Tsunami Japanese Restaurant, located in Pueblo’s historic downtown district, is in a prime setting near the Union Depot at 326 S. Union Ave.
Once home to Mulligan’s, Zippers, CJ’s, and various other now nonexistent businesses, this building has come a long way. While outside the differences are confined to a fresh paint job, there has been extensive work done to the interior. In addition to the new floors, furniture, and kitchen amenities, the long, winding drinks bar is now a sushi bar, and it is an excellent utilization of the space.
The atmosphere inside is quite warm, and has a fine dining feel to it without being overly formal or pretentious. The décor is modern and certainly aesthetically pleasing.
When visiting Tsunami, starting off with the signature Plum Wine is a fine idea; it has a nice, sweet finish and highlights a fruity flavor with a hint of tart. In addition to Tsunami’s wine selection, there are offerings of Japanese Beer and the traditional rice wine Saki. Although hot or cold Saki is available, the flavored Sakis are really worth trying. The peach, in particular, is delightful.
For appetizers, the Crab blossoms are recommended along with the Salt and Pepper Calamari. The blossoms, which are crispy, deep-fried triangular shells stuffed with a delectably creamy hot crab, are delicious. The same can be said for the Calamari. It is apparent that the Calamari is of superb quality because the texture is not rubbery or chewy at all. The breading isn’t heavy or greasy, but perfectly light and flaky.
The Miso soup, usually standard at Japanese restaurants, and the garden side salad were nothing to get excited about, so make sure to keep sufficient room for the actual entrée, because the sushi rolls at Tsunami are well worth the wait and by far the main attraction.
You should sample a few of the Chef’s Specialty Rolls, even if you are a first timer to sushi. The DJ roll is exceptionally tasty with fresh crab, avocado, and cream cheese inside and spicy tuna and shrimp on the outside. The Philadelphia roll is simple yet satisfies with a savory mixture of smoked salmon, asparagus, and cream cheese. The calamari in the Tempura roll is excellent, as is the breading, and although one of the more plain choices off of the regular sushi menu, it doesn’t disappoint.
The real show stealer, though, is the King Roll. This chef’s specialty triumphs with a savory crab and lobster filling and a deliciously rich and creamy lobster sauce. Juicy chunks of lobster and baby scallops adorn the top of this most flavorful and popular roll.
Equally enjoyable are the distinctive desserts at Tsunami. A house favorite, the deep fried cheesecake, is mouthwatering; the outside texture is a crispy and sweet tempura batter which perfectly complements the cool center filled with cheesecake.
Another dessert selection that might seem a bit different is the Mochi, or ice cream wrapped in a rice paper. The texture is a bit like bubble gum on the outside, but it pairs well with the velvety ice cream on the inside. It’s a menu risk you won’t regret.
When dining out, restaurants sometimes stress how fresh their food is, and how they only buy the highest quality ingredients (vegetables, fish, poultry, beef, seafood etc.), and usually this is stretching the truth. In the case of Tsunami, the truth is in the impeccable quality and taste of the food.
This outstanding restaurant offers not only sushi but rice bowls, wok dishes, bento boxes, noodles, and sashimi. By far the finest sushi in Pueblo, Tsunami is definitely a place that deserves a second visit, and a third, and a fourth… you get the idea.