Nearly hiding right off of State Street on W. Washington Avenue, RED offers a unique dining experience filled with inspired dishes and a hip, modern atmosphere based on its token principles: (R)efreshing, (E)legant and (D)elicious.
RED, located at 316 W. Washington Avenue, offers a wide variety of dishes, including a combination of both traditional Japanese dishes, made with precision and integrity, and more modern creations exclusive to RED’s menu.
RED specializes in its array of sushi and sashimi dishes, but also offers a variety of inventive salads, soups, appetizers, shareable plates and desserts.
In my visit to RED, I decided to try their Brussels sprouts gyoza, a type of Japanese pan-fried dumpling off of the “to share” portion of the menu and three of their raw rolls: the Negi-Toro roll, Red roll and Firecracker roll.
The Brussels sprouts gyoza proved to be an impeccable way to start the meal, as they were well-seasoned and melt-in-your-mouth delicious. These breathtaking dumplings are made with parmigiano reggiano, togarashi and shiitake sage brown butter and served alongside bacon and an organic poached egg.
The Negi-Toro roll, a more traditional roll made with fatty tuna and green onion, proved to be incredibly delicate and delectable. The fatty tuna itself — which is only available at certain times based on RED’s own availability — was beyond soft and tender, and earned it the title of “possibly the best one I tried that day.”
Next I tried the Red roll, which I assumed to be the namesake of the restaurant itself. This roll was made with spicy tuna, mixed greens, cucumber, avocado, tuna and red tobiko. When it arrived to my table, I almost gasped before even tasting the flavor as the presentation itself was superb, in its bright red color and scattered assortment of decorative flowers on the plate.
The Firecracker roll was extremely creative and modern, made with both spicy tuna and spicy salmon, tobiko, avocado and tempura crunch served in a deep fried roll. This roll definitely lived up to its name, in that it was spicy, crunchy and contained an explosion of flavors. The Firecracker roll is sure to impress even novice sushi lovers with its flavorful blend of ingredients.
While these three rolls can be found on RED’s Raw Rolls menu, the restaurant also offers many cooked rolls for those who may prefer to not eat raw fish.
RED also offers an assortment of different private-dining experiences for those who wish to reserve space in advance.
Guests can reserve up to 50 spots in the lounge area located near the bar. For a more private experience, guests can also reserve RED’s semiprivate dining room for up to 12 guests for a $100 deposit.
Potentially the most special experience RED offers, though, is a seat at the chef’s table located at the sushi bar. Guests here can reserve a spot for one to four guests and pay $100 each to taste the best of what RED has to offer.
RED recently moved locations last summer from its former, smaller location on King Street to a new building that is equal parts classy and modern. The design of the restaurant presents itself as a much more hip, fashionable space than the typical traditional sushi restaurant, making RED the perfect spot for foodies and trend-setters to visit next.