No Need to Leave Island to Find Great Sushi

No Need to Leave Island to Find Great Sushi

I recently saw a post where somebody asked for sushi suggestions on St. John and almost every response was a St. Thomas restaurant. Don’t get me wrong – I love a good St. Thomas sushi adventure, but we are so fortunate to have high quality, hand-rolled sushi available to us right here in Cruz Bay. 

In addition to their raw bar happy hour and their fresh seafood dinner, 1864 The Restaurant also has a sushi lunch Tuesday through Saturday from 11am-2pm. The menu boasts all of the exciting appetizers one would expect at an asian-inspired restaurant, including miso soup, crab rangoon, edamame, and potstickers. Beyond the nigiri and sashimi, the specialty roll section has unique and interesting selections.

Chef Larry Parnell has been serving up sushi deliciousness off and on for 17 years on St. John, initially starting at Happy Fish. This is the third season that 1864 has offered their sushi lunch. To build the menu, Chef Larry drew from his past experiences and integrated that with what Chef Tom Garfield was doing with his dinner menu. They worked together to find a good balance of hot menu items to complement the sushi. The final result is a high quality meal prepared at a lunch-appropriate pace.

This past weekend, I decided I needed to take myself on a little lunch date to satisfy my sushi craving. I started my meal the same way I start every meal at 1864 – with a quail egg shooter. Served in a shot glass, the quail egg is paired with ponzu, sesame seeds, sriracha, and tobiko. It is meant to be consumed as a shot, but I absolutely recommend swirling the yolk once you shoot it to blend the flavors. 

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Quail Egg Shooter from 1864 The Restaurant

I followed up the quail egg “shooty” with the Age Dashi Tofu appetizer. The dish is served as crispy pieces of tofu in tsen tsu yu. I’ll be honest, this app has made me a tofu lover. I had been indifferent before, but now I crave it. 

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Age Dashi Tofu appetizer from 1864 The Restaurant

Choosing a specialty roll is always the hardest part. The portions are generous, but if you have it in you to order multiple, I definitely recommend it. Sampling is the best part. If I had to choose a favorite, I would go for the Caterpillar roll, prominently showcasing bbq eel with cucumber and sprouts. I have yet to encounter a roll I dislike – even the staple California roll is an elevated experience. 

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California Roll from 1864 The Restaurant

Chef Larry’s favorite roll is the Negihama Mama. “Negihama is a very traditional sushi roll made with just hamachi and scallion. It’s one of my favorite things. So I turned that up a few notches by adding sprouts, avocado, and cucumber. Then I tempura fry it, and finish with a spicy mayo and my teriyaki sauce,” Parnell said. Can confirm – this roll is out of this world delicious. 

If you have people in your party that are not sushi lovers, there are still plenty of menu items for them to enjoy. My personal favorite is the teriyaki bowl with marinated steak. 

Next time you’re having the “what’s for lunch” discussion, throw 1864 The Restaurant into the mix. You will not be disappointed. 

4 thoughts on “No Need to Leave Island to Find Great Sushi”

  1. I miss Beni Iguana’s When it used to be in Wharfside w/ Pusser’s upstairs. Those were the best times! Would love if 1864 could replicate their poached mussels w/ Iguana sauce. Absolutely amazing!

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