real complaint was the salad that accompanied our entrees -- a boring mix of iceberg lettuce and shredded carrot that was positively swimming in an unusual pineapple-tasting dressing.

The ambiance at Sushi & Sushi is on par with (and in many cases, exceeds) the best fine dining restaurants in Anchorage.

With mid-range prices, it's the place to go for a tasty and reasonably priced meal that feels like an upscale indulgence.

Want to rave or pan? Write your own review of this restaurant or any other recently reviewed place at adn.com/dining.

By Carly Horton Stuart
Daily News correspondent