Scream’n Tuna Sushi is o-fish-ally my new go-to for Asian cuisine. You could say that their food makes miso happy!
I’ll see myself out now.
Puns aside, Scream’n Tuna has some seriously addicting food. The restaurant opened in November of last year and is situated under the NOBAY apartments in downtown Lakeland. Owned by Mike Crivello, a winter Florida resident and family member Jordan Poulos, who lives in Lakeland and runs the restaurant, it is one of many eateries owned by the family.
With restaurants in Wisconsin, Crivello decided to open one in Florida. He teamed up with Poulos who had been working at a sushi restaurant for 4 years in Sebring. “I was thinking about going into culinary when I was younger. I used to be a busboy at a restaurant I worked in and they gave me an opportunity to start learning sushi and get trained by Japanese chefs,” said Poulos.
“It’s a very different kind of food to make,” he said about the ongoing learning process, noting that presentation is paramount. The creative freedom is something that Poulos enjoys about making sushi, saying, “I like it because you don’t always have to do it the same way.”
Why did they decide to open the restaurant in Lakeland? Poulos answered, “I really liked the downtown area. It’s growing and everybody is very nice and it’s pretty trendy.” The owner wanted somewhere that he would enjoy living as well as working and Lakeland fit that bill.
For lunch on a Monday afternoon, we started with popular appetizer Tuna Tartar. The dish was seemingly simple, consisting of tuna, avocado, kimchi, chips, and scallions. The chips are actually fried wontons that they make in-house. They were well seasoned and each bite came with a generous amount of tuna and avocado. The kimchi gave it a nice amount of heat that was tamed by the slices of avocado.
Next up was the Scream’n Tuna Roll, a creation of Jordan Poulos’s. It was heavenly. Seared yellowfin tuna and white tuna, spicy mayo and eel sauce, spicy crab and Maine lobster tail topped off with tempura flakes. On its own, it was delicious, but dipped in soy sauce with a little wasabi, oh my goodness.
Their Ruby and Jade Roll is another guest favorite. It came with shrimp tempura, asparagus, cream cheese and was topped with imitation crab, diced tuna, avocado, and tobiko. The ingredients of the roll are stand-alone delicious, but came together in a way I can only describe as a mouth explosion…in a good way!
If you’re a sushi newbie, the owner has a few suggestions to get you started. Try the California Roll, Cucumber Roll, Spicy Tuna Roll, or Fried Bagel Roll which is cooked salmon and cream cheese wrapped in seaweed and deep fried to perfection.
The space of the restaurant is intimate. The light gray walls against the gray and black booths felt pleasantly bright and modern–a lovely spot to enjoy Lakeland’s best sushi. Above the counter where they prepare the food are little wooden boats that make for a novelty presentation. Start a sweet tradition with your significant other and get their chef’s pick Love Boat for Two or bring some friends and do the Love Boat for Four.
What makes Scream’n Tuna exceptional? “We’re not as traditional looking. We’re not black and red, we’re a little bit more modern. We take pride in what we do,” remarked Poulos. “It’s all precision and well thought out and we’re always looking to create more stuff and listen to our customers and what they want. We try to offer the best service as we can. We’re always trying to improve.”
Scream’n Tuna Sushi
270 E Bay St Ste 2150, Lakeland, FL 33801
Monday-Thursday 11am to 9pm
Friday and Saturday 11am to 10pm