Side Street Sushi is one of the few fine dining choices in Pagosa Springs, and my top choice in the area for a date or special occasion. In a town with too many casual, pub style restaurants, Side Street Sushi is a refreshing alternative for those looking for a more upscale experience.
Side Street offers a decent menu of Japanese favorites, the highlight being a large selection of artisan rolls including options such as a Lobster Roll or Firecracker Roll. The rolls were a bit pricey for a small town sushi place, with some being as high as $17! I have seen cheaper prices at big city Japanese restaurants.
For a cheaper and much tastier alternative, try out one of the Maki rolls. I highly recommend the delicious avocado and salmon maki rolls. These were so good (and fairly priced), that we decided to place a few extra orders.
Nigiri, sashimi, and a selection of cooked hibachi items can be found on the menu. The chef offers both traditional items, along with a few Southwestern specialties.
One of the great aspects of Side Street is that they can make their fried rice (which is delicious) gluten-free by using tamari instead of soy sauce. The taste is basically the same. Unfortunately, all but 2 of the specialty rolls contain gluten.
Service was just okay - very slow and a bit surly. Our waitress did not seem to want to be bothered about any menu questions, and seemed to think we should already know our order despite this being our first time.
The setting inside is surprisingly elegant for being located in a strip mall. It's the perfect date option in town due to the fancier setting. The design is trendy with a large bar area, contemporary seating, brick walls, and warm colors. The outdoor patio would be nice on cool spring and summer evenings, however, the view is nothing spectacular, being located in a shopping plaza.
Overall, Side Street Sushi is probably your best bet in Pagosa for a nice evening out. Although the service and pricing both need to be improved, the food was pretty good and the setting much better than other options in town.