Restaurant News & Reviews

This ‘crazy’ Atascadero sushi bar is serious about fresh flavors

The Hawaiian roll at Crazy Sushi Fever in Atascadero features spicy tuna, cucumber and avocado, topped with fresh tuna, red onion and ponzu.
The Hawaiian roll at Crazy Sushi Fever in Atascadero features spicy tuna, cucumber and avocado, topped with fresh tuna, red onion and ponzu. dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

It’s got a whimsical name, but Crazy Sushi Fever in Atascadero is serious about its food.

Located on El Camino Real just south of Curbaril Avenue, the restaurant opened its doors in December 2011. The spacious interior provides comfortable seating for almost any size party — from singles at the sushi bar to groups at the booths and tables.

Though the eatery’s name concentrates on sushi, there are plenty of other options on its wide-ranging menu. Like many such establishments, Crazy Sushi Fever has two different kitchens — one for sashimi and sushi and another for everything else, from salads to cooked dishes.

As general manager Julia Park explained, that makes things a bit challenging for servers; they’re the ones who have to time the orders to each kitchen so all the various dishes arrive to the table at once.

However, this setup does give diners the choice of everything from sashimi to salads, from noodles to bento boxes, from tempura to teriyaki.

“We have a good mix of traditional and fusion dishes,” Park noted. “And also a couple Korean dishes — the bul-go-gi (marinated barbecued beef) and a spicy ginger/garlic chicken that’s served in a hot skillet.”

Many of the favorite fusion dishes have names befitting a restaurant called Crazy Sushi Fever. There’s a salad with tempura salmon called When Omega 3 Met Asparagus, and an appetizer of deep-fried, garlic-salted salmon skin dubbed Japanese Chicharron. Ordering a What the Heck will get you soft shell crab roll wrapped in spicy tuna.

“That’s one of our ‘no rice rolls’ that are becoming very popular,” Park said.

Other no-rice options include a salmon/tuna/albacore roll wrapped with wafer-thin cucumber, and a crab and avocado roll wrapped with salmon.

In sourcing seafood, the staff at Crazy Sushi Fever tries to get the whole fish whenever possible.

“We do that for all our salmon,” Park explained, and “especially when we can get something special, like locally caught fresh bluefin (tuna).”

For diners who aren’t so crazy about seafood, there’s still a lot to choose from. Rice bowl options include beef teriyaki and several choices of fried rice. Or go for an order of nabeyaki udon with chicken, an appetizer of vegetable tempura, and a pork cutlet hot plate served with miso soup, a small salad and side of rice.

Of course, beverage choices include the requisite green tea, but Crazy Sushi Fever also offers eight draft beers. Three of them are Japanese; the remaining five “rotate and are mostly local, like Figueroa Mountain (Brewing Co.) and BarrelHouse Brewing Co.,” Park said. Bottled beer and cider are available as well.

In addition, the restaurant has a predominantly Central Coast wine list, featuring such popular brands as J. Dusi Wines, Vina Robles Winery and Kenneth Volk Vineyards.

If you haven’t been to Crazy Sushi Fever, this month gives you a good reason to give it a shot. For the second year in a row, it will be one of the establishments participating in San Luis Obispo County’s Restaurant Month event. Each eatery serves a prix fixe menu, typically three courses for $30.

In addition to first-time customers, “we get a lot of regulars coming in for that,” Park said. “Doing this is kind of fun for them. People seem more willing to try something new from that menu.”

Crazy Sushi Fever is giving diners two choices in each of the three courses, so this may be the year you try some sashimi, order a Lady Love roll (a special combination of two of the restaurant’s no-rice rolls), and top off your meal with some green tea cheesecake.

Katy Budge is a freelance writer from Atascadero. Contact her at ktbudge@sbcglobal.net.

8050 El Camino Real, Atascadero (just south of Curbaril Avenue)

805-464-5027 or www.eatatcrazysushifever.com

Hours: 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday, Wednesday through Friday; 12 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Saturday; 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday; closed Tuesday

The scene: Comfortable eatery is a favorite of locals, with seating for almost any size group.

The cuisine: Fresh sushi, sashimi and specialty rolls, plus hot dishes, noodles and rice bowls.

Expect to spend: There are a lot of price points on this wide-ranging menu; approximate costs are appetizers $7 to $20, noodles $8 to $12, combo plates $12 to $20, sushi and sashimi $6 to $20; lunch specials $12 to $13; daily happy hour offers discounted draft beers and select appetizers.

San Luis Obispo County Restaurant Month

For a full list of participants in San Luis Obispo County’s Restaurant Month, go to visitsanluisobispocounty.com/restaurant-month.

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