Vaguely pronounced “raw,” RA Sushi was spawned in Scottsdale, Arizona, and acquired by Benihana in 2002. Nearly two dozen branches are open, including one at the Shops at Legacy, next door to Gordon Biersch, another ambitious out-of-towner. Flashy, outgoing, a bit brassy, RA Sushi fits right in. With a buzzy patio, dance-music soundtrack, and young staff whose tresses are tipped with Manic Panic, it doesn’t come off as a place for serious sushi.
Well, you can get your unadorned slab of tuna here if you want to—witness the “tunacado” appetizer with slices of raw tuna interspersed with avocado—but that misses the point. Given the rolls filled with novel ingredients such as lobster, mango, and cream cheese, RA is more a place for kitschy experimentation. Crazy monkey roll, for example, combined smoked salmon with mango and cream cheese, topped with avocado and chopped cashews.
Appetizers were pricey and fried, led by lobster spring rolls, with bits of lobster, garlic-mango sauce, cream cheese, and mild peppers wrapped in wonton paper and fried until crisp. Lunch is a relative bargain, with bento boxes and bountiful bowls of rice topped with fish and vegetables and sauce.
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