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Fishing for Compliments

In the Raw — with three locations in Green Country — has a lot more going for it than just some of the best high-quality sushi, unique Asian-inspired cuisine and sleek interior designs.

Article
Andrea Neil
Photos
Marc Rains
Posted
January 1, 2017

If you’ve been in Tulsa for any length of time, chances are you’ve heard of In the Raw. Ever since the first location opened in the Brookside neighborhood in 1998, the restaurant’s name has been synonymous with some of the best sushi and Asian-inspired cuisine in town.

When founder and owner Greg Hughes began In the Raw, he did so with a very specific vision in mind. Having spent time in Los Angeles while attending USC, he was accustomed to the more contemporary restaurant styles that were commonly found on the West and East Coasts. Upon returning to Tulsa, he realized that his hometown sushi scene needed a bit of an update — and thus In the Raw was born. It became the first modern, sleek, non-traditional sushi restaurant in town, and its rise in popularity and continued success are indications that Hughes was onto something good.

In 2002, Hughes opened a second location at 61st and Sheridan, affectionately referred to as the one “On The Hill.” Currently there are three locations, the third being in downtown Broken Arrow. Each of the three restaurants emphasizes high-quality food, a diverse menu and great customer service — all presented in a sleek, contemporary restaurant environment.

The décor is anything but traditional, focusing on clean, simple lines, a rich color palate and modern artwork, the restaurant appeals to those diners who appreciate a more contemporary feel. Hughes emphasizes that keeping the menu fresh and unique is as important as ensuring the fish and other fresh ingredients are of the highest possible quality. All three restaurants receive fish deliveries six days a week, with most of it being fresh, not frozen. Diners can order traditional sushi rolls, such as the California (crab, avocado and cucumber) or the Philly (smoked salmon, avocado and cream cheese) and other favorite staples such as miso soup or pork gyoza. “Two of our best-selling menu items are the edamame and the ITR Salad,” says Hughes. “People love the way our edamame is seasoned. It’s really the best in town. And our ITR Salad with shredded lettuce, grilled chicken and ginger dressing is another super popular item.”

Ginger Roll with Strawberry
Ginger Roll with Strawberry (Photo: Marc Rains)

However, as the name of the restaurant implies, sushi is the main attraction. The restaurant has a wide variety of offerings, including many rolls that contain cooked fish, and even some vegetarian options. The Keaton, consisting of shrimp, cream cheese, avocado and spicy sauce all wrapped in soy paper, is one of ITR’s signature rolls, and one of its most popular. The Candy is another delicious and popular roll, containing shrimp, snow crab, avocado and spicy sauce. For those wishing to venture further into the wild world of sushi, the Volcano, with deep-fried shrimp, jalapenos, cream cheese and avocado topped with sautéed scallops, offers more adventure.

ITR also has an “off-menu menu,” available upon request. So if you want to be in the know, ask for this special list of house delicacies.

If you find yourself at an ITR location but not in the mood for sushi, you’re still in luck, as the restaurants also offer plenty of other tasty menu options. Their steaks are delicious, as well as the tacos, rice bowls and wraps. Hughes is also happy to announce that a whole range of new menu items is coming soon, including ramen, which has been gaining popularity as of late.

In the Raw has a lot more going for it than just great sushi, unique menu items and sleek interior design. Situated on the southeast corner of 61st and Sheridan, the On the Hill location boasts one of the best vistas you can find in all of Tulsa. Diners can look out the restaurant’s large, west-facing windows and enjoy a stellar view of downtown and beyond, providing an unparalleled experience right around sunset.

The Brookside location will soon be home to the Eel Bar — a contemporary bar with patio seating which will be located behind the restaurant in a shipping container. Hughes hopes to attract evening Brookside visitors to the location who are out and about, looking for late-night libations in a unique setting.

The Broken Arrow location is housed in the historic Rose District — a charming, up-and-coming section of downtown BA that has seen a true renaissance over the last few years.

Id Roll
Id Roll (Photo: Marc Rains)

Hughes is proud of the fact that his kitchen and management staff have very little turnover, providing a more consistent and enjoyable experience for diners. Good service is always a priority at each location.

Both the On the Hill and Broken Arrow locations have event rooms that are available for private parties, making them a go-to choice for anything from business lunches to bachelorette parties. ITR also caters parties of any size, and Hughes has also made it a priority to work with local charities and organizations who request donations.

Having the same owner since the concept restaurant started has provided ITR with consistency of vision and service. Hughes travels regularly to places like Los Angeles, New York and even Cabo San Lucas in search of unique items to add to the menu, as well as inspiration for new trends in food and décor. The passion for his projects is obvious, and he has new additions and endeavors planned for the near future. Whatever they are, we can be sure that they’ll include a friendly atmosphere, a unique setting and delicious food, all of which are definite wins for Tulsa.

LOCATOR
In the Raw
intherawsushi.com

3321 S. Peoria Ave. | Tulsa
918-744-1300
Monday-Thursday: 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
Friday-Saturday: 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
Sunday: Closed

6151 S. Sheridan | Tulsa
918-524-0063
Monday-Thursday: 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
Friday-Saturday: 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
Sunday: Closed

216 S. Main | Broken Arrow
918-893-6111
Monday-Sunday: 11 a.m.-10 p.m.