Wa Sushi, the popular Casselberry restaurant, was closed for almost exactly a year, from February 2020 to February 2021. The reason for closing was not pandemic related – we didn’t start seeing closures until the following month. Instead, according to a post on the restaurant’s Facebook page at the time, there was an issue with drainage at its original location that forced it to close and look for a place to relocate.
But really, if you had to close your restaurant for a year, 2020 was the perfect choice.
Wa – the name means harmony – stayed in Casselberry, taking over the former Reuben’s Delicatessen spot in a corner of a strip mall on State Road 436 near the intersection with Red Bug Lake Road. It’s a small, tastefully appointed space with a corner sushi bar and tables with comfortable leather (or leatherette) chairs. The walls are a mottled plaster and there are few decorations. Tables are set with the requisite bottle of soy sauce plus a container of hand sanitizer.
I had the place to myself on a recent lunch visit. I started with a hot appetizer of agedashi tofu, four cubes the size of a child’s building block but without numbers or letters. Instead, they were coated with potato starch and fried and served stacked in a bowl of dashi. Whispery bonito flakes were on top. The tofu was firm but gentle, and the dashi added just a slight sweetish note.
A very standard miso soup (my choice over the salad option) was served prior to my main course.
That was the selection called Tuna 3 Ways, which is not as salacious as it sounds. It featured a spicy tuna roll that really was spicy, three pieces of tuna nigirizushi and four slices of tuna tataki.
The tataki was the least of them, served in a citrus soy with a couple of just-pickled cucumber slices.
But I was impressed with the nigiri, the tuna clung nicely to the perfectly formed rice wad.
My server was gracious and attentive and it was nice to be thanked by her and the chefs as I left.