[intro-text size=”25px”]Friends, Lakewoodians, sushi-lovers: our time of despair has come to end. Gone are the days where the stretch from 117th to Wooster was devoid of our favorite Japanese cuisine. No longer will we have to wonder whether it’s worth it to drive to Tremont, or if we’re better off settling for whatever is in the fridge. Voodoo Tuna has arrived, and they have come to save us.[/intro-text]

Voodoo Tuna opened on July 2nd in the very same spot that Sakura Japanese Restaurant used to reside, but the two are radically different. Voodoo boasts an amazing staff, both in the kitchen and behind the bar, all innovating in their art.

As for the menu, the sushi is a good mix of classic styles and Voodoo originals, all made from scratch. The first bite of their Shishito Peppers with a house-made sesame soy sauce was revelatory, and from that moment I knew I was in for a treat. I followed that with the Potsticker Rolls, which were light and perfectly paired with the savory, crunchy Crab Rangoon Rolls. The only low point in the meal was the Lobster Nachos, which were rather difficult to eat, the chips being too thin to scoop, and the guacamole, rice and lobster being a little hard to stir up.

The cocktails at Voodoo are handcrafted by true professionals. I started with the Final Word, which is a badass spin on The Last Word, working Japanese whiskey into a prohibition-era drink; not too tart or sweet, and just boozy enough. My other favorite was the Lavender Gin Fizz. Most gin fizzes tend to hit too hard on flavor, but this one was understated and perfect for sipping—floral but not overwhelming, with the perfect amount of citrus. The major shortcoming of the bar, however, is the lack of variety on the cocktail menu; most, if not all, drinks are of the lighter sweeter variety. Though the bartenders are more than capable of making a good Manhattan or Old Fashioned, you won’t find anything in that style on their menu.

Attending the soft opening of Voodoo Tuna was one of the most impressive and pleasant culinary experiences I’ve had in a long time. I fully expect that they will compete at the highest level of cuisine in Cleveland. If you’re not there in the next month, you are wasting a perfectly good tongue while eating something less interesting.