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Former Spokane sushi restaurant opens in Coeur d'Alene's Riverstone

click to enlarge sushi-i-.jpg

River City locals are already feeling the love for Sushi I, with the same logo familiar to Spokane sushi fans when the restaurant was located on the South Hill: a heart, followed by the words Sushi I (symbolizing ai, the Japanese word for love).

Newly relocated to Coeur d'Alene's Riverstone complex, Sushi I features the same generous, full-service menu. Head chef and owner Jay Shin oversees three chefs totaling 20 years of experience in New York, California and Miami who will be the core of Sushi I when it opens this week south of Regal Cinema. Main dishes, including Japanese classics like chicken katsu ($12) and shrimp tempura ($13), will be served in large wooden "love" boats.

Sushi I seats more than 50 people — 42 at tables and another dozen at a bar overlooking the kitchen. There are also a few tables outside.

Heading to the nearby cinema and in need of a quick bite? Look for appetizers from $5 to $12, ranging from hearty stuffed mushrooms with a spicy chili glaze ($6) to grilled squid ($11) to delicate tuna tataki ($12). Add a glass of wine ($7), beer ($5 to $8) or sake ($5-$7.50/glass).

Seating includes the patio and sushi bar, where you can watch Shin finesse his way through fresh tuna, salmon, and escolar to make a South Beach roll ($13), which also includes crab and cucumber. Other premium roles include the Casanova (avocado, cucumber, crab, yellowtail; $13) and the Happiness (cream cheese, avocado, shrimp tempura, seared beef; $12). Larger sushi orders are served in "love" boats full of nigiri and sashimi-style treats ($49-$95).

Lunch entrées offer a variety in bento-style trays (weekdays until 3 pm), from chicken, beef and salmon teriyaki to sashimi and sushi ($11-$14). As the weather turns cooler, soup is what satisfies. Try the ramen ($12) or udon, with thick, chewy noodles ($12-$13).

Parents will love the availability of a kids' menu, featuring teriyaki ($6-$7), tempura ($6-$8) and sushi ($8). ♦

Sushi I • 2384 N. Old Mill Loop, Coeur d'Alene • Open Sun-Thu, 11 am-9 pm; Fri-Sat, 11 am-10 pm • 208-930-4928

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