It’s not with a light pen that I write a negative review, but my experiences at the downtown Omaha Blue Sushi Sake Grill have been so consistently disappointing that I feel like something of a hatchet-job is in order.
Service is a complex issue for me. Some places can get away with slow service, and in fact I expect it for cheap and casual restaurants. But when a restaurant bills itself as a hip yuppie urban ultra-lounge (with commensurate prices), there’s absolutely no excuse for staff forgetting drinks and entrees or making me wait twenty minutes to order. I’ve given Blue many chances to prove me wrong and I’ve been disappointed every time.
I suspect Blue gets away with it at least in part to the generous and kind temperament of the typical Midwesterner. A customer acquainted with service standards on the coasts would find the place abhorrent. I’ve seen locals yell at waiters in New York City restaurants with service far and above what Blue can muster.
Blue wants to tell me that, as the Young Urban Professional which I am, I should instinctively crave $10 martinis and platters of spicy tekke. But I’m not a man easily flattered and I don’t like it when a place tries to tell me how hip and well-bred I am for ordering their sushi instead of someone else’s.
All this being said, the food is pretty good. They’ve got some interesting Japanese entrees and solid sushi. Curiously, Blue’s calamari appetizer was inferior to the same dish by Roja across the street (Blue Sushi, Roja, and Red Lounge are owned by the same people, who are apparently really big fans of primary colors). The martinis are the bright spot here, and are probably worth the price. I’m a fan of the sake martini in particular.
Unfortunately the decent food and drinks aren’t worth the price and the consistently terrible service. With the abundance of better sushi joints and yuppie hangouts in the downtown area, you won’t miss much if you skip Blue.
Image from Blue Sushi’s website.