Lunch at Li-Ao Sushi

My brother W was back in town for a week, and since there’s no sushi restaurants (or anything fancy) where he works, it was a must that we go out for sushi.  I couldn’t think of where to go and then Li-Ao came to my thoughts – since I didn’t try enough items the last time I was there; let’s make a trip down there! My family couldn’t believe or understand why we have to drive all the way to Somerset-Bridlewood for sushi, but after this meal, they were so glad I brought them here.

The service, like last time was pleasant. This time we also interacted a lot more with the owner, Henry, and I’ve took a huge liking to him. It’s rare to find someone so humble these days. My mom loved the food so much and wouldn’t stop complimenting everything. While most people fly to cloud 9 when they receive compliments, all Henry did was smiled, bowed and said: I don’t go by whether my food taste good; I go by whether people like to eat it or not. Wow.  He has truly earned my respect from that!

Here’s what we tried today:

Li-Ao - Lobster Roll

Lobster Roll – $9.95

Tempura lobster, avocado, cucumber and tobiko wrapped into a giant roll, topped with more tobiko.  I like the warm ingredients wrapped in warm but nicely flavored rice.  The sushi rice has a very slight hint of vinegar so it’s not just plain rice.  I really wish more sushi restaurants would season their rice better.

Li-Ao - Lobster Shrimp Roll

Lobster Shrimp Roll – $9.95

This is like a California Roll except with lobster as the mixture (instead of imitation crab), and topped with cooked shrimp, more tobiko and mango sauce.  The mango sauce wasn’t overly sweet and the lobster mixture had just enough mayo.  My toddler also really loved the “pop” from the tobiko!

Li-Ao - Spicy California Roll, Dynamite Roll

Spicy California Roll – $2.75; Dynamite Roll – $2.95

This was for my brother’s gf C.  She’s not into raw fish so she always order safe, cooked choices like this.  She said they were good.  I think they are decently sized for the price.

Li-Ao - Scallop Roll

Scallop Roll – $9.95

This is essentially a dynamite roll topped with huge chunks of scallops and avocado slivers – drizzled with something of an eel sauce.  On the menu it stated that the scallops were seared but I see no sign of torching.  I’m perfectly happy with that and prefer it that way.  The roll itself was nicely warm and the tempura shrimp has a good crunch to it.  I really enjoyed this roll.  I think it would be even better if the roll was topped with a chopped scallop mixture! Hmmmm I wonder if they will customize?

Li-Ao - Gyoza

Gyoza – $4.95

These were for C.  She really enjoys gyozas so she orders them every time her and my brother go out for sushi.  I didn’t try them but she said they were decent.

Li-Ao - Deep Fried Tuna Gyoza

Deep Fried Tuna Gyoza – Complimentary

Just like my last visit, we were given these on the house.  Everyone at the table really enjoyed them and said they would totally order it as an appetizer.  These gyozas are packed with pork and tuna, wrapped up and deep fried.  I still haven’t figured out what the green sauce was – I forgot to ask Henry.  I must remember to next time!

Li-Ao - Sushi & Sashimi Platter

Sushi Sashimi Platter – $39.95

We started eating this and then I realized that I haven’t taken a picture of it yet.  C then said, I guess you’ll have to come back and order it again! This was a REALLY great deal for all the food.  Eight pieces of sashimi (two pieces each of salmon, tuna, red snapper and tako), ten pieces of nigiri (two pieces each of salmon, tuna, red tuna, smoked salmon and cooked shrimp) and twenty-two pieces of maki (spicy tuna, spicy dynamite, California, and dynamite roll).  Each piece was very well made.  I still find the sashimi too thick but they are very fresh.  The nigiri is easier to eat in comparison but they are still a two-three biter.  The rolls aren’t heavily packed with rice and has a decent amount of fillings, which I really appreciate.

Li-Ao - Fried Chicken Udon

Fried Chicken Udon – $5.95

W decided he wanted something hot and chose this.  I did sample it but I can’t remember what it taste like.    The sauce might’ve been teriyaki.  This dish was very well made with a good amount of chicken.

Li-Ao - Teriyaki Chicken

Teriyaki Chicken – $5.95

My brother’s gf also really likes chicken so she got the starter size of this.  This was crazy good.  The chicken were juicy, tender and meaty.  What made them crazy good is that little ramekin of steak sauce.  OMG.  It totally reminds me of the steak sauce from Japanese Village, but this version is better b/c it’s not as salty.

Li-Ao - Chicken Combo

Chicken Combo – $12.95

My mom got the chicken combo that came with rice and vegetables, and a lot more chicken.  I stole some of this from her and ate more of the steak sauce.  Yummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Li-Ao - AAA Steak Combo

AAA Steak Combo – $13.95

My brother L decided he needed something meaty and chose the steak.  Tender, juicy bites of steak with the same steak sauce.

Li-Ao - Tempura Ebi Nigiri

Tempura Ebi Sushi – $2.50/pc

My brother L’s last bit to his order.  Crunchy shrimp tempura on a ball of rice, wrapped with a nori strip and topped with mayo and masago.  He really enjoyed this and said he would get four pieces next time.

We definitely had an excellent meal today.  The prices are really good and service was very personal and friendly.  I really wish this place wasn’t so far but that will not stop me from returning.  My brother has already decided to return here for his Birthday next month.  Li-Ao is now on my list of favorites and I urge you to give this place a try if you haven’t already!

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5 thoughts on “Lunch at Li-Ao Sushi

  1. Pingback: Li-Ao Sushi | Kelly's Culinary Adventures

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