On the Spot reviews are exactly that — reviews written on the spot, after eating breakfast, lunch, or dinner at a restaurant in Redlands.
Place: Kiyora Sushi
Tucked away in the space next to Brewcakes is one of Redlands’ newest dining establishments — Kiyora Sushi, a small but mighty place to sit back and indulge in some delicious rolls, sashimi, teriyaki, and katsu.
We were warmly greeted by the chef and waiter, who showed us to a table in the front of the restaurant. It’s not a place that would work for a large group — there are about 8 tables, including some just for parties of two, plus the sushi bar — but my party of four didn’t feel crammed. After ordering drinks, we got down to business and started perusing the lengthy menu.
All four of us are sushi eaters, so it didn’t take long for us to zero in on the sushi rolls, but there are plenty of cooked dishes, including teriyakis, shrimp and vegetable tempura, and chicken katsu. I quickly settled on the Moonshine Roll ($10.95), filled with spicy imitation crab, avocado, and cucumber, topped with seared salmon and deep fried onion. I also ordered a bowl of miso soup ($1.95) and Kokomi Roll ($10.95) to share with the table. My sister ordered the Salmon Lover Roll ($9.95) and two pieces of salmon sushi ($3.75) and yellow tail sushi ($3.95), my niece the Sunset Roll ($11.95), and my nephew the Baked Lobstino Roll ($12.95).
The Moonshine Roll is delicious. All of the textures work well together, from the softness of the seared salmon to the slight crunch of the onion piled on top of the roll. The pieces weren’t small, so you might want to ask for a fork if you know you’ll struggle to fit it all in your mouth using chopsticks. The Kokomi, with shrimp tempura, imitation crab, and avocado in the inside and salmon, tuna, eel sauce, and green sauce on top, was also a hit. The fish tasted very fresh, and the green sauce was applied lightly but gave the roll a deeper flavor.
The Sunset Roll was almost identical to the Moonshine, except it has shrimp tempura inside and albacore on the outside, and was just as flavorful. This one I could taste the salt a bit more than the Moonshine, but it wasn’t overpowering. Since we’re all fans of salmon, we enjoyed the Salmon Lovers roll, which has spicy salmon and cucumber inside and salmon, sliced lemon, and sriracha outside. This was another fresh roll that wasn’t covered in sauce, letting the fish speak for itself. The spicy salmon definitely had a kick, but the cucumber helps cut the heat down.
The presentation of all of the dishes is really pretty, with flowers and artfully arranged rolls, but the Baked Lobstino, because it’s cooked, came out in a cute aluminum foil swan, elevating an already nice-looking roll. This was a good amount of langostino covering a California roll, and it stayed hot for a long time. We weren’t quite able to finish everything, and I was happy to pack it up for a future meal.
Your meal ends on a high note — the chef cuts up an orange into the shape of an animal, and presents it to your table (we received a bear). We loved everything about our dinner, from the fresh fish to the beautiful presentation. Our server was attentive and filled our water cups when they were almost empty, and checked in on us regularly. There were a few patrons at the sushi bar and two other families sitting at tables, and the noise level was good — it wasn’t so quiet you could hear what the other people were saying, but it also wasn’t so loud that you couldn’t have a conversation with your party. We weren’t disappointed by any of our dishes and found the prices were fair for the sizes of the rolls and freshness of the fish. All of us are already looking forward to our next trip back. —Catherine
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