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Yes, you can get even more great sushi in Durham

Posted by DNR 28 Jul 2008 19 Comments

All this talk of Sushi Love, the new sushi restuarant on Erwin, by our awesome commenters was a good enough reason to try it out. Judging from the pictures and writeup of Shiki Sushi, which is owned by the same brothers who own Sushi Love, it’s not wholly different, which is to say that central Durham now has a great sushi place.

Sushi Love has the same sleek aesthetic as Shiki and it looks like some of the menu items are identical (as is the two for one roll special – check out the Shiki post for details). The menu is pretty extensive, with about 15 complex rolls, plenty of sashimi and nigiri, and lots of entrees, including the requsite attempts at Thai curry, which, like Mt. Fuji, are underwhelming when compared to the sushi.

Between the five of us, we got six rolls, our favorites of which were the Acapulco roll (a tempura roll with jalapeño, cream cheese, and salmon) and the hurricane roll (spicy tuna, tempura flakes, avocado, and a dot of sriracha).

Thankfully the vocal part of our group was all for dessert, so we got red bean fried ice cream and something called “cheesecake xango” which is basically cheesecake filling, wrapped in a wonton and fried. The red bean ice cream was killer, and both came with a wrapped/fried banana. Good call. The service was great, and especially with the two for one special, everything was really affordable. Check them out!

Sushi Love (map)
Monday – Thursday: 11 am – 2.30 pm, 5 pm – 10 pm
Friday: 11 am – 2.30 pm, 5 pm – 11 pm
Saturday: 5 pm – 11 pm
Sunday: 5 pm – 10 pm


  • Jeni said:

    And this is why I *heart* carpe durham. Thank you thank you thank you. Finally good sushi in central Durham! Yay! I can’t wait to try it out!


  • Dbird said:

    sorry, but this is not sushi. Cream cheese and jalapeno rolls? sad.


  • DNR said:

    I didn’t get the nigiri, mostly because of the two for one deal. Can anybody comment on the non-fancy sushi at Sushi Love?


  • Carpe Durham/Reasonably Prudent Person said:

    Dbird, the fancy rolls have their place.

    If Shiki is any indication, the nigiri and sashimi will be very good.


  • kdghty said:

    Looks like Erwin Terrace, not Erwin Square…?


  • Jeni said:

    Mmmmm yes I agree that the fancy rolls have their place. Sushi is defined in the dictionary and wikipedia as vinegared sticky rice with raw seafood. Throw some cream cheese, spicy mayo and the like in there and you’re getting creative! Yum!


  • Beth said:

    I ate here tonight and it was delicious. The Blue Devil Roll was perfect, as was the Shrimp Tempura. You must get the fried ice cream ball – we had the green tea ice cream in it and it was wonderful.

    If you’re a Duke employee, take your badge for a 10% discount, even in addition to the buy one get one free deal they’re offering at night. Our waitress, Valerie (very nice) said they have a good lunch special right now – everything is $6.99.

    Sit at the sushi bar if you want so you can watch the chefs prepare the food. We watched them create a giant boat of delicious looking things. Next time I go back, I want that boat!


  • Jeni said:

    I ate here the other night and I found it a little more pricey for the quantity then Shiki, but still LOVED it. I’m so thrilled to not have to drive all the way out there anymore! On the plus side, it was so much more of a soothing atmosphere. No blaring music and screaming kids. Shiki has gotten really really loud and crowded.


  • durhamfood said:

    Jeni: wait until the Duke undergrads come back in a couple of weeks…


  • Carpe Durham/Reasonably Prudent Person said:

    I ate here last night, and let’s just say I am very happy.


  • Bull City Blogs » Blog Archive » Roe, Roe, Roe your boat . . . said:

    [...] blogged about Sushi Love twice at her place, here and here, and Carpe Durham blogged about it here. So naturally I had see what all the fuss was about. I went along with my 2 best sushi-eating pals. [...]

