962 Baxter Avenue Louisville, KY 40204
While Wasabiya does not offer a typical happy hour (despite the out-of-date information posted on their Facebook page) we felt the need to review their lunch special because we had heard they served high quality food, and hoped that would take the sting out of the $9 lunch special’s price tag.
With a bar in the back and tables in the front, only the overbearingly rectangular shape of the restaurant stood out to us. Well, that and the budding May-December relationship we shared the space with. To be fair, we hit the tail-end of the special, arriving at 1:20 pm.
Their normal sushi rolls ranged from $4 to around $14, which almost convinced us to forgo the lunch special in hopes of expanding the variety which was clearly lacking in the deal we came for. The Buddha’s Belly roll was the sole vegetarian option, and the others did not offer anything in the way of diversity with the fish limited to imitation crab and salmon. Additionally, only the Buddha’s Belly, the Alaska roll and the original California roll were sans cream cheese or mayo.
Both of us strongly dislike mayo and cream cheese on sushi so Megan opted for the rolls without those ingredients in the the pick 2 rolls plus a salad special, and Jasmine went another direction choosing the Teriyaki chicken lunch entree with fried rice and salad. She also ordered a Tempura sweet potato roll.
The radishes, cucumber, carrot, and asparagus in the Buddha’s Belly packed a mean crunch. Mayo was not listed in the Alaska roll’s description but somehow it found its way in between the salmon, avocado, and cucumber on Megan’s plate. The meal was enjoyable enough due to the portion sizes–each featured 8 solid pieces–but there was nothing to rave about. The salad, not pictured, could have been been better if mixed greens replaced the iceberg lettuce.
Jasmine felt that the quality of the food was not worth the $14 bill. While the roll wasn’t bad, she sensed an ingredient was lacking to really kick it up a notch–perhaps an avocado? The vegetables accompanying the lunch special were soggy and the chicken was tough. Sometimes a flavorful Teriyaki sauce can make up for that, but this one tasted no better than Kikkoman.
A breakdown of our 2-star rating: While the higher-priced specialty rolls may be amazing (based on other reviews we’ve heard) our experience with the economical options really showed the corners Wasabiya cut in order to trim the price. With the minimal amount of filling ingredients swallowed by too much rice and cheaper ingredients like cucumber, carrots, and imitation crab, their lunch offering doesn’t justify the deal. Iceberg lettuce and a few carrots sprinkled on top does not qualify as the “House Garden Salad” advertised.
Jasmine Ashton & Megan Feil, March 6, 2012
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