When I (Paulina) worked in downtown Minneapolis, there was one place that would brighten up my day from my sad office: Sushi Takatsu. It’s an amazing, secret find that many people don’t know about unless they work downtown. I would always have to allocate an extra 15-20 minutes when going because there were always nearly 20 people in line. But it was so worth it every time. Once you got to the start of the line, it was extremely quick: I got my food right away.
Sushi Takatsu has an amazing selection of authentic Japanese food, ranging from sushi to udon to donburi, but I always got the same thing: the sushi bowl special. The sushi bowl special is a poke bowl that comes with miso soup. I wanted to drag Sandy there for two years, but there was no convenient time to do it until this week.
When we got there in September 2020, there was no line. We assume it’s because most people in downtown were working remotely due to COVID-19. The workers were extremely friendly. We loved the decor of the restaurant - they had fun neon lights and decorative curtains of Japanese art.
We got the sushi bowl special, tempura udon noodle, oshizushi + spicy tuna roll special, dancing eel roll, and the sakura mochi.
The sushi bowl special is a poke bowl that consists of spicy tuna, salmon, yellowtail, avocado, spicy mayo, eel sauce, tempura flakes, sesame seeds and a miso soup on the side. When you are in line for Sushi Takatsu, 90% of the people get this special because it’s an amazing deal at $7.95 + tax. The sushi bowl had a combination of the best ingredients they had at the restaurant: fresh, generous portions of fish, creamy avocado, good splash of spicy mayo, and a crunchy element with the tempura flakes. The tempura flakes were a game changer, making the texture of the sushi bowl unique and delightful. Compared to most poke bowl restaurants, Sushi Takatsu doesn’t skimp out on their ingredients. The sushi bowl is like fancy food on the go - deluxe, lucious in flavor, and extremely filling. In addition to the sushi bowl special was the miso soup, which was standard in comparison to other restaurants, but it was refreshing to eat it in between bites.
Tempura udon noodle soup is a simple dish - udon noodles, flavorful dashi broth with a slight kick of spice, seaweed, and two pieces of shrimp tempura. The noodles were fresh and had a good chewy texture. The broth was a surprise - typically people focus on eating the noodles, but the broth was the winner of this dish because of the subtle spicy and tangy flavor. The seaweed added some fun texture to the dish. The tempura should not be placed in the soup like the way we photographed it (this was for the aesthetic). The tempura seemed comparable to other restaurants, but it could have been crunchier. You should eat it fast and separately from the soup, as it will get soggy sitting in the tin foil. To be fair, we ate the food an hour after we got it, and most people getting takeout in downtown eat it immediately, so we think this problem was on us trying to take nice photos. Overall, the udon soup was good for a cold day.
Oshizushi is pressed fish on top of rice. Our order included one piece of salmon and two pieces of tuna. At Sushi Takatsu, they cut it into a visually appealing rectangle shape. This was our first time trying oshizushi, so we don’t know what it’s supposed to be like. We thought the fish to rice ratio (1:3) was a bit excessive - we would have wanted less rice to come with the oshizushi. The fish was still fresh and delicious, and it’s definitely an aesthetically pleasing entree.
The combo also came with a spicy tuna roll, which is spicy tuna, avocado, rice, nori, and cucumber. This was Sandy’s favorite - the tuna was spicy and we appreciated seeing the chili flakes on the tuna. It had a tangy flavor to it. The fish was fresh -- so fresh that we fought off a bee to eat this outside. There was a generous serving of avocado and fish in this roll, which was refreshing since most other sushi restaurants will add extra cucumber in rolls.
The dancing eel roll consists of shrimp tempura, avocado, and cucumber with eel laid on top, drizzled with eel sauce, sesame seeds and tempura flakes. This is an intricate roll with many dimensions. First, the roll was coated with crunchy tempura flakes on the outside. Inside the roll included tempura shrimp, soft eel, avocado, and refreshing cucumber. You could only order this and get full - it was very large. The order was also fancy - the same roll at a different restaurant would have cost $20, but we got eight pieces for $9.25. The roll was so thick that it was hard to eat each piece in one bite, which isn’t necessarily a bad problem. We appreciate the big chunks of unagi on the roll. There were almost too many tempura flakes on there, which detracted from the yummy fish inside, but it was still a great sushi roll. The dancing eel roll is an excellent choice for the adventurous eater.
We saved dessert for last: the beautiful sakura mochi, which was wrapped in a cherry blossom leaf with blush pink mochi stuffed with red bean. This was comparable to the sakura mochi that Paulina ate in Japan. The mochi was fresh and wasn’t too chewy. The winner was the sakura (cherry blossom) leaf, which tasted herbal and neutralized the sweet red bean paste. To clarify, the sakura leaf was pickled and did not taste like a crunchy dried leaf that’s on a tree. When our teeth ripped the leaves open, we experienced an unexpected, fun sensation. The dessert wasn’t too sweet, which if you’ve read out past blogs, is the ultimate Asian compliment. The sakura mochi was a small treat to satisfy your sweet craving and make your day delightful.
Overall, we would definitely recommend Sushi Takatsu. If we worked in downtown, we would eat it at every opportunity we could. Unlike most options for fast food, Sushi Takatsu is a healthy and affordable option. You don’t feel sleepy after eating it - rather so, you are energized for the rest of your day. Sushi Takatsu stands out among most sushi/poke bowl restaurants in the Twin Cities. I (Paulina) miss the days where I could eat Sushi Takatsu everyday. Maybe I would take another downtown job for this restaurant - it’s that good.