Months ago I wouldn’t have dreamed that I’d be gushing over Mt. Pleasant, but after a couple nights of bar hopping with new friends and dinner at Sushi Taro, I’m officially a fan. If you’re anything like me and not used to driving too far past the Ravenel Bridge, this Japanese restaurant might be a bit of a schlep down highway 17 but trust me when I say that it’s worth the extra commute—not only for the specials and the phenomenal service, but for the good eats as well.
We arrived just after 5:00 P.M., in time to grab a couple $2 beers and a $3 salmon/avocado roll appetizer before happy hour ended and dinner began. Once my stomach was appropriately coated with hops and soy sauce, we moved onto the dinner menu.
The shrimp wasn’t my favorite and lacked the necessary crunch of a good tempura dish. With just a little extra frying and a bit more kick with the spicy mayo it would have hit the mark, but altogether I wasn’t impressed. The yellow tail was fresh and flavorful; enough for my friend Greg, a self- proclaimed tuna critic, to approve and even confirm that he would go back for seconds. The “Hot and Sour Soup,” as it reads on the menu, is actually a traditional Thai dish called “Tom Yum Soup.” Now, I am not a huge soup person, especially when my other options consist of more hearty dishes, but I swear one of the first things I thought about when I woke up the next morning was that dang soup.
Traditional Tom Yum calls for authentic Thai chili spices, coconut milk and fruit juice, however, Sushi Taro’s soup added an element of surprise by enhancing the dish with mussels- a bold yet tasty move. We can all agree that the picture is nothing to write home about, but the symphony of deliciousness in every sip is not to be missed.
At this point we were finishing our second bottle of sake… Opps! Somehow I failed to mention the initial appeal which led us to this spot—Every Wednesday night is ladies night, also known as half off bottles of Sake. (Count me in, thank you very much!)
It was time to get down to business; So, I politely downed a shot of sake with the table (manners first people… my mama raised me right) and buried my head into the menu. At first glance, I saw two things of intrigue, sushi with pear and a NY strip roll? Sign me up.
Each one of these rolls were enjoyable; however, the S.C. Crunch Roll and the Lotus Flower were no doubt the table pleasers. I’ve never had, nor even considered the idea of tart fruit in a sushi roll, but the combination of flavors was a match made it culinary heaven. The roll was creamy, salty and sweet all in one bite. The S.C. crunch roll was a little difficult to eat and a bit messy (not “first date food,” as my girlfriends and I say), but well worth stuffing your face for.
As the third bottle of sake was being popped (half off people!), we were fortunate enough to meet the owner of this hidden gem, Sunny Lau. He was humble and welcoming; I could sense his absolute passion for food and desire to serve fellow foodies dishes that he was proud of. A true master of his art, Sunny is dedicated to studying the tastes and flavors of Charleston, for example the tuna pizza (adapted by the Iron Chief) with a promise to continue updating the menu with new dishes and adaptations that will not only surprise you but keep you coming back for more…
The first-class service, lunch and weekday specials, as well as the fresh, absolutely scrumptious sushi is worth the drive especially for a laid-back happy hour with a group of friends. Trust me, Tsunami or Wasabi might be the obvious go-to’s, but try this place and you might just have a change of heart.