Posted September 21, 2012 01:26 pm - Updated September 21, 2012 07:16 pm

The 411 on Naru

I felt adventurous and decided to give Naru, the new Japanese restaurant on Salem, a try.

My palate is distinct. I love exquisite food and sometimes see food as art. I have tried stuff like snail, alligator, buffalo, crickets and more, too weird to mention. I even dreamed I had a bear meat hamburger a few nights ago. Anyway, after awaiting its opening for a few weeks, I decided to take a drive there.

Here’s a breakdown of Naru.

Décor and structure: Bright green walls, white floral plaques, low-hanging lamps, two flat screen TVs, a sushi bar, two wall partitions dividing the restaurant in three sections, clean, contemporary feel. The music contributed to the modern feel with tunes from Jason Mraz and Maroon 5. Very chic.

Menu selections: They offer appetizers, lunch and dinner entrees, noodles, soups, salads and rice. Some appetizers include tempura shrimp, crab cakes, calamari for around $5.95. Their sushi appetizers are priced for $9.95. The sushi bar includes selections such as red snapper, squid, octopus, scallop, albacore and the more traditional California roll, Philadelphia roll and tuna roll. They also serve sashimi.

Food quality: I ordered the Salmon Teriyaki Bento Box for $9.95. It included a tasty Miso soup, house salad, 4 pieces of California roll, steamed rice, sautéed veggies, 2 pieces of dumpling Gyoza and the salmon steak. The Mizo soup was not bland like others I’ve tasted. It had an orange tint and flavorful with tiny tofu squares. The best thing was the salmon. The salmon was crispy on the outside and flaky on the inside, cooked to perfection with a sweet glaze on a bed of cabbage. I could savor each ingredient in the California roll, the creamy avocado, the crunchy cucumbers and the crabmeat. The dumplings were finger lickin’ good! My lunch was refreshing, fulfilling and healthy.

Service: I went around 1p.m. and there was only one server. I came into the restaurant and found the front desk empty. After working in the restaurant business for a few years, I noticed they need a hostess and at least one more server (there was only one). Allan, my server, seemed knowledgeable about the menu. I cannot eat fried or spicy food so he directed me into the right option. Service could be better although it wasn’t terrible. Taking into consideration that they have only been open for two weeks, there’s time for improvement. They are hiring, by the way.

Prices: I was satisfied with the lunch prices because the amount of food was plenty. Enough to fill a hungry gal up! The dinner entrees run for $15.95 and include chicken, salmon, beef and shrimp teriyaki. The veggie teriyaki bento box is $11.95. Noodle options include chicken, beef and seafood yakisoba ranging from $9.95 to $11.95. Shrimp and nabeyaki udon are also available. Clam and Wonton soups are $2.95 and salads like seaweed and squid are $4.50. I highly recommend the bento boxes because you get a variety of food for a good price.

Overall: I haven’t eaten at many Japanese restaurants but Naru was a great experience. Their food is tasty and made fresh. The prices are reasonable for the amount of food. I hope to go back and try more options. It’s definitely worth a try! 

For hours and contact info visit: naruconway.com (under construction)