If your sushi fanaticism is all about thick tiles of fresh, glistening sashimi—who needs rice?—you’ve probably already discovered Soho. The modest but popular Japanese restaurant south of the Beltway was opened by former Social House chef John Chien Lee a year ago (and named as an homage to his former kitchen). He’s all about the fish, the most beautiful slabs of tuna and salmon you’ll see, plus colorful combinations like snapper with uni, freeze-dried miso and micro greens, or scallop with soy salt, cilantro and tobiko.
If you haven’t discovered Soho, you’re late to the sashimi party.
“When we first opened, of course, nobody knew about us. We struggled a little bit. But we just stuck to it, people started finding out, and now people love us,” Lee says. “Sushi is difficult. You’re either about quality or about making money. But once you have the good stuff, when you develop that palate, you can’t go back.”
Neither can the chef. He’s still using the same high-quality purveyors favored by the big Strip restaurants, a commitment that certainly cuts into his profits. But he refuses to sacrifice, and that’s why his regulars rave. “If I don’t sell that fish, I lose money, so that’s why I’d rather be generous,” Lee says.
Soho’s menu extends into rolls, lunchtime bentos, salads and hot dishes like baked mussels, garlic soft shell crab and a bone-in short rib with wasabi cream. It sounds like a cliché, but Lee is actually offering Strip-quality food off the Strip for much friendlier prices; nothing is over $20.
“I’m here every day and I’m doing everything, but everybody is happy here,” he says. “We have so many great customers already, locals who have become my friends. I don’t own a restaurant because of money; I own a restaurant because I’m following my dream.”
Soho 7377 S. Jones Blvd. #116, 702-776-7778, Monday-Saturday, noon-10 p.m.