In the summer Circle of Food yearns for lighter fare using seasonal ingredients. RA Sushi’s summer menu is available for a limited time (May thru August) featuring nine different sushi, salad and cocktail offerings focusing on cool, light flavors ideal for our sweltering days.
Two new appetizers showcase Red Seabream, a white fish that is often used in celebrations and ceremonies in Japan. Our server mistakenly said the Seabream was like octopus but not as chewy. Fortunately, we didn’t find the Seabream anything like octopus but rather mild and delicate.
The thinly sliced Red Seabream Carpaccio (like sashimi) was topped with finely sliced lemon, spicy yuzu dressing, organic micro greens, truffle salt and a touch of lemon zest while the Red Seabream Nigiri comes over rice, drizzled with spicy yuzu dressing and sprinkled with truffle salt.
For a refreshing entrée, try the Langostino Strawberry Salad. How does arugula tossed with langostino, strawberries, cucumber and avocado in citrus vinaigrette, then garnished with a tangy kiwi wasabi sauce and truffle salt sound? We hoped for more wasabi kick but overall the salad’s clean flavors and textures was a dish we would order again and again.
The Tuna California Roll is a classic California Roll topped with a spicy tuna mix of avocado, cucumber, bell pepper and cilantro, finished with togarashi (Japanese chili pepper), garlic chips and black pepper soy sauce. While we may have missed a kick from the salad, we got it back here.
And then there are three new summer cocktails:
Peach Basil Sour is a flavorful mixture of Bacardi Peach Red, St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur, basil and lemon sour. This cocktail might also pair well for Sunday brunch.
The Hot Tropics Margarita is a sexy blend of sweet and spicy flavors. Tanteo Tropical Tequila and Combier Liqueur d’Orange are shaken with mango purée, lime juice and agave nectar and served with a chili-salted rim for layers of teasing flavors.
My favorite summer libation was the Pear and Lemon Blossom which was more like a dessert or something I’d add to the bath water because I am obsessed with all things pear. In a former life I was president of the Pear Council of America or as some of my friends might say, a figment of my imagination, but I have never stopped promoting the glorious pear.
This cocktail is a to swoon-for mix of Absolute Pears, St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur, lemon sour and pear purée. I worship pear puree as it goes down so smoothly.
Of course, there’s still much of the regular menu plus Sake Flights and tropical inspired sakes.
RA Sushi at La Encantada is located at 2905 E. Skyline Dr., Tucson, Ariz., 85718. For more information or reservations, call 520-615-3970 or visit the website.