Around July or August, my sister and I decided to venture to another sushi restaurant. Our last sushi dining experience was at the dismal Jasmine Asian Bistro in Towson, so we were hoping that this time it'd be a more pleasant experience. We decided on Sushi Sono, which is near the Columbia Lakefront. We've always wanted to eat here but we usually arrive on Sunday, which is when the restaurant is closed, or around 3 pm, when the restaurant closes before opening for dinner at 5 pm.
This time, we came around 1:30 pm, so it's still early and we avoided the suits who break for lunch at noon. We were seated immediately. The restaurant is bright and clean. There is also a beautiful view of the lake, which can be easily seen from wherever you sit, except for the private room that's located by the bathroom and the sushi bar (unless you swivel around in your chair, I guess). The restaurant can seat about maybe 50 people excluding the private room and the sushi bar.
The best thing about Sushi Sono is that they have daily specials, so even if you're a regular, the menu never feels stagnant. Right now I am referring to a menu I picked up on the way out, and it's divided into six categories: appetizers, soups & salad, teriyaki, nabe mono (traditional casseroles), tempura, and sushi sashimi. There is also Sushi a la Carte (nigiri sushi) and Maki Sushi (sushi roll cut into 6 pieces).
There is also a party tray (for carryout only). You can order a party tray of 42 pieces for $48, 52/58 pieces for $62, and 70 pieces for $88.
Like I mentioned before, my sister and I were seated immediately. Our server was a friendly woman. At the time we arrived at the restaurant, there was one hostess, 2-3 waitresses/servers, and about 2-3 sushi chefs working the counter. I know at larger restaurants, servers are assigned to zones and take care of 3-5 tables, but this place is pretty small. We had our server who took down our order, and during the meal we'd have other servers who'll come up and ask, "Has anyone taken your drink order yet?" or "Would you like more tea?"
I decided to order my standard Una Jyu ($14.95), which is grilled freshwater eel with rice. My sister decided to have Beef and Chicken Skewer with California Roll. Hers was a lunch special, which cost a little less than my entree at $11.95. It also came with miso soup and salad.
We also ordered sushi--from what I remember, one was a crunchy roll ($5.95), and we wanted fatty tuna, but of course that wasn't available, so we got another roll from the daily specials, but I can't remember what we ended up getting. (Sometimes it's hard to write reviews after 2 months, heh.) Everything we ordered was very fresh and delicious. Sometimes with unagi, you get one that wasn't filleted properly and it's filled with little bones, but mine was nice and tender with the right amount of sauce.
Also a nice touch was that there was free refills on green tea. Initially there was some confusion when I told our server I wanted genmaicha (green tea with roasted rice) and she said the restaurant didn't serve mixed drinks! But all was well when I said I wanted green tea. They were quick to refill our water glasses as needed. At the end of the meal we got two little boxes of Japanese gumballs in strawberry and melon instead of orange slices.
This restaurant was a complete 180 of the last restaurant we ate at when it comes to food and service, and I highly recommend it to anyone who's looking for reasonably priced sushi in the Rt 29/Columbia corridor. Eat here, then go power shopping at The Mall in Columbia. Now there's a combination that can't be beat!