Blue Wasabi Sushi & Martini Bar offers reasons to come, but fresh fish is reason to stay

Blue Wasabi Sushi and Martini Bar, Jim Moran
Owner Jim Moran regales customers with a story at Blue Wasabi Sushi & Martini Bar. (Tom Blodgett/Community Impact Newspaper)

Owner Jim Moran regales customers with a story at Blue Wasabi Sushi & Martini Bar. (Tom Blodgett/Community Impact Newspaper)

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The Wango Mango roll ($8.25) features spicy crab and juicy mango. (Jason P. Skoda/Community Impact Newspaper)
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The Crispy Spicy Tuna ($10) is one of the signature small plates at Blue Wasabi. (Jason P. Skoda/Community Impact Newspaper)
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The Shrimp Bizkit ($12.75) features shrimp tempura, asparagus, cucumber, chipotle mayo and is topped with shrimp and avocado. (Jason P. Skoda/Community Impact Newspaper)
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The extensive maragrita list includes the Mango Wango, which is made of peach vodka and mango nectar with orange and cranberry splash. (Jason P. Skoda/Community Impact Newspaper)
Blue Wasabi Sushi & Martini Bar works to give people many reasons to come in.

Whether it is the happy hour, the play on names for its signature sushi rolls, the martinis or ladies night, Blue Wasabi remains a busy spot on the Gilbert food scene.

The reason to stay, according to its manager, comes down to the quality of the fish and the standard upheld by owner Jim Moran, a longtime Gilbert resident.

“I came over here from [another Asian restaurant], and the reason was the quality of the fish,” manager Ricky Gonzales said. “It is never frozen, brought in fresh every day, and it shows in the selection of rolls and sashimi we have on the menu.

“We have sea urchin, several different types of fish eggs and even raw shrimp—which a lot of restaurants don’t carry it. This is a place for the professional sushi eater eaters who come here; they are experts, but we also have selections for someone just trying it out.”

Moran can focus solely on the Gilbert location after the two Scottsdale locations—Hilton Village and DC Ranch—closed in recent years.

“He is very specific and really cares about what we are doing,” Gonzales said. “If something is not perfect, we won’t send it out. That standard comes directly from Jim, and we are held to it.”

The signature rolls almost all have creative names, such as Chuck Norris—spicy salmon and panko crusted shrimp; Marilyn Monroll—sashimi tuna, yellowtail, salmon and spicy tuna wrapped in pink soy paper; Tail-er Swift—yellowtail, chipotle aioli and wonton strips; and Eating Nemo—crab and cucumber topped with salmon with a ponzu sauce.

The new sushi section—striped bass, fresh salmon, seared albacore tuna and beef tenderloin; and new rolls, such as the chicken and waffle roll—panko crusted chicken breast, buttermilk waffle topped with butter, maple syrup and tapatio sauce; and Tombstone roll featuring panko shrimp and spicy crab along with fresh habanero peppers and ghost chili aioli—have kept the menu fresh since its creation in 2004.

While Blue Wasabi is known for its sushi and martini bar, there are plenty of options for the non-sushi eaters as well. Some of the most popular are the filet mignon skewer, grilled salmon salad and the Southwest chicken egg rolls.

Blue Wasabi Sushi & Martini Bar

2080 E. Williams Field Road, Gilbert


Hours: Sun. noon-10 p.m., Mon.-Thu. 4-10 p.m., Fri. 4-11 p.m., Sat. noon-11 p.m.

Blue Wasabi Sushi & Martini Bar offers special discounts/evenings for their clientele

Here is a look at some special events

• Blue Sundays—Wear blue—or show them your blue eyes—and get 50% off alcohol

• Frequent Diner Mondays—Return on Monday with your Blue Wasabi receipt from last week and receive 50% of your food bill

• Service Industry Night—Work in the food industry? Bring your check stub in and get 50% off entire bill, alcohol included.

• Tuesday Ladies Night—$5 specialty martinis

• Happy Hour—4 p.m. 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday ($3 to $10 sushi rolls)

• Sushi School—Come in and learn how to make sushi at home

• Private room—The building has the ability to host big parties and meetings

• Catering–Blue Wasabi can take its show on the road
By Tom Blodgett
Raised in Arizona, Tom Blodgett has spent 30 years in journalism in Arizona and is the editor of the Gilbert edition of Community Impact Newspaper. He is a graduate of Arizona State University, where he now serves as an instructional professional in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and editorial adviser to The State Press, the university's independent student media outlet.


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