The hardest part of moving is finding a new sushi bar. We have had relatively limited choices in every other city we lived, and in those conditions found the available options more than adequate. Green Bay has as many sushi restaurants in this one city to equal all of the other sushi places we've eaten in our lives. You can see why this might pose a problem to my husband and I. We needed to find a favorite, and COVID-19 put a pause to this search. We still aren't done, but Umi Sushi, Tim-San's, and Fujiyama have all had things about them that we loved. Koko's Sushi Bar has managed to mark every box for both of us. Cost effective? Husband check. Impressive cocktail menu? Wife check. Fun sushi rolls? Marriage check.
Located downtown and right in the middle of a few other places I've grown fond of in the last few months since Wisconsin reopened, it's a wonder we never went before this past weekend. Worry about COVID was on every TV and radio station, and my employer fed into it. Inside of Koko's, I felt safe. The tables were well spaced in the well decorated restaurant, and it felt like I could let myself go just a little bit. Tables were spaced more than the required six feet. I could see the servers sanitizing their hands by the bar almost every time they left the table. If it hadn't been raining, we would have sat outside at their lovely and well spaced outdoor dining area. This is more than a lot of places are doing, but the safety precautions were only the beginning.
Their drink menu and dinner menu both had a lot of choices for us to choose from, but I’ll be honest with you. I overindulged already earlier in the day. My views on Koko Sushi Bar & Lounge stem from just a few simple bites and a well mixed Brandy Old Fashioned. Most of the food was consumed by my husband and a visitor while I grazed in the background.
First, we ordered appetizers of the Japanese Calamari and Korean tacos. Our friend gave us a few pieces of the meat from those gorgeous tacos, and it was deliciously sweet and spicy at the same time. Coupled with the pickled cabbage on top, I can only imagine how it all went down together. It’s definitely on the list for the next visit.
The Calamari, on the other hand, fed the whole table. The tempura coating on the squid remained crisp and crunchy the entire time it sat on the table in front of us, and it paired well with the spicier tonkatsu sauce that they provided with it. Any other day, I could have put that entire plate down on my own.
We ordered sushi to share as a group, I made the unfortunate mistake of not writing down the names of all three rolls, but I remember the Crab Cake Roll and the Godzilla Roll very clearly. The Godzilla Roll was made of Tempura white fish maki, house-made crab topping, and a topping of eel sauce. The Crab Cake Roll was exactly what it sounds like: a tempura fried roll with crab, cucumber, and a dot of lemon pepper aioli on the top.
These were the two that I allowed myself to try, even just a single section. I have a serious affinity for tempura fried anything. The Crab Cake Roll stood out especially as something new and original to the sushi joint. It tasted like a crab cake that I’d expect off the east coast with an extra crunch. I’m a sucker for crunch.
With COVID-19 remaining strong in the Green Bay Community, it’s perfectly understandable if you as a reader don’t want to go out to try the offerings at Koko. Good news! They offer take out and delivery as well, which you can check out on their website:https://kokosushi.com. Since the Governor’s latest emergency order, two local gems have already had to close. Supporting our local restaurants however we can is more imperative than ever. Five dollar sushi day at Festival Foods is an attractive deal, fellas, but we have a responsibility to our community to help small businesses survive. Splurge for a ten dollar roll with people like Koko.