Virago has a great vibe, and a fantastic patio overlooking downtown (perfect when you're trying to impress that date with your hip knowledge of Nashville rooftops). The restaurant looks beautiful, and the sushi is just as beautiful. However, as any good fable will warn you, beauty comes at a price. In the case of Virago, that price is...the prices, which are some of the highest I have encountered in Nashville with regard to sushi. The sushi is, to say the least, creative. I ordered the fire crunch roll, which includes tempura crunch, shrimp, spicy mayo, cream cheese, and sriracha. A pretty fantastic combo--who can argue with fish, spice, fat, and carbs? However, the fish was not the freshest-tasting I have ever had; it wasn't not fresh, per se, but it also wasn't FRESH, if you know what I mean. The same applies to my Dynamite roll, which featured spicy tuna, salmon, cucumber, masago, and sesame seeds. Fine, but nothing to brag about. Being a just reviewer, I plan to return and try again, now that I know that Virago has a happy hour on Monday nights where certain rolls are offered at half price. I'll try anything twice.
A friend invited me to try out SushiMe with them after purchasing a Groupon. It's an upscale place nestled into Lennox Village. I ordered the Yo! Mama roll, which has tempura sweet potato, salmon, and eel sauce. However the roll that came to the table had cream cheese added for no apparent reason. The waiter gladly had my roll re made and brought it in a to go box. I would rather have just taken the roll off my ticket (who eats leftover sushi?) but the waiter had a hard time understanding the request so I gave up. The menu has inventive combinations and choosing a few rolls proved difficult because everything sounded delicious. They don't skimp on ingredients or quality here. The rolls were delicious and giant. I don't think I could have finished two whole rolls. I will say all of that generosity and ingenuity comes with a hefty price tag. Our four rolls earned us a tab pretty close to $70. The food was delicious and the atmosphere was swanky. I would say to definitely check this place out on a treat yo self evening.
I have several friends that relocated to Nashville from Knoxville and they were rather enthusiastic about Nama opening a location here. Perhaps it was hyped up too much by my well meaning friends but I found the experience slightly disappointing. The atmosphere and presentation is lovely and the service was wonderful, but that's what you're paying for here. Still, our server was friendly and our food was quick. The sushi quality does not match the prices. If my final check had been about 30% less I think my rating would be very different. However I had one bowl of miso soup and one specialty roll and paid over $20. I'm willing to fork over decent money for sushi (and do so quite often) it's good enough but I personally don't feel the taste and quality are quite there for the prices. Don't get me wrong, the food was decent. You're really just paying extra for the atmosphere and location here which is not uncommon and totally a personal choice.