Saturday, January 12, 2013

Bagu Sushi

Visited on December 31, 2012

Outside Bagu

Erin's Review
December was a month that was jam packed with family activities and holiday celebrations. My birthday came and went without the time for Ben and I to slip away for dinner alone, so I told him I wanted to get sushi on New Years Eve instead because his parents watch all the grandkids that night each year. I originally had suggested Origami, but Ben was wary to go to a place that doesn't accept reservations on New Years Eve. He suggested Bagu Sushi, since he'd been told by a few people that it was a good spot.

Inside Bagu

When we got there, it was quite a bit brighter and more casual than I was expecting. It reminded me a lot of Midori's - and I had no reason to expect it would be fancier based on their website, but the last few sushi places we've been to have been a little more upscale, I guess. It was definitely packed - I wasn't sure what to expect since it's not really a typically NYE spot, but every table was full! Ben was more annoyed than I was about the location of our table, but I was glad that we could move to the sushi bar, even if it wasn't really a nice sushi bar to sit at because you couldn't see the sushi chefs doing their work quite as well as you can at some places.

Ben and Erin at Bagu

The service was not so hot - it wasn't clear who we should order from, and it took a really long time to even be acknowledged at all by anyone. It appeared that most people at other tables had water (so it should have come standard) but wasn't brought to us until I asked for one later. The service seemed to get better later (after some parties left, probably) but they were quite overwhelmed at first. I immediately ordered the Japanese Bagel Balls as an appetizer - deep fried salmon, cream cheese, and green onions with eel sauce and started with a coke as an attempt to stay awake until midnight.

The bagel balls were very tasty - especially since I was ABSOLUTELY starving. I had been to a spa day prior to dinner, and all that relaxing apparently worked up an appetite!  I decided to get the bagel balls as a way to slightly change things up from cream cheese wontons. Living on the edge, for sure. I also like to get a philly roll, so this took the place of that as well.

Japanese Bagel Balls

I got a glass of white wine to have with our sushi - I don't typically handle white wine very well, but I don't like red with sushi and didn't feel like beer. Luckily, my reaction to this glass wasn't quite the same as it was in my early 20s... probably has more to do with the fact that this time, I didn't drink an entire bottle... just a thought.

Pinot Grigio

We got the caterpillar, spicy tuna, and the "sumo" roll, which was deep fried salmon with avocado and topped with spicy mayo and eel sauce. I really liked the caterpillar and spicy tuna, but could only handle a few of the sumo rolls - they were a bit hard to eat and the deep fried part seemed almost a bit burned. I also had a few bites of Ben's pad thai before he added spice and it was pretty standard but tasty.

Caterpillar, Sumo Roll, and Spicy Tuna

This was certainly not the best sushi I've had, but was a cute neighborhood spot. For the money, you can get far better sushi elsewhere, although some of the rolls are pretty affordable. I've heard they have a great patio, so it might be worth going in the summer but it's not a place I'm likely to return. We did have a fun dinner here, despite the service issues at the beginning.

Inside Bagu

Ben's Review
With my parents having a standing overnight with the grandkids on New Years Eve, we made plans to try out Bagu Sushi in south Minneapolis.

I called for reservations a couple weeks beforehand, and they seemed a little surprised that anyone would be calling to reserve a table, but they took our reservation nonetheless.

We arrived right at 7:30 and the small restaurant was packed. We were brought to our table, way in the back and around a corner. There was our table and another table of four already in the middle of their meal. Certainly the worst table in the restaurant, and I was a little annoyed at getting seated there given I had called so far in advance. Luckily, a few spots opened up at the sushi bar right as we arrived, so we asked to move over there instead.

Inside Bagu

We gave the server our drink order and waited for quite awhile before she brought it back, so we didn’t really get off to the best start. Then there was some confusion as to who we should be ordering from - the sushi chef at the bar, or the server who came around. We got it sorted out and placed our order with the server. Erin got rolls of course, and I opted to try their Thai food and got pad thai. Suspiciously, there was no option to add or remove spiciness from the pad thai, which concerned me that it was already made in a big pot in the back.

Miso Soup

Bagu was loud on NYE, mostly from a particular table behind us of people who were seemingly shouting at each other. The restaurant acoustics seems to amplify the crowd noise as well, which didn’t help much. I found myself having to put my ear right next to Erin to hear what she was saying half the time.


Our food came out, and it took an appropriate amount of time. I prefer the food take longer to come out, so you have a fighting chance of it being prepared when you order it. This isn’t really an issue at the sushi bar, since you can watch the chef make the rolls you ordered :) The pad thai was actually very good, in spite of my concerns that it might not be freshly prepared. They also offer a side of red pepper to add some heat if that’s your thing. As with most Thai food places, the portion was huge and I didn’t come close to finishing it, but it made for good leftovers. It was good, but a little on the dry side, I prefer a little more sauce.

Pad Thai


We were considering dessert but being that we were completely stuffed we decided to pass. It’s a rare dinner out without kids that dessert doesn’t happen, so this is rather notable :)

I’m glad we went to Bagu as the sushi rolls were excellent and you get a decent amount of food for the money. The service left a little to be desired, but not so much that I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone.

Inside Bagu

Bagu Sushi
4741 Chicago Ave