Sadly, I decided to try this place for a mini-celebration last night. In general, it was a horrible disappointment.
Decor: 3/5. The place looks uber-chic, with lots of blues and reds, dim lighting, and generally going for a city hipster look more than anything else. Lots of tables, which may explain why the rest of the experience turned out so lousy. The decor is a bit odd considering it's in a strip mall next to one of those "Tilted Kilt" pseudo-Hooters bars.
Service: 1/5. This is pretty much what ruined it for the entire evening. We were seated at 7:15, and had to wait about ten minutes for our waitress to take a drink order. Once that was done, we received our drinks, but she immediately left without asking for our food order. About 5-10 minutes later, she came back for the food order. We ordered no appetizers, just four of the house special maki rolls. After placing our order, she then told us the sushi bar was "backed up," and it would be about 20 minutes. I thought it was odd that they wouldn't tell us that up front, so we could have ordered an appetizer or put in a food order immediately. And then, we waited...and waited...and waited. The tables around us all waited with us. A collective spirit of dismay and hunger settled over the crowd. On the far side of the room, I could see one table get served multiple times. But the four or five tables in my vicinity...nothing. After 45 minutes, the server came by to say it was "almost ready." At 55 minutes, the tables in our section all got bowls of edamame to tide us over, which was particularly annoying to me because I really don't like edamame. I'm not sure what could happen at a sushi restaurant with six sushi chefs to create a wait like that, but it was ridiculous. At no time did the manager or anybody say a thing; instead, we got a sad look from our mostly-absentee waitress every 20 minutes or so. After 1 hour, 15 minutes, the table next to us began to leave, and we prepared to do the same, and were then told the food was ready.
Food: 3/5. First off, the sushi menu is overwhelmingly large, rather awkwardly so. A lot of choices can be a good thing, but so many of their rolls use similar ingredients (the vast majority invove spicy tuna or spicy mayo, so trying to find varied tastes is a bit difficult). The sushi itself was interesting, but the "special rolls" were rather expensive, with many in the $12-$17 range. We had the following rolls:
- Candy Striper (shrimp tempura, grilled pineapple, cucumber, avocado & spicy mayo wrapped with yellow fin tuna & super white tuna)
- Smoky Bear (kabocha tempura, cream cheese, cucumber & avocado wrapped with smoked salmon drizzled with unagi sauce)
- Tuna Jackpot (fresh cuts of yellow fin tuna, super white tuna, cucumber & asparagus topped with red tobiko)
- Crunch Punch (spicy tuna, yuzu seasoned crab meat, cream cheese, cucumber & avocado rolled in tempura crunch drizzled with unagi sauce)
The Tuna Jackpot was pretty flavorless, but the other three rolls were generally good. Of course, there was not a single concession on our bill for the ridiculous wait we experienced, so I guess they felt the 50 cents worth of edamame they gave us made everything even. The bill for the four rolls plus three drinks was $70. I can say that the wine and beer prices seemed fair.
Unfortunately, in the end, first impressions mean a lot, and because of this experience, I probably won't return.
Blue Ginger Sushi & Lounge
6320 Route 53 Suite 100, Woodridge, IL 60517
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