Those living on the north side of Medford needn't head far for great Japanese food.
With a hankering for miso soup and hot tea on a cold and rainy Monday afternoon, I headed to Hiro Sushi, located behind Costco at 3613 Aviation Way, a new family-run restaurant offering a big menu full of Japanese entrees, appetizers, salads and sushi.
I started with Hiro Sushi's simple approach to the bento box. Diners choose two or three items from a dozen sushi and entree choices that come with a green salad, white rice and a cup of miso soup. A two-item bento costs $13 and three items cost $16. Choices included beef ribs, spicy tuna rolls, shrimp and vegetable tempura, gyoza and sashimi. I went for Tofu Age-Dashi, a fried tofu dish served in a savory broth, along with California rolls and teriyaki chicken.
My bento arrived on a sectioned rectangular plate with four indentations, plus a side dish for my green salad served with Thousand Island dressing. My soup had arrived beforehand, with its flavorful broth and bite-size tofu pieces whetting my appetite.
My six California roll pieces were generously sized. I'll be ordering more sushi and sashimi items with my next bento, perhaps at the expense of the teriyaki chicken.
To the dish's credit, Hiro Sushi's teriyaki chicken portion was satisfying and covered in a sweet teriyaki sauce with a hint of ginger. It was nicely presented on a bed of cabbage and topped with a restrained amount of sesame seeds, but it was missing the searing or charring I prefer.
The one nitpick aside, my visit had many strengths. It was noticeably clean when I entered the building, which formerly housed Sushi BBQ. The shiny, white, tile floors looked spotless, and though the lighting was a little bright, the white walls and white floors drew the eye to the sushi bar and the crisply dressed chef in the center of the restaurant.
Service was friendly and attentive during the lunchtime rush. The wait for my food was about 10 minutes, and they offered me frequent green tea refills, even after I'd settled my tab. When I struggled with chopsticks for my rice, my server kindly obliged my request for a fork, followed graciously with a spoon.
The restaurant is open for lunch from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and for dinner from 5 to 9 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. Call 541-772-0602 or find it at facebook.com/medfordhirosushi.