Island Sushi & Hawaiian Grill gives the Plaza an infusion of great eats

The Black Widow is an Island Sushi winner, but the Hawaiian Grill side of the restaurant is just as good.
Photo: Bill Hughes

Our Downtown food scene continues to change, and this kind of change is always good. The Plaza’s recent renovations include a full-scale restaurant overhaul: There’s already a shiny new Hash House A Go Go open, and Oscar Goodman’s namesake steakhouse is coming soon.

Even though experiments with Omelet House and Firefly didn’t work out, it’s nice to see casino management sticking with its plan to bring in established, locally owned restaurants. Island Sushi & Hawaiian Grill, with an original location in Henderson, is filling a void larger than the Plaza’s—now there’s a steady spot for Downtowners to get their weekly sushi fix.

Island Sushi and Poke Express' poke salad

Island Sushi and Poke Express' poke salad

The Details

Island Sushi & Hawaiian Grill
Plaza Las Vegas, 386-1600.
Sunday-Thursday, 7 a.m.-11 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 7 a.m.-1 a.m.

Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, this eatery boasts a super-friendly staff and a big menu full of familiar dishes for islanders and mainlanders alike. The freshness and quality of the seafood tops the mediocre standard set by so many of our neighborhood sushi bars, and the kitchen doesn’t skimp on seasoning or portion size. The 808 Poke Salad, for example, is a mountain of fresh greens, tomatoes and cucumbers with a ton of ruby red ahi tuna chunks in a light soy dressing. There’s a never-ending selection of specialty rolls, highlighted by the spicy Black Widow (with salmon and soft shell crab) and the Croc (deep-fried eel).

If you’re tired of rolls and craving heartier fare, opt for great wonton or saimin soups, savory noodles in clear broth topped with tasty kamaboko (fish cake) and char siu pork. Plate lunches—rice and macaroni salad combo platters always found at our many Hawaiian joints—offer traditional meat selections of teriyaki beef or chicken, salty kalua pig, and fried pork or chicken cutlets. Here the choices are extended with garlic ahi tuna or ahi belly, fried eggplant or Korean-style Kalbi short ribs. It wouldn’t be complete without my favorite guilty pleasures of Hawaiian soul food, Loco Moco (gravy-smothered rice with a burger and fried eggs) and Spam musubi (a slab of the world’s favorite canned meat wrapped up in sushi rice). With this solid lunch lineup, the Plaza is back in the game.

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Brock is an award-winning writer and reporter who has been documenting life in Las Vegas for 20 years. He currently ...

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