When one thinks of the best sushi destinations in town, the downtown Minneapolis skyway is one of the last places that comes to mind. Yes, there are a few sushi joints hidden in the nooks and crannies of the skyway, but those little plastic trays that have been sitting out for hours are so easy to pass up in favor of more delicious downtown eats.
Enter One Two Three Sushi, the new venture from the brains behind the nationally acclaimed Masu Sushi & Robata restaurants. Housed in the old Godiva Chocolatier spot in the IDS Tower, the fast-casual restaurant offers sushi, ramen, and steamed buns, and includes many of the favorites from the Masu restaurants, including the Pork Belly Ramen ($9) and the Shrimp Tempura Steamed Buns ($6).
One Two Three Sushi’s create-your-own option, which operates in an assembly-line process similar to Chipotle, provides customers with a unique sushi experience. Diners select between brown and white rice and choose one of 14 options for their “main ingredient,” with choices ranging from tempura soft shell crab, to BBQ tofu, to fresh hamachi. Two fillings, a topping, and a sauce round out the custom roll. Our custom roll ($9) was generously filled with fresh and luscious Scottish salmon interspersed with large chunks of avocado, and made for a tasty, light lunch under $10. We recommend adding a side of edamame and a drink ($2) for additional staying power.
If you don’t want to spend half your lunch break deciding between the countless options for custom sushi, One Two Three Sushi also offers six classic rolls. The Toshi Roll ($8, above) was packed with ahi tuna and mango, and, while the fillings were fresh and tasty, the gummy white rice detracted from our overall enjoyment of the roll. The brown rice is a better bet, with its slightly nutty flavor and superior texture.
The Shrimp Tempura Ramen ($9, above) was well proportioned and satisfying, with three large pieces of shrimp, a poached egg, and fish cake. The broth doesn’t have the same depth and complexity of flavor as the original at Masu, and the ramen noodles aren’t nearly as silky and unctuous, but it’s a tasty and solid lunch option for the skyway, nonetheless. We also appreciated the thoughtful packaging, with separate containers for the noodles and the broth.
The steamed buns ($6) are the cheapest lunch option on the menu, and an order gives you three mini sandwiches filled with your choice of pork, chicken, or shrimp. The green tea smoked chicken (below) had the pleasant taste and aroma of green tea, with a slight smokiness, and the accompanying pickled vegetables provided a nice bite of acidity. The buns themselves were inconsistent: tough and overly robust on our first visit, and softer and more pliable on our second.
Overall, One Two Three Sushi is a unique and vibrant new addition to the skyway-dining scene. Opening week had a few hiccups in the service department, with confusing lines and long waits, but that can be easily overlooked given that the food is far superior to most of One Two Three Sushi’s skyway peers. You might not find the unbeatable bowl of ramen that you’re accustomed to at the Masu restaurants, but downtown diners should rejoice over their expanding lunch options with offerings that aren’t found anywhere else in the skyway.
One Two Three Sushi
Sushi in Downtown Minneapolis
80 S 8th St
Minneapolis, MN 55402
HOURS: Mon-Fri 10am-6pm
RESERVATIONS / RECOMMENDED: No / No
VEGETARIAN / VEGAN: Yes / Yes
ENTREE RANGE: $6-9