Whenever a new restaurant opens in Uptown Whittier, it becomes all the buzz in the community, and Bambooze is easily becoming the most popular sushi restaurant in town. The good thing is it has the goods to back up the hype. Bambooze just opened three weeks ago. Owner Mike Iniguez was actually a contractor in the area, who helped build the complex, and decided he wanted to open a sushi restaurant in it. So he asked a chef from his favorite Valley sushi restaurant if he wanted to help him out, and the rest is history.
Friday night was packed at Bambooze, but my friend and I were able to get a table in the back by the bar. When you walk in, you’ll see the sushi bar right away with some dining tables up front. I thought that was the entire restaurant, then saw another large dining room in the back, along with a bar lined with a diverse selection of 40 beers on tap. Not only does Bambooze serve great sushi, but it’s also a brew house, offering all your favorite domestic and international beers, along with some creative twists to delight even those taste buds not fond of beer, such as rasberry beer, chocolate beer, strawberry beer and even a chocolate/strawberry combination, which tastes more like a dessert … a shake and beer in one!
OK, I talked about the beer. Now let’s get to the food. We started off with the most delicious appetizer. It’s called the Yami Yami Margarita. It comes in a large margarita glass filled with tuna, salmon and yellowtail marinated in the chef’s exquisite special tangy sauce, topped with avocado and sesame seed. First of all, I was very impressed by the large amount of fish you get for just 7 bucks! The price may go up soon, so go now and take advantage before it does, because it’s definitely worth more, and even at a higher price will be a lot of value for your buck. The chunks of tuna, salmon and yellowtail are very generous, and the sauce they’re marinated in is absolutely divine!
I couldn’t get enough, but had to make way for the OMG Hand Roll, appropriately named, because it is OMG good! It’s a spicy shrimp and crab mix with avocado wrapped in cucumber topped with smelt egg, sesame seed and chef’s special sauce, which is a different concoction, but again delightful. The spicy shrimp and crab mix is scrumptious and I love that it’s wrapped in cucumber, instead of seaweed and rice, because it’s much lighter and suits the shrimp and crab mix perfectly. It’s also fewer calories. ;-)
Next, we had one of the Specialty House Rolls, Eva’s Roll (named after the owner’s mother and daughter), a shrimp tempura roll topped with spicy shrimp, spicy crab, avocado and a cilantro-flavored sauce, which was fantastic. I really enjoyed this roll. What’s great about a lot of the menu items at Bambooze is that they’re not your usual sushi rolls … a lot of them have a Mexican twist to them, adding more flavor and spice, like the Sexy Mama Roll. This one is perfect for those of you who can handle a lot of kick, as it’s spicy albacore tempura wrapped with soy paper and topped with jalapeño, avocado and chef’s special sauce.
By the way, a lot of the items have the chef’s special sauce, but it’s not always the same sauce. I think they just call it the special sauce so as to not give away the secret ingredients, because all the sauces are just that good! I believe they’re part of the secret to the food’s tastiness. The Sexy Mama Roll is delicious and perfect for those of you who don’t like raw fish, as the albacore tuna is cooked, and the sauce was so good, I wanted to drink it! It does have quite a kick too, so make sure you have a glass of water handy, or maybe I’m just weak. ;-)
Aside from a variety of rolls, Bambooze also offers an array of salads and entrees, such as grilled marinated beef and chicken, a shrimp tempura plate, broiled miso salmon plate and Lobster Dynamite, stuffed half lobster with white onion, smelt egg, mushrooms, backed with chef’s special sauce (there it is again), which sounds fabulous.
They also offer lunch special combos for $9-$11. Bambooze offers Happy Hour drink specials Sunday through Thursday from 3 to 6 pm, where you can buy one and get another half off, or buy two and get one free. If you want to get your groove on, they also have karaoke Thursday nights.
Bambooze is located at 6518 Greenleaf Ave. in Uptown Whittier, right across from Vinatero. If you’re not familiar with Uptown Whittier, that’s right at the start of the street. You can reach them at 562-696-2337. You can visit their website at www.bamboozesushi.net for more information and also become a fan on Facebook.