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Sushi Rock- rockin' the sushi in Suniland

Close up of California roll
Close up of California roll
Photo by Gina Guilford

Sushi Rock restaurant

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There are restaurants that are destinations and other that provide good food and reliable service, if diners happen to be in the neighborhood. Sushi Rock, in Suniland shopping center, falls into the later category.

If the Miami Dining Examiner is in the Pinecrest area and hankering for some sushi, Sushi Rock fits the bill with decent food and good service. She recalls when it first opened, years ago, it created a buzz about a sushi restaurant opening in Pinecrest.

Times have changed. Sushi is no longer the exotic, adventurous food it once was thought to be. When diners can buy it a Publix, food courts and even the airport, this fishy food has definitely gone mainstream.

The Miami Dining Examiner has been to Sushi Rock on several occasions, most recently about a week ago. There is a chalkboard (trend alert!) out front, advertising the daily special. This normally seems to be a Dragon Roll, which comes with soup or salad for $14.95. The shrimp and surimi stuffed roll comes topped with red tuna slices and avocado; it is a hefty portion.

There are appetizers, salads (with ginger, peanut or honey miso dressing), entrees with chicken, beef, pork and seafood (that come with white rice and miso soup) and desserts. It's a large menu and diners can sub brown rice and soy wraps, for an upcharge.

There are also lunch specials, which is what the Miami Dining Examiner normally orders, and did on a recent visit. Unfortunately, none of the combinations - such as sushi and sashimi- thrill this diner. Variety is the spice of life, and the Miami Dining Examiner prefers combos that offer a little taste of many items, rather than a lot of two things.

At any rate, on a recent visit, she ordered the roll combo dish that came with three rolls- California, tuna and salmon- and soup or salad. The miso soup was a bit on the salty side, but tasty with tofu chunks, seaweed strands and what tasted like fried onions.

The sushi rolls were tasty as well, with orange roe and white and black sesame seeds coating the California roll, and peach salmon and red tuna completing the trio. It was a huge portion- too much for one moderately hungry portion and, unfortunately, leftover sushi doesn't keep well.

The decorating in Sushi Rock, with maroon walls decorated with album covers and fabric draped from the ceiling, feels somewhat dated. Prince and Madonna are no longer rockin' the house. The prices at Sushi Rock- from $14.95 to $18.95 for entrees and $12.95 for a lunch combo, seem rather steep.

On the positive side, service is very good- welcoming, fast and efficient. This is the kind of neighborhood place where Moms meet, business associates lunch and girlfriends catch up with each other. In fact, on her recent visit, the Miami Dining Examiner ran into a friend who sat down and had lunch with her.

So, the verdict is, while the Miami Dining Examiner wouldn't go out of her way to eat here, Sushi Rock is a good spot to come for a quick bite of sushi while in the Pinecrest area.