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Lunch - Maru, Tomo or Kona

I really like Mikado, but dang, I just cannot afford another $13 lunch (I'm a sucker for the Chorishi's Fire).

Was thinking of trying one of these either for a really great roll or their lunch special (was going to do take-out)

Kona had one called the Wave that was only $8, but I see they're a chain.

Tomo and Maru don't have a menu anywhere online, so I'd be going in "blind". However, I'm going to try to talk our Friday lunch gang into trying Maru this Friday.

Thoughts?

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  1. I've only hit Maru for lunch once, and it was on a day off, where a casual lunch turned into more of a feast.

    I do however remember they have some lunch specials, with salad, miso(which is particularly good for miso), and sashimi or nigiri, both of which are usually excellent(I've had one mediocre trip there), especially the white tuna, for around $10.

    Some people aren't fans of the rolls there because the have a little sweet sauce on them(I think its a sweet miso reduction), but I think the snow rolls and tiger rolls are great(I prefer them with no soy or wasabe). The california rolls are also good and cheap as well.

    5 Replies
      1. re: amysuehere

        The Snow is white tuna and avocado on the outside and I think salmon on the inside, its very light and tasty!

        The Tiger is I believe tempura prawns spicy tuna and something else inside with the sweet miso and spicy mayo sauces.

        I normally try to split the two with someone else so I get a little of both.

        1. re: Trhosion

          Maru does have a website: http://www.austinmaru.com/

          After recommending this to you a few days ago, I was craving Maru and stopped by yesterday for lunch. Since I was already planning to make a Thai-like beef dish at home for dinner, I opted for sushi. I splurged and got the American roll and the Tiger. The american is crab and cucumber (they make a mixed crab stuff that is delish) inside with salmon, avocade and a drizzle of Kewpie Mayo on the outside. The tiger is tempura shrimp inside with spicy tuna outside...and the aforementioned sweet miso reduction. This was more expensive than my usual lunch (just over 20 with a soda) but totally stuffing and excellent. Usually at lunch I opt for the beef teryaki bento or the Oyako Don bowl. The one downside to the website is that most of their specialty rolls are not listed (BUMMER!). This place isn't super huge Amysue, but is usually pretty quiet at lunch. They could push tables together for a group and sit 10 or so together. They also have one lare round table for 5-7.

          Maru is my go to for good sushi at a more budget friendly price. I worked at Uchi for a time and was spoiled with the quality of fish there. I've had a hard time finding places that I enjoy since then as I have a better sense of fish quality etc. Maru is not a place I go for sashimi (although I did have some good sashimi there once) but to share rolls with friends or the SO.

          To gauge my sushi palate, the SO and I also like Mikado but find it to be too expensive for regular visits (the BYOB policy...even with a $5 cork fee at Maru really helps with the bill). I've tried Mushashino but got some terrible fish there once (the best word for the sea eel I ordered is PETRIFIED) and haven't been able to go back. I'd love to make Uchi a regular stop...but alas it's too expensive (and yes I know it is "possible" to eat there more frugally, but I crave the expensive stuff that I used to eat on discount of free from Tyson). Maybe the sushi at Kona is ok, but after eating there once the bland excuse I got for hot food was enough to turn me off from the place completely (plus the sushi chefs looked more like frat boys than true masters of cuisine....kinda like the kids that make the rolls at Zen). Kenichi is also on my no list. To shi shi, and again I had crappy fish the one time I ate there (plus their rolls follow the everything but the kitchen sink recipe mentality...stop at 4 or so ingredients...SERIOUSLY). I occasionally slum it at Bonzai, Korea House (we'll order a roll or two as an app before the bulgogi), or Silhouette (usually with friends when downtown...not a destination), but draw the line there. I've tried most other places: Koreana (was insulted by server and hostess, plus crap fish), Ichiban (used to slum it there but quality slipped), Odaku (name? next to HEB at Parmer and Mopac....quality again), Momoko (or whatever the sushi place attached is called...meh...and lady who made sushi stopped bleaching floor only to make food then returned to bleaching....eau de Clorox is not what I want with my sushi), etc.

          1. re: ashes

            Ashes, sounds like you and I are exactly in tune when it comes to sushi. As I said before, you've convinced me in Maru for our lunch this Friday (if I can get the boys in a sushi mood). Thanks!

      2. re: Trhosion

        Why not just go old school, G?
        Hit the sushi place in the shopping center with Alamo Drafthouse Anderson Lane, or the one across the street from Dallas Nightclub. Not exactly the Hot New Hipness!, but there is a very good reason they have both lasted decades in an industry that tends to burn out its stars.

      3. The 'sushi lunch' special at Maru is fantastic. I was just there monday, and had a fantastic meal. The special comes with five pieces of sushi and a spicy tuna roll. The roll was great, but the sushi was fantastic. White tuna, snapper, yellowtail, salmon and tuna. Each piece was large and fresh and tasty as hell. Add a lovely miso soup to start, and it's a bargain at around $12.

        2 Replies
        1. re: cornbiterD

          Would Maru be a good restaurant for a sushi novice (me) to graduate from primarily rolls on to primarily nigiri and sashimi? One of the things that has been holding me back is the necessity for "fresh and tasty as hell" but only being sure of finding those requirements at Sushi Sake, Mikado and Musasshino, which can run a pretty penny. I would prefer to know a little more of what I'm doing before heading to Uchi.

          1. re: Rene

            A Maru lunch special would be a great way to start for a novice if your on a budget. Its very laid back. Just a tip, your best bet for fresh fish at any restaurant is to go between tuesday and friday, although at maru, uchi or musashino(and other good sushi spots) they get daily deliveries.

            Another really good call to step up your sushi game would be the a sushi sashimi combo at musashino. They are a bit more expensive($30) than they used to be, but they are still a great value for the quality.

        2. This may be a bit out of the way, but Sushi Japon on the frontage road of 35, just north of 290E is pretty good. They have lunch specials. Their tempura and miso soup are excellent, and the sushi I've gotten there is always good.