Review No. 20: Naru Sushi and Grill
605 Salem Road
12.8 percent finished with reviews of Conway restaurants
He Said: Somebody was hungry and it wasn’t really me. There was a sushi craving there and a light in Jones’s eyes, so we opted for this stop on Conway’s west side, in amongst the several restaurants that orbit the McDonald’s on Salem. It’s the only sushi place on the west side of Conway.
She Said: I was celebrating getting a literary agent for my novel, Ruud! This was BIG. I wanted delicious food and a cocktail, and this place looked like the right place to meet my celebratory needs. We’d had lunch here before, and the food was beautifully plated and the menu was huge, so I knew with their food and full bar, I’d be fine and toasts could ensue.
He Said: The inside is not uncomfortable, though the walls are painted a fairly atrocious shade of nearly fluorescent light green. Not sure what that’s about, but the small pictures hanging here and there didn’t cover up enough of it.
She Said: I like it in there; it’s kind of electric! I find the seating comfortable, but it’s certainly not a cozy, white-table cloth place. I like the energy and vibe of the green color and the layout.
He Said: My go-to drink at Japanese restaurants is green tea. They brought it in a nice pitcher where it steeped the whole meal and remained pretty weak, as Japanese green tea is wont to do.
She Said: I asked for a cosmopolitan, of course. I was celebrating, and this is my go-to cocktail. The waitress wasn’t familiar with it. They had a full bar, as I mentioned, but cosmos weren’t on the cocktail menu. Still, it’s a basic cocktail, right? When I asked for it, the waitress wasn’t familiar. There was some back and forth with the bar (after I wrote down the name), and then a lovely cosmo was delivered to our table after a little bit. And, since they made a little extra, they just brought me a second one gratis (now THAT’s a celebration!). It was quite delicious, as I like citrus-y cosmos. Cheers!
He Said: I’ve come here for lunch before, and had very mixed results, though last time I got the Bento Box, which was the perfect size for lunch, which they were able to do fairly quickly. Tonight, though, we were trying them out for dinner, so we were looking for something a little more substantial. We decided to share an order of garlic edamame to start. This is good stuff, if you like garlic. You might want to skip it if you’re on your first date, but it does make for a tasty appetizer.
It’s Jones who comes for the sushi. I’m all about the hibachi. I had a meal with hibachi salmon that included a salad, miso soup, and hibachi vegetables. The salad is just lettuce, but the ginger saucer was very tasty—a little sweeter than usual, I thought. The soup was fine, though fairly average. The salmon was pretty dry, which is often the case with hibachi salmon, especially if it comes without a sauce over it. There was a nice tasting dipping sauce that came with it, though, that I made ample use of, and also complemented that with the very satisfying fried rice I had opted for. The vegetables were delicious. I am partial to the taste of hibachi vegetables, and these were no exception.
She Said: One reason I like Japanese restaurants is that you can eat delicious food in small portions, so it’s easier to control the caloric intake. So, of course, I had sushi, the ngiri (which is fish with the rice “attached”): smoked salmon, salmon and egg omelet. The time I came for lunch it was plated so gorgeously, I was in love with how it looked: the sushi was on a little plank across a bowl with greens. It looked like a little sushi garden on a placemat This time, it was much more standard, but it was delicious. The fish tasted very fresh, and the egg omelet sushi, which I adore, was just a little sweet. This place is high on my list for go-to sushi, not just in Conway, but also in central Arkansas.
He Said: In the past. I found the service here could be spotty—I’ve had one lunch, at any rate, that didn’t turn out so hot. But this evening the service was friendly and the server tried really hard to make sure everything was right.
She Said: I’ve had great service both times I’ve been, so maybe they are getting better as they go. I really appreciated that they really put in the effort on my cosmo instead of just saying, “We don’t have that.” My affection for them has nothing to do with the fact that I basically got two for the price of one. Nothing.
What We Got and What We Paid: Garlic edamame appetizer; Hibachi salmon with fried rice, miso soup, salad, and hibachi vegetables, with green tea; smoked salmon sushi, salmon sushi, egg omelet sushi for $46.98.
He Said: Generally good food and decent service. Could be a handy lunch option, since they do have carry out and delivery (via Chef’s Shuttle).
She Said: I’ll be back with my fingers crossed for the prettily-plated sushi, but if I don’t get it, I’ll still be loyal as long as the tasty, fresh fish is delivered to my belly.
So…He Said and She Said: The sushi here might be better than the Hibachi, but the menu is huge, chances are the service will be good, and they’ll make you a mean cocktail!