Joy Sushi brings sushi lovers back again and again |

Joy Sushi brings sushi lovers back again and again

Sake (Salmon) Sashimi from Joy Sushi in West Vail.
Justin Q. McCarty
If you go ... What: Joy Sushi, a casual, hidden gem for Japanese fare. Where: 2161 N Frontage Rdoad, West Vail. Cost: Appetizers $6, rolls $6-$18, entrées $12-$36. Signature dish: The Joy Roll, including five types of fish More information: 970.688.5758

It’s easy to drive right past Joy Sushi, tucked into an unassuming corner of the West Vail Mall. But once discovered, it’s a spot that often brings sushi lovers back again and again.

The restaurant is intimate, bright and cozy, with a small sushi bar. Since it opened almost two years ago, it’s earned rave reviews from customers thanks to its quality fish, reasonable prices and creative rolls.

Sushi in the Rocky Mountains can be a dicey gamble, or it can leave a dent in your pocketbook. Chef Kewei “Kevin” Liu looked to remedy both those problems at Joy Sushi. After honing his craft under the tutelage of a sushi master in Los Angeles for eight years — who in turn learned his skills at a Michelin-starred restaurant — he now uses his experience to create expertly made, beautifully arranged rolls that range from standard favorites to downright adventurous options.

Joy Sushi does offer more traditional sushi fare, such as nigiri and hand rolls, but the restaurant really excels with its specialty rolls, which generously mix fish, tempura, herbs, vegetables and more into perfectly prepared sushi rice. Don’t miss the restaurant’s signature Joy Roll, a feast for the eyes and the taste buds that is topped with five kinds of fish and slices of lemon. Fans of spice and hot sauces should try the Mexican Roll, while meat lovers need to sink their teeth into the savory Cowboy Roll, a customer favorite featuring seared filet mignon, tempura shrimp, asparagus and fried garlic.

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