Marui Sushi is a small Japanese restaurant located at 2347 California Avenue, Corona, CA 92881. They are open from 12-10pm.
The moment you walk in to Marui Sushi, you are greeted with a warm welcome from the staff, regardless of how busy the restaurant is. The strong sense of community in the local Japanese restaurant is continued by the decoration throughout the room. The front chestnut desk features a metal sign with the restaurants name and the neon lights from the “open” sign reflects onto it. Decorated for the winter season, white lights that mimic icicles hang above the perimeter of the front desk. The light beaming from the artificial icicles compliments the low, soft lighting of the room and seems to dance to the pop music flowing throughout the restaurant. Crayon drawings from the younger customers are hung proudly on the wall behind the front desk, placed around a more professional painting of some wine bottles, though it is important to note the children’s art gives the painting a run for its money. Across from the front desk are vibrant, green potted plants; the smaller plant has two violet bows on it and a small banner that reads, “Congratulations on 10th Anniversary!”
The walls of the restaurant are covered in photos of smiling patrons, with each photo placed in its own unique spot to form beautiful patterns. Below one set of photos are more drawings given to the restaurant by children dining there. The bar, which seems to be the heart of the restaurant, ties the room together through its small cultural ties and local symbols. The shelves of the bar are lined with patches from the local police and fire departments. Though the room has many pieces of Japanese culture sprinkled throughout, the katana placed above the bar is difficult to ignore. The welcoming environment alone makes Marui Sushi a local restaurant worth visiting.
Though sushi is in the name, Marui Sushi serves much more than savory rolls. The menu includes unique appetizers, soups and salads, noodles and house bowls, sashimi, and of course, sushi, including tempura rolls, baked rolls and fresh rolls. Their appetizers range from traditional edamame and baked green mussels (a personal favorite) to their unique “monkey brain,” a deep-fried Japanese mushroom with spicy tuna and cream cheese. Their delicious appetizers range from $2.50 to $16.95, but no matter what you order, you get your money’s worth. With 8 different options to choose from, their salads provide flavorful options for both vegetarians and vegans. The noodles and house soups have nine versions to order from. Their chicken soup is worth trying; for only $9.95, the well-seasoned soup is so large that it might be impossible to finish it all in one sitting. The chicken soup is bursting with flavor due to its perfectly cooked chicken and numerous spices.
Though they have numerous options to choose from, I ordered the bento A box from their dinner combination. The lunch and dinner combinations at Marui Sushi are easily the best deals in the restaurant. The dinner bento A box I ordered came with miso soup, rice, and my choice of two items from a list of 13 options, all for under $14. I chose their crunch roll that came with 5 pieces and their spicy tuna roll that came with 8 pieces. The amount of food in their bento boxes makes it worth the money and it is definitely a perfect option for sharing.
While I was waiting for my bento box, my miso soup arrived. Their classic miso soup has a nice balance of seaweed and chives, complimented by the perfect amount of tofu. The flavors combined in the piping hot soup provided a nice comfort from the cold rain that poured outside as I dined.
Just as I had finished my miso soup, my bento A box arrived. Neatly placed in a cute red and black box, my fresh sushi rolls looked incredibly appealing. I first tried the crunch roll, which had a sweet eel sauce dripped over the white rice. The roll was filled with crab, shrimp, avocado, and cucumber. The fresh crab meat and fried shrimp combined perfectly with the eel sauce, bringing out the flavor of the roll. The texture was exactly what you would expect from a crunch roll and was enjoyable with every bite.
The spicy tuna roll was a very simple roll, but it was still packed with flavor. Filled with spicy tuna and cucumber, the roll packed a punch. The nuanced flavor of the cucumber helped to balance out the spicy tuna, leaving the roll with a subtle kick to it. The amount of food in the dinner bento box forced me to have to take home the rest of it in a box, but I’m not complaining!
Marui Sushi, located down the street from Santiago, is a small local restaurant worth visiting. From their warm atmosphere to their savory sushi rolls, everything about the Japanese restaurant warrants another visit. I would give it four out of five stars.