This was from the June 2015 soft opening.
I am extremely enthused to report that DTSP finally has a superfine high-quality Sushi / Asian-fusion place! It seems like we've been waiting forever! One of the few missing pieces in the awesomeness of Downtown St. Petersburg has certainly been filled in by the opening of Souzou. (It’s pronounced like "Sue Zoo".)
Lori and I would like to thank Sushi Chef Viet Vo, and Managing Partner Julie Guenther Parrish for their kind hospitality last night. We couldn’t have been more pleased. Thanks to Jessi Rogers for her kind attention as well. The restaurant officially opens this coming Monday, June 22nd. I highly suggest making a reservation ASAP.
The food is amazing, and the experience becomes complete with the sleek décor. The interior design is a wonderful Japanese modern art fusion in brown, white and silver. There are lots of little details that the observant eye will greatly appreciate. The service was extremely attentive, and during our conversation with the sushi chef, we were told that Souzou has ZERO FROZEN fish, and many items are flown in daily from Japan, such as; Hamachi - yellowtail, real wasabi, shiro (white) soy sauce, ramen, and udon. The Snapper is local, which is also a good thing, obviously.
Souzou also makes all of their sauces in-house, except for the soy sauce. Viet told us; "For the sushi sauce we make it in house. The sauces include kabayaki sauce (or eel sauce), and ponzu sauce." A delicious garnish that you should eat is the Japanese basil or shiso. It's kind of like regular basil with a hint of mint added to it.
We were pleased to be accompanied by our friends Sean and Diane. We all shared most things. (They are both total foodies just like us.) We started with Spicy Edamame infused with Sriracha sea salt. They were good, but 3 out of 4 of us would have liked them to be spicier. Viet explained to us that when you cook Sriracha, it turns sweet. We discussed the possibility of adding a Sriracha powder rub to them to give them some more heat.
Next, I had the Miso soup. Miso soup is usually quite simple with just some tofu and scallions, but I actually like it when they make it a tad bit heartier by adding enoki mushrooms. I could eat this all day, every day.
Sean & Diane shared the Sanuki Udon - sliced meatballs, shiitake mushrooms, jalapeños, cilantro, in beef broth. They said it was great.
Next, on to the main attraction – the sushi! First shown is the Tattooed Fisher Roll. It has real snow crab, cucumber, and masago topped with assorted sashimi (ours had tuna) and avocado. (You can see the Japanese basil in the background of this shot too.)
The next photo was our favorite specialty roll - the Category 5 Roll. (Notice that it is shaped like a hurricane.) The Category 5 roll has spicy tuna, cream cheese, and asparagus, topped with avocado, kabayaki sauce, dynamite mix and scallion.
The third item pictured is the Surf & Turf Roll - snow crab, asparagus, kabayaki sauce, topped with seared tenderloin & shisochurri sauce.
We ranked the rolls we had in this order: 1. Category 5, 2. Tattooed Fisher, and 3. Surf & Turf. They were all great. The Surf & Turf had the Japanese basil which made it more unique, but surprised our taste buds a bit, which is why it ended up in 3rd place.
We also had the Maguro (tuna) Nigiri, which was amazing! It has white soy brushed on it which makes it super soft and sweet - it just glides right on down, and puts an ecstatic smile on your face. (I missed the photo-op on this one.)
One thing we forgot to mention to Viet was the naming of the 90210 Uramaki. We would like to suggest either re-naming it, or adding an item named 33701.
We’ve never had sushi this delectable in Downtown St. Pete. Souzou is near the intersection where 4th Street North changes into a 1-way street, one driveway in from the corner on 5th Avenue North.
Tell us what you think in the comments below, or follow the link to the listing in the restaurant guide to make your own review.
435 5th Ave North
St. Petersburg, FL 33701