By Carla Selby

Hot Tuna Sushi Bar & Grille is already known as one of the hottest sushi restaurants in town, but did you know that some of their most popular dishes include steak, scallops and homemade chicken wings? It’s true, and while the sushi is delectable, the rest of the menu is just as worthy!

Hot Tuna Sushi Bar & Grille is already known as one of the hottest sushi restaurants in town, but did you know that some of their most popular dishes include steak, scallops and homemade chicken wings? It’s true, and while the sushi is delectable, the rest of the menu is just as worthy!

“We are more than just a sushi place. We have steak, chicken, shrimp, teriyaki bowls, bento boxes, and other tasty entrées,” says owner Hanh Ho, who runs the place with her family. “Some people don’t like sushi, so we strive to offer many options, so people in your party aren’t feeling left with only sushi to choose from.”

Open since 2013 for both lunch and dinner, Hot Tuna Sushi Bar & Grille is one of those unique dining experiences that can be perfect for a quick lunch with friends, a relaxing dinner with your family or a romantic date with that someone special.

Conveniently located at 3689 Tampa Road in Oldsmar, Hot Tuna features beautiful lighting, a stylish sushi bar, miniature rock gardens and intimate table settings in a tastefully decorated fashion. Upbeat music plays throughout the restaurant at the perfect level; guests feel as if they have entered an upscale, yet casually swank restaurant. The staff is always attentive and charming and make you feel welcome the moment you walk in.

Hanh and her relatives share a dedication to always serving fresh food with top-quality ingredients, and when it comes to sushi, freshness is vital.

Hanh says, “We are all about quality first, and our fish is always fresh.” She adds, “We have a simple principle, being a family-owned business, that we do what’s right. I believe in good karma, and when you do things the right way, you’ll reap the benefits.”

Well, it’s the customers who seem to be reaping the benefits at the restaurant! The food is seriously scrumptious. There’s truly something on the menu for everyone, even those in your party who haven’t learned to love sushi yet! When you go to Hot Tuna Sushi Bar & Grill, the meal is more than lunch or dinner; it’s an opportunity to reconnect, enjoy the beautiful food on your plate, and to eat with all of your senses.

Lunch specials are served Monday-Friday from 11:00 am – 2:00 pm and feature many delicious options like the Teriyaki bowls, which are served with steamed rice, veggies and your choice of meat for less than $10.00! 

Combo Bento Plates are served with steamed rice, house salad, half a California roll and your choice of Panko Chicken, Korean Short Ribs, Panko Crab Cake, Sushi & Sashimi or Shrimp and Veggie Tempura. And they are all under $10.00! They also have a lunch special that includes two classic rolls and soup or salad, also for under $10.00!

“This is the best sushi spot in Oldsmar, hands down,” says Local Food Guide Paul H. “Their food is incredibly fresh, and they offer a great drink selection. They have great happy hour sushi specials with a friendly wait staff. This place is perfect for a date night or a healthy and delicious lunch. Hot Tuna has quickly become our go-to sushi place due to the consistent quality and incredible service.”

Hot Tuna features a delicious array of cold and hot appetizers. Traditional favorites include; steamed edamame, tuna tataki, gyoza, and homestyle eggrolls. If you’re into seafood, I suggest you try the T-N-T mussels with Japanese wasabi mayo and wasabi tobiko or the Panko Crusted Crab Cakes. Customer favorites include the stuffed mushroom caps, tempura fried and stuffed with signature spicy tuna mix topped with garlic-teriyaki drizzle and the Hi-Five with rice, tuna, fresh salmon, whitefish, shrimp and krab stick nigiri. 

Salads at Hot Tuna are crafted to perfection. My favorite is the Sunomono Salad, with sliced cucumbers and assorted fresh seafood with rice wine vinaigrette. If you like Salmon, I suggest you try the Popeye’s Salad, with spinach, broiled salmon, crispy onions, sliced almonds and strawberries with raspberry vinaigrette dressing.

Love Sushi? You’ll LOVE Hot Tuna!

Local food guide Jeff R. says, “5-star sushi, 5-star service. Hot Tuna blows away 99% of other sushi places on the west coast of Fl, and in Tampa Bay.”

There are nearly 50 sushi rolls on the menu to choose from, so whether you’re coming for a roll or two or want to partake in the famous Hot Tuna Party Boat, a.k.a. “The Ship Load of Sushi,” which serves four people, there’s sushi here to suit every taste.

My favorite sushi rolls include; the Volcano Roll; tuna, cream cheese, cucumber topped with avocado, baked seafood dynamite, ell sauce, and spicy mayo. The SUMO SLAM Roll; made with Krab delight, tempura shrimp, asparagus, topped with fresh salmon, avocado, eel sauce, and spicy mayo. The Scorpion roll; made with crab claw, cucumber, avocado, tempura shrimp, topped with tuna, jalapeño, black tobiko, and paprika oil. And last but not least the Hawai’i Five-O Roll; prepared with tempura shrimp, cream cheese, sweet potato fries, asparagus, topped with mango, avocado, tempura chips, and coconut marmalade. It’s as exotic and unique as it is delicious! 

“Outstanding sushi!” says local guide C.R., “The fish is very fresh, which is the most important thing when eating raw fish. They offer a great selection of rolls and surprisingly low prices for such high-quality sushi in such nice decor and atmosphere. Service was perfect. Greeted at the door and seated by a friendly host. Our server was perfect! Nice, attentive, and super helpful. We will become regulars here now as the whole Hot Tuna experience was fantastic from start to finish.”

Drinks, Desserts, and More!

Hot Tuna offers an outstanding selection of Sake.

Sake can be enjoyed hot or cold; it all depends on your particular preference. Recently they started offering a wide variety of Japanese beers from the Kiuch Brewery like the White Ale and the Red Rice Ale Kitachino Nest.

Do you have a sweet tooth? I do too! Leave room for their fantastic Tempura Ice Cream. Creamy vanilla ice cream wrapped in pound cake and fried to perfection then drizzled with chocolate and strawberry syrup over a slice of pineapple and surrounded by mountains of whip cream. Yum!

Hot Tuna Specials

Hot Tuna has fabulous food and specials for you every day! Happy Hour is from 5 – 7 p.m. every Monday through Friday and features ten different Happy Hour Classic Rolls for $4 each, $1 nigiri (with rice) pieces and $2 sashimi (no rice) – these specials are for dining in only, and there is a $10 minimum order. 

Half-priced Appetizers are offered Monday through Friday from 8:00 pm to close. As well as 2 for 1 Saketinis & Sake Sangria, $2 House Wines, $2 Domestic and $3 Imported Beers. 

Enjoy the modern style and freshness of Hot Tuna Sushi Bar & Grille, located at 3689 Tampa Road in Oldsmar. Hot Tuna is open Mon. – Thurs. From 11 a.m.–2 p.m. and 5–10 p.m.; Fri. from 11 a.m.–2 p.m. and 5–10:30 p.m.; from 12 –10:30 p.m. on Sat; and 12–9 p.m. on Sun. For more information, call (813) 818-TUNA or visit www.hottunasushi.com for the full menu! Hot Tuna gift cards are great gifts!