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Big Tuna is making waves

Menu, green tea
Menu, green tea
Jacob Willson Photographer

Big Tuna Sushi Restaurant


In Riverside California, off of Riverwalk parkway, there lies a tiny sushi restaurant. The bright call of the neon sign that burns Big Tuna, can be seen in the little strip mall where this sushi haven resides, pulling any hungry wayward traveler in, never to let go.

Big Tuna teeters on the border of Riverside and Corona right down the way from La Sierra University. This cozy establishment’s specialty is sushi, and it’s pretty tasty. Most sushi places are a bit pricy for your average twenty-something to frequent weekly. And most people avoid the cheaper sushi joints, many thinking of the gastronomical catastrophes that may ensue. But at Big Tuna the food is reasonably priced and you get a great quality delicious meal.

Now, this reviewer has been to a ton of sushi joints in her lifetime. The ones that have a loud amazing party feel, and the quiet ones that lean more towards the traditional Japanese ambiance. Big Tuna’s atmosphere was a mixture of both. With colorful paper lanterns hanging from the ceiling, bright orange walls with big bright red ornate fans hanging from behind the sushi bar, the radio playing Top 40 hits, with comfortable seating, you get the traditional with the new. Being at Big Tuna has this laidback feel, with the flat screen turned to sports and tasty food being served you can’t help but settle in and get super comfortable. The wait staff is attentive and knows the menu, and when you walk in the sushi chefs always greet you with a welcoming smile.

The menu is very diverse, appetizers, entrees, sushi, and bento boxes! The average wait time for anything is never long, 15-20 minutes tops. The Gyoza, which are little chicken dumpling fried deliciousness’, served with a tart dipping sauce and are a must have. They come out hot! But they are the perfect way to start off any meal at Big Tuna. Sushi is really what Big Tuna is about, you can choose from three categories of sushi from the fresh, (like the Alaskan which has spicy tuna, avocado, shrimp, all wrapped in rice with salmon on top), tempura ( Tiger roll with shrimp, and avocado all on a shrimp tempura roll), and baked cut rolls like the Dragon (which is a California roll with fresh water eel on top). Truly no matter what you decide to sink your teeth into you wont be disappointed.

What’s great about this sushi restaurant is they have meal options for people who may not necessarily like Sushi but got dragged along by their friends. The Beef Fried Rice is the perfect option for that person. Not too over powering in seasoning but not lacking in any either. This dish is amazing, served in a beautiful white bowl it’s filling, and the perfect size.

Lets talk Bento boxes. Bento boxes are equivalent to the idea of the packed lunch in America, but instead of a bologna sandwich, snack pack, and your favorite box of juice. The Japanese often include rice balls, sushi hand rolls or cut, or tempura (fried veggies and other fried noms); all of this is put into a “Bento box”. A box that has different compartments for each dish, they can be small or big. Big Tuna’s bento boxes are what dreams are made of. With bento specials ranging from A-F, each letter has a different type of box you can choose. This is a great option if you want to try both the sushi and some of the other entrees; it’s a sampler of all the restaurant has to offer.

Big Tuna is a great sushi restaurant, Riverside has lots of them to choose from, and it can be easy to stick to your favorite local haunts. But check this place out, bring your friends, and try something different.