  • the dude said:

    I’ve been there a number of times mainly because of their buy one get one free (of equal or lesser value) promotion. Otherwise I wouldn’t go because it would be a bit pricy and trendy for me. I like traditional Japanese sushi, not the popular in America, inside out, drizzled with sauce, packed with fried things and stuff that in general doesn’t belong in a sushi roll type of sushi. But that is just me

    **word of warning**

    The buy get one free promotion is misleading. The previous 5 or so time I went there, and got say two $11 rolls and two $6 nigri, I paid $17, i.e., one $11 and $6 order was free. They have sense reinterpreted the phrase “equal or lesser value” to mean just “lesser value”. That same order would now cost $22 because you only get the lesser value sushi free now. I attempted to explain the semantics of the phrase in an impromptu English lesson, but gave up. They also insist it has always been that way, which it hasn’t. Whatever.


  • Vicky C said:

    what a crock. the chef just copied there menu from the items that an new world cuisine. no originality and just unfortunate. needs to have their own creativity. asian progression? land and sea? i think its the same.


  • Tokyo Fun! « Carpe Durham said:

    [...] I’d heard some great things about their sushi, so we went for the Angry Dragon roll (shrimp tempura, cucumber, eel, crunchy spicy tuna and 4 kinds of tobiko on top), which was right up there with Shiki and Sushi Love. [...]

  • Momoyama Sushi « Carpe Durham said:

    [...] place is not as flashy as Shiki and Sushi Love, but in my opinion that is a benefit.  The atmosphere is homey and comfortable, and the fish is [...]

  • enwiebe said:

    We had a meal there last night for the first time. Just a few more comments to add to what has already been said:
    - It was a Friday night; pretty packed and pretty loud. Lots of classic rock going on the background music (a little strange for a sushi place)
    - The four of us ordered a satay chicken and spring rolls for appetizers, sushi and sashimi combo (8 rolls, 8 nigiri, and 6 sashimi) eel rolls (eel, tempora shrimp, and avocado), california rolls, beef pho, and chicken fried rice. One soda, one water, one beer and one martini to drink. Total with the two for one on the individual roll orders was $87. I thought this was quite reasonable.
    - The spring rolls had large peanut chunks in them as did the sauce. This didn’t work very well. The butterflied shrimp that you could see through the wrap as a nice touch, though.
    - The pho was quite good and on par with Chai’s and Thai Cafe.
    - Sushi presentation was nicely done with nice roe coating on the california rolls, toasted sesame coating on one side of the tuna sashimi, and other slivered goodies on other items. Fish as fresh and nice texture. The fried shrimp with the eel was a bit strange.
    - Waiter sloshed a couple of items (but cleaned up) and misspoke on one special (but caught it before the order went in), but recovered nicely.

    All in all, satisfying. We’ll be back.


  • JB said:

    After trying a lot of the specialty rolls, I’ve found them to be either very good or very bland. A warning though: the jalapenos they use in many of their daily special rolls are VERY hot. I like spicy foods, but on two occasions the jalapenos made me cry and left my mouth throbbing. While I like extreme heat in other cuisines, it destroyed my taste buds for the delicate and complex flavors of the remainder of my sushi order.

    That said, Sushi Love has the best mackerel sashimi I’ve had in a very long time, and the salt and pepper calamari appetizer is fantastic.

    Additionally, they’ve gone to purely 1/2 off sushi pricing on Tuesdays and Thursdays. (Or that was the case for a while; I’ve been away for the summer.) An excellent opportunity to mix up your order with some of their mackerel sashimi!


  • Outdoor Dining Spots | Carpe Durham said:

    [...] Love, 2812 Erwin Road-Suite 204, Carpe Durham Review. Note: Nice umbrella-topped [...]

  • Jojo said:

    I’ve eaten plenty of times at Sushi Love and well I “love” it. Almost every time I’ve gone we get the same waiter, I don’t remember his name but he is always nice and accommodating. My mom always gets the Blue Devil roll which is good because she’s not a huge fan of raw fish. I usually go for the one with the spicy tuna tartare( I don’t remember the name). And the edamame as an app. is great if it comes out steaming hot. Thumbs up!


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