A free Monday afternoon without much to accomplish led us to check out an Uptown happy hour favorite. Sushi Tango – decked out with crystal chandeliers, low lighting, fiery red brick near the sushi bar and small tile along the walls – is certainly hip enough to jive with the Uptown crowd, and proved its popularity as the tables began to fill. We grabbed a spot near the sushi bar and ordered a drink from the decent listing of HH drink specials.
Jim tried a local Surly on tap, which – at $3.50 for a 16 oz pour – was the greatest value of the night. I opted for the House Merlot, and was neither blown away nor completely disappointed. While some house reds are bitter or sour, this one didn’t offer much flavor of any sort. For less than $4 a glass, I had no grounds for picky complaints, but certainly wouldn’t pay full price during the dinner hour.
Tango’s full sushi menu offers a large variety of maki and nigiri and a good number of specialty rolls, so it certainly can’t be faulted for lack of options. The HH section was somewhat limited, but we spotted several of our favorites that we felt would give us a good idea of the abilities behind the sushi bar. We started with a Dynamite and Caterpillar, and followed up with an order of Spicy Yellowtail. The rolls tasted mostly the same: the Dynamite and Yellowtail were supposed to have a kick, but failed to bring much heat, and the Caterpillar was actually quite flavorless. Thank goodness for wasabi.
Service was incredibly sluggish, though we weren’t sure if our slow-moving waiter or the sushi chefs were to blame. But it was the sushi itself that influenced our ultimate critique. Based on the preview of rolls we sampled during happy hour, we’re not likely to pay prime-time prices for the same lackadaisical fare. If atmosphere is what we’re looking for, Minneapolis offers far more places that can deliver both ambiance and taste, without sacrificing one for the other.
RATING (out of 5 ♠♠♠♠♠)
Menu Selection: ♠♠♠1/2
Food Taste & Presentation: ♠♠1/2
COMPLETE EXPERIENCE: ♠♠♠
Total bill, including tip: $30