When it comes to sushi, Maru is one of the best in Grand Rapids. Nestled just next to Brewery Vivant on Cherry Street this is one of Maru’s six locations around the state.
Maru offers a separate vegan menu – just ask for it. The menu makes it fairly easy to order but there are some things worth mentioning. They do have a shared fryer, so any of the tempura vegetables or fried tofu are off limits if that’s a concern for you. You can get things steamed when it makes sense. Any time you see the green goddess dressing, it is not vegan as it’s mayo based. Sub with Maru dressing. The staff are super knowledgeable and should be able to answer all your questions.
On the sushi side, Maru offers the basics – asparagus, avocado, and cucumber rolls. The real stars of Maru are the “signature” rolls. They’re unique, beautifully presented, and huge. Our favorite is probably the Green Turtle. Cucumber, tomato, avocado, radish sprouts, mixed greens, asparagus and kampyo (gourd) are all rolled up in soy paper – versus the normal nori. It’s served on a rectangular plate about the width of the table! Not just visually impressive, it’s delicious. For mushroom lovers, the Super Mario is a great choice. There’s also the Boogie Veggie roll, which is tempura sweet potato… fried sweet potato, so again, avoid if that’s a concern.
The signature rolls are a little pricier than what you might be used to, but they’re worth paying it for the size, and the swank. They average around $14 per roll.
The menu has a decent selection of appetizers, salads, and noodle entrees that are vegan or can be ordered vegan. Start with a seaweed salad or edamame. The miso soup can be made vegan upon request, but it takes extra time as they have to essentially make it from scratch. The Yaki Udon dish, loaded with fresh veggies (we add steamed tofu) in broth is a great choice if you’re looking for something hot. There’s also the hibachi veggie which is grilled veggies and rice. We’re told that the grilled veggies are grilled on the same grill as meat items. Along with the fried items, this is another personal choice
A lot of people don’t know about the inari, and you’re likely to overlook it as it’s always on the nigiri section of the menu. One of Jon’s favorites, inari is a tofu pocket that you’ll find on every sushi menu. It’s a sweet bit of tofu skin and the rice goes into the pocket.
The menu also includes a decently comprehensive, and reasonably priced list of beer, wine, and sake. If you’re a tea drinker, we’re partial to the Hojicha – a fire roasted green tea.