The Sushi Roll Lunch Special at Thai Nivas
The Place: Thai Nivas (11054 Olive Boulevard, Creve Coeur; 314-567-8989), a Thai/Japanese restaurant in the same Creve Coeur strip mall that also houses Pumpernickles.
Deborah Hyland The Spicy Salmon Roll with Chef's Choice Nigiri at Thai Nivas.
The Lunch: The Nivas Combo Deluxe (a choice from five roll options, served with the chef's choice of three nigiri, miso soup and salad) for $8.95.
The lunch specials at Thai Nivas come solely from the Japanese side of the restaurant's menu. With the Combo Deluxe, diners can choose from a shrimp tempura roll, California roll, spicy tuna roll, spicy white tuna roll or spicy salmon roll.
The Verdict: The service at Thai Nivas was a bit slow for the late-lunch diner. Nearby tables stayed uncleared for the duration of our lunch, and only a cough reminded the hostess that we were still waiting to order.
Once we ordered, however, our lunch came quickly, beginning with small bowls of miso soup and salad. The salad bore the tell-tale signs of a bagged mix: red cabbage bits and carrot shreds amid the iceberg lettuce. Still, the dressing tasted homemade, and fried onions topped the salad. We polished off the miso soup in no time.
According to the waitress, "spicy" is code word for fish roe, so Gut Check opted for the spicy salmon roll. The roll included avocado, radish sprouts and buttery salmon, with small dabs of roe as a garnish. The chef's choice on this particular afternoon consisted of three pieces of nigiri: tuna, white tuna and salmon. While the two tuna options were less flavorful, almost watery in fact, the salmon nigiri had a richer flavor and texture.
With the choice of five different rolls, plus the surprise element of a chef's choice component, there's plenty of reasons to revisit Thai Nivas for lunch.