After several weeks of a soft opening, Love Art Sushi officially had its grand opening on Saturday Oct. 29. The new restaurant, located at 1 Royce Cir. in Storrs Center, is not completely new to students of UConn, as it is actually the re-branded and re-vamped edition of what was formerly known as H.A. Café.
I personally had gone to H.A. Café just once in over two years at UConn, primarily because I’m not exactly in love with sushi, but I loved the original restaurant’s rice and noodle bowls along with their bubble tea. Once the grand opening day for Love Art Sushi had finally come, I just had to try out the restaurant and check out some of the new dishes and bowls it had to offer.
Walking in, Love Art Sushi still had a similar vibe to the old H.A. Café, but it was not quite suitable for new customers. First off, there was no real menu and few, if any, listed prices. As a new customer myself I was particularly confused at first but thankfully the employees knew what they were talking about and guided me through the process.
After everything was explained to me, I discovered that Love Art Sushi’s “menu” was essentially completely customizable to the customers’ needs. You can still choose from a rice or noodle bowl as one could at H.A. Café, or choose a makiritto, which is essentially a sushi burrito. All sushi options can be substituted with fried or grilled chicken, as well as beef. Customers can then personalize their meal with numerous vegetables and sauces to add to the flavor.
I went with a large rice bowl and added cucumbers, tomatoes, scallions, red onions and zucchini noodles to go with fried chicken, cheese and garlic ponzu sauce to top it all off. And, of course, I had to have some bubble tea while I was there, so I decided on the mango tea with strawberry pops to finish my meal. The only real issue was not knowing the prices of what I was ordering until I actually paid for my order.
The rice bowl ended up being a fantastic choice as my customized mix of the rice, chicken and other ingredients tasted wonderful. I think the garlic ponzu sauce was my best decision of the night, since it combined so well with the fried chicken. The bubble tea was good as well, but that was to be expected, as the tea was a great pick even when the restaurant was still H.A. Café.
All in all, I think Love Art Sushi has a lot of promise and will definitely still get a lot of customers in Storrs Center as the only fast food sushi restaurant nearby. The food still has great quality with even more personalization for customers, while the bubble tea will remain a student favorite.
With that in mind, I have to give Love Art Sushi 3.5 out of 5 stars for its nice re-invention and food quality, but a deduction for its lack of a true menu and prices visible in the restaurant.
Chris Hanna is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.