I would imagine running a sushi shop -- or anything seafood oriented -- in Spokane would be kind of difficult. We're not exactly in a situation where anyone can pull the fish up from the ocean and prepare it in front of you. Not that sushi has to be seafood, but you get the point: Seafood is best enjoyed by the sea.
A handful of sushi places in Spokane are quite excellent, like Baek Chun Sushiyama on 3rd and Cedar, and while Sushi I doesn't quite measure up, it still isn't too bad. Not amazing, but worth checking out.
Among their smarter menu items are various choices of "chef's choice" plates. Here you can pick a category to your liking -- the basic and the vegetarian dishes are $14 each -- and the chef will, surprise surprise, make his pick for you.
As far as bang for the buck goes, it's a pretty sweet deal. One plate is enough for two people, with a selection of 14 rolls and nigiri, and some tasty pickled ginger.
The seafood sushi, then, is what I'm all about, and it was so-so, not because it wasn't prepared well, but because the fish was a bit eh. I have no idea when they get their fish or where they get it from, so we might just have visited on the last day of the cycle, though I'd be surprised if that was the case seeing this was a Friday.
A shrimp nigiri, for example, was prepared with a nice rice, but the actual shrimp was a bit... Limp. Dead. Old. Not gross or anything, but anyone who've had fresh shrimp would be able to spot the difference straight away.
In that sense the best thing on the plate might have been the California roll. I'm sure some might sound the alerts in a purist way about that, but whatever. Good is good, and the avocado used in it was actually really nice.
The selection of vegetarian rolls weren't bad either, but I feel vegetarian sushi needs to be pretty creative to truly shine, and that wasn't the case here. Good, definitely, but not fantastic.
A miso soup and a salad with ginger dressing were both fine, but nothing to write glowing poems about.
In the end, there's really nothing wrong about Sushi I. It's good. Service is very friendly. It should be vetted.
We'd probably go back, though not anytime soon.
Vote for Sushi I: It’s your civic duty!