I’m always a little leery eating at sushi restaurants outside of large metropolitan cities so I was pleasantly surprised by Aji Ramen and Sushi in Lynchburg, Virginia.
This casual downtown eatery offers a selection of dishes from Japan, China, and Thailand. As much as I love ramen, I was curious if a small city in Virginia could deliver on the sushi.
Of the seventeen Lynchburg restaurants that serve sushi, Aji Ramen is the only sushi restaurant in downtown Lynchburg. Having finished a walking tour of the area, Aji Ramen and Sushi was the perfect spot to grab lunch. It’s also a great spot for a quick bite after a visit to Rise Up Climbing.
Disclosure: As is common in the travel industry, my trip was provided for review purposes. All opinions are 100% mine.
Sneaking in a Quick Bite at Aji Ramen and Sushi
We arrived a little before 1 pm, after the lunch rush and sat in a booth near the sushi bar. The wall opposite the bar features murals of Chinese and Japanese cooks preparing dim sum, fresh noodles, and ramen.
Aji Ramen and Sushi’s seven-page menu offers a variety of dishes from egg roll to gyoza, ramen to pad thai, and sushi.
Everything sounded tempting but I was here for the sushi. Aji offers two sushi lunch specials: 5 piece sushi and a California Roll for $9.95 or 9 piece sashimi for $10.95 both include soup or salad.
The difference between sushi and sashimi is rice. When ordering sushi, also known as nigiri, the fish comes on a bed of vinegared rice. Sashimi doesn’t include rice.
Pro-tip: The sashimi special is the best value. An a la carte order of sushi or sashimi costs $4.75 for two pieces.
Because there are 9 pieces in the sashimi special, the savings is $10.43. Whereas the savings on the sushi special is only $5.92.
Most people chose the sushi special because it seems like more food. But it is the rice, not the sushi that leaves you feeling satisfied and full.
Knowing that the sashimi special was the better value, I chose the sushi special. I wanted to taste Aji’s sushi rice.
If the rice is too vinegary or dry it affects the taste of the sushi.
The lunch special came with a choice of soup or salad. I opted for soup, expecting miso soup.
It was a nice surprise to get wonton soup. Wontons are a Chinese dish and the owner, Xian Jin Wu (Eric Wu), is Chinese. Wu was born and raised in Lynchburg and worked in the local food industry for almost two decades.
Aji makes their wonton wrappers in house. Wrappers are thick, eggless, and instead of ground pork, they use pork sausage.
With a thick wrapper and pork sausage filling each bit is hearty. During the fall and colder months, a bowl of Aji’s wonton soup would make great comfort food.
Sushi Lunch Special
The sushi special came with 2 pieces of salmon, 1 piece of tuna, 1 piece of red snapper, and 1 piece of white tuna.
White tuna is also known as albacore when referring to canned tuna. At sushi restaurants white tuna usually means escolar.
Because escolar can cause explosive, orange diarrhea I substituted yellowtail for the white tuna.
The micro-thin bite-sized slices of sushi were tasty with a slight hint of wasabi to not overpower the fish. The rice was a little sweet. I would order sushi at Aji Ramen and Sushi again.
Aji Ramen and Sushi
910 Main Street
Lynchburg, VA 24504
Looking to grab a fast lunch in downtown Lynchburg that isn’t sandwiches or pizza? Aji Ramen and Sushi offers a selection of dishes from Japan, China, and Thailand and is open for lunch and dinner.
Conveniently located on Main Street, make Aji your go-to spot when visiting the downtown area. It’s a short walk from the Virginian Hotel and the Craddock Terry Hotel.
Reasonably priced lunch specials allow you to experiment and try something new without a big hit on your wallet.
Aji Ramen and Sushi is a great spot for a satisfying meal after a day at Rise Up Climbing.
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