The Tanzana roll from Sushi Thai Too in Bonita Springs. / Special to The News-Press
Shrimp pad Thai from Sushi Thai Too in Bonita Springs. / Special to The News-Press
Sushi Thai Too
25301 S. Tamiami Trail, Bonita Springs
• Price: $$$
• Hours: 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday to Thursday, 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday
• Call: 992-5600
• Web: sushithaitoo.com
• Noise level: Low and pleasant, even at busier times
• Etc.: Beer and wines only, takeout available, delivery available within a limited range
SAMPLE OF THE MENU
• Jumping shrimp, $9.95
• Thai spring roll, $5.95
• Sashimi appetizer, $13.95
• Gyoza, $5.95
• Tuna tataki, $10.95
• Volcano roll, $11.95
• Chicken soba, $13.95
• Salmon teriyaki, $21.95
• Massaman curry, $15.95
• Beef pad Thai, $13.95
Tanzana roll and pad Thai from Sushi Thai Too in Bonita Springs. / Special to The News-Press
At some point over the last 20 years, sushi and Thai food decided to marry.
Credit the more than 45,000 Japanese expatriates who call Thailand home, but the two cuisines are forever intertwined in a union of raw fish and spicy coconut curries; one sushi has never forged with, say, Chinese or Vietnamese foods.
This Thai-sushi marriage isn’t always a happy one. One side always seems to take the, “love, honor and cherish” part of the vows more seriously than the other. Expertly crafted sashimi giving way to watery curries; impeccable pad see ew noodles overshadowing limp, lifeless tuna rolls.
And then you have Sushi Thai Too.
The Bonita Springs restaurant, the fourth and latest in the Naples-based mini chain, opened in 2011 in the former David Wong’s space in front of The Prado on South Tamiami Trail.
Unlike its brethren, Sushi Thai Too refuses to sacrifice one half of its name for the other.
Here you can start with the architecturally sound Tanzana roll, precision crafted so each bite is a marvel of cool hamachi and creamy avocado with the subtle, bright crunch of asparagus balancing the soft outer shell of rice.
And you can continue with a green curry – strewn with thin cuts of chicken breast, matchsticks of green papaya and peppers – that hits you first with decadent coconut milk, then again with a slow build of heat that sparkles just long enough to leave your mouth watering for more.
Sushi Thai Too is a serious restaurant, presented in serious surroundings. Golden lily pads float along the shimmering, tiled walls. Dark woods make up tree-shaped dividers that flow into comfortable booths accented with silk pillows.
It’s all quite nice for a space that serves a heaping tangle of pad Thai, the noodles tossed in a rubble of peanuts and fried egg, then strewn with fat shrimp, for just $9.95 at lunch; the price including a cup of spicy, coconut-broth chicken soup and a dumpling or egg roll.
But noodles aren’t just for the Thai menu. There is yaki soba, buckwheat noodles that happily mingle with cabbage and meat in a savory, sesame-tinged sauce. Soba is also served in glossy soups where it joins plump mushrooms and crisp snow peas, carrots and broccoli in a rich mahogany broth that is as exotic as it is addictive.
There is hamachi collar, lightly salted and grilled. And broiled eel served over rice in a sweet sauce.
This is Japanese food for the masters class; much more than the California rolls and tuna tataki to which we’ve become accustomed.
Your meal could finish with a refreshing glass of green-tea ice cream, or a plate of ripe mango served with a scoop of sticky rice that’s as simple and perfect as the fruit. It could start with a Thai beer or a pour of hot sake.
Raise your glass to happy marriages. And to lengthy, delicious ones too.
Jean Le Boeuf is the nom de plume of a local food lover who dines at The News-Press’ expense. Contact email@example.com; facebook.com/JeanLeBoeufSWFL or @jeanleboeuf (Twitter).