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recommendations for sushi and cocktails in charlotte

I know that there are a couple threads about sushi in Charlotte. But I am looking for a place that has both sushi and cocktails that can handle a small party of about 10-15 people on a Sat night. I would love to go to my favorite, New Zealand Cafe, but with them having only about seating for less than 20 in the entire place I don't want to take up a prime dinner time. It would also be an added bonus if they serve other things in addition to the sushi because I think we may be having some people that have never tried sushi in their life and I am not sure how adventurous they will be. Thanks in advance.

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  1. Nikko on South Blvd. by the big pink building.

      1. What about Upstream? They do sushi and cocktails and obviously have other things as well. I haven't had their sushi so can't say how good or bad it is... Just another option.

        "Super" Nikko's on south is a fun place for a lively party. On Saturdays they turn up the music and it gets a hoppin'!

        1. It depends if you care about having a conversation with the other guests. Nikko, while perfect for alcohol and sushi, gets very loud and crowded.

          it seems to me that the places with great sushi aren't exactly the "hang out and drink" kind. And the fun places to drink have mediocre (or worse) sushi. Isn't there a newer place at the Epicentre? I like Sushi 101 for cocktails but I don't think I'd eat the sushi there unless I wasn't the one paying ;-). Upstream sounds like a good idea if you don't mind the higher $$ (although it probably wouldn't be any more expensive than Nikko in the end).

          It seems like there have been a few new sushi places popping up, but I can't remember what they are....

          3 Replies
          1. re: billyjack

            thank you for all the recommedations so far. hope to keep them coming.

            i think that conversation will be important. because i haven't seen most of my friends in a long time.

            honestly cocktails really isn't that important. i just didn't want to tie up all the tables at new zealand cafe.

            there is a new place that my friend told me about at the epicenter but when i went to look at the site for ENSO and it wasn't up and running yet.

              1. re: southernitalian

                What> It is a great place for for sushi, but very small.
                Where> Matthews. www.nzcafe.com

          2. Might consider Cuisine Malaya on Elizabeth. The sushi is good, the staff are friendly, not too noisy even on a weekend night, and plenty of room for your party.

            6 Replies
            1. re: RobiePC

              i been to cuisine malaya before but that was a couple years ago. too bad i didn't get to really try their food since it was a wedding banquet i was attending. i will definitely have to keep that place in mind.

              1. re: RobiePC

                Great suggestion! Although I haven't had their sushi, my dining companions have and raved about it. I love their beef rendang and they have a good non-sushi menu. Parking is a bit tricky what with all the construction but you can make your way through it. Also, afterwards you could go to Loft 1523 for drinks. Another option, and also in the sam 'hood as Cuisine Malaya, is Customshop. While not "sushi", they do have crudo which is supposed to be very good.

                1. re: lynnlato

                  The crudo which as far as I'm concerned is Italian sushi is excellent at Custom Shop

                  1. re: lynnlato

                    The crudo is so not worth it at Customshop. I love customshop, but just felt freakin' cheated after I ate it. It was $18 for 3 slices of fish... Come on. I'm a foodie, and appreciated the taste and freshness of the fish, but for that much money to get 3 small pieces? Fool me once...

                    1. re: mikebmassey

                      Yea, at that price it better knock my socks off.

                      1. re: lynnlato

                        When I had the Crudo I must have had a different menu they served me
                        Crudo for two and the cost was $14. An appetizer that sells for $7.00 per person is reasonable INHO. I remember the portion size as being fine and the fish pristine.

                2. Have you tried Osaka in Matthews/Mint Hill? On 51 .
                  It's a nice place with good sushi and Japanese menu and it will accomodate your party of 10-15 with cocktails and all. Not too far from NZcafe, your first choice. (would also be my first choice)
                  But! Osaka is good also.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Ciao Italia Foodie

                    i will definitely have to look into that also. but i may be jumping the gun because my birthday isn't for another month but i need to have options for sure.

                    1. re: vttp926

                      Well if that's the case , the place ENSO you mentioned is opening next Thursday the 27. Get some grand opening tickets and scope out the joint. ( we need someone to try an report back! )
                      Check out the website www.ensocharlotte.com

                      1. re: Ciao Italia Foodie

                        if i lived in charlotte then i definitely would have got some grand opening tickets but sadly i am almost 2 hours away in a tiny town that has no sushi.

                        but right now im looking at others places also beside sushi for dinner. so who knows what it will end up being.

                  2. Looking back, I think Cuisine Malaya is an excellent suggestion. They have great sushi, and should be able to accommodate a table that large. I think they took a hit in business thanks to the construction crap on Elizabeth, but the whole road is open now. Kind of weird coming down Trade and you can see all the way to Presby without any orange things in the way.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: billyjack

                      The OP is not considering Red Rocks or Village Tavern (???) so it seems this thread is DOA. He started a new thread.

                      1. re: lynnlato

                        cuisine malaya has been great on another occasion. but i am now considering other options. but who knows. i am so fickle when it comes to food that i may go back to these suggestions.