by Kat Robinson
Little Rock has been blessed with so many new Japanese eateries in the past few years -- it’s hard to keep up with them all. Finding a standout among the crowd is hard.
However, Gina’s Chinese Kitchen and Sushi Bar manages to do just that, by making a break with tradition and aiming right at the taste buds of Central Arkansas patrons.
The restaurant’s menu is dotted with what appear to be traditional names, even among the sushi. Indeed, there’s still a miso soup starter (which, while savory and pleasant, we’d be willing to pass up for the mushroom soup again in a heartbeat). There’s crab Rangoon -- here, a delicious and savory version served very hot with very cold duck sauce.
But it’s in the sushi itself that flavors of the South peek through.
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Such as with the Hawaiian Roll, where the pineapple neither overwhelms nor disappears, serving as a very subtle relish to a light offering. The Tempura Shrimp is similar to other efforts elsewhere, but comes across more salty with that slap of Eel sauce. And the Crawfish roll? I’d swear someone’s hiding some crab boil in that kitchen.
Gina’s is way out west at 14524 Cantrell Road. It‘s open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. everyday. (501) 868-7775.