The Venue Sushi Bar & Sake Lounge

4.5
337 reviews
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$30 and under
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Sushi
Top Tags:
  • Creative Cuisine
  • Casual
  • Good for a Date
Awarded "Best Sushi" 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016 & 2017

Chic. Modern. Sophisticated. But also casual and friendly. The Venue is the cool hot spot on El Paseo, popular with locals, out-of-town visitors and food critics who serve up rave reviews. The Venue is artful, from its sleek décor to the original, ever-evolving menu, enthusiastically created by owner/chef Engin Onural. "This is my art," he shares. "Each plate is a painting, but I use fish instead of paint."
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Sushi, Japanese, Contemporary Asian
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Hours of operation
Dinner

5:00pm - 9:00pm
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Phone number
(760) 346-1500
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Smart Casual
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Executive chef
Engin Onural
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Catering
We will be happy to assist you with your catering needs small to large. Please contact manager or email info@thevenuepalmdesert.com
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Between Ocotillo and Sage
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Parking details
Street parking available on El Paseo and we also have private parking lot in the back side of the property.
Additional
Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Specials

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Mon - Thu 5:00PM - 5:15PM

What 337 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.6
service
4.2
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Quiet
83% of people would recommend it to a friend
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4.0Dined 6 days ago

Enjoyed chef choice Omikase - it ended up being more food than we could handle and that never happens when we go to sushi. The fish was incredibly fresh and the prepared dishes were good. It was a quiet night in PD and the overall atmosphere in the restaurant could have used a spark.

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4.0Dined on July 7, 2018

The restaurant was good, it was a little hot (although it was really hot outside!) and smelled a little fishy. Our server was great.

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3.0Dined on July 5, 2018

Not as good as previous trips. Way too much sweet sauce all over the sushi, rice was overcooked and fell apart. Just not that great.service was Mediocre, place looked shabby but not in a chic way.

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5.0Dined on June 29, 2018

I came in because you offer the Republic of Tea and had no idea what a treat I was in for! Our server was so great, but the food was even more amazing! Thanks for a wonderful night.

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5.0Dined on June 20, 2018

THE BEST SUSHI IN THE DESERT - AND SOME OF THE BEST WE'VE HAD ANYWHERE!

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5.0Dined on June 17, 2018

Staff was great!! They made sure we understood all we ordered and what the specialties were.

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5.0Dined on June 12, 2018

Wonderful food and attentive wait staff

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5.0Dined on June 9, 2018

The sushi was so fresh and delicious. The staff is always so pleasant and they don’t rush you. Really enjoy the atmosphere there too.

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3.0Dined on June 6, 2018

The food was fair, fish was fresh but rolls were either too sweet or too rich. The specialty rolls were a bit pricy compared to other Sushi restaurants in the area. The service was good but almost over attentive. The real downer for us was moderately loud repetitive contemporary music with an annoying beat and minimal lyrics that went on and on much like a 78 record that the needle stuck on. The experience was not a relaxing Zen experience as one might expect when going out for a nice night with your significant other.

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5.0Dined on June 2, 2018

Always excellent food. The salmon melts in your mouth. The coconut roll is amazing. Probably the best roll I’ve ever had.

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5.0Dined on May 19, 2018

Miki was a fantastic server!!! This place is the best sushi in California!

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5.0Dined on May 14, 2018

Incredible food-- the tuna wonton appetizer and the brussels sprouts appetizers were AMAZING. The venue specialty roll was delicious. Service was great---an all around gem.

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5.0Dined on May 12, 2018

Wife and I went there for our anniversary and had a great experience. Sushi was fantastic! The best we’ve ever had. We sat outside and the server was exceptional. Great menu and very vegetarian friendly.

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5.0Dined on May 12, 2018

Always a favorite place

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5.0Dined on May 8, 2018

The food was fresh, and delicious. The service was excellent.

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4.0Dined on May 4, 2018

We have a very nice and relaxed dinner on the outdoor patio. The Venue speciality roll was very good, as were the tuna tostadas. The more traditional sushi was good. Our server was attentive and made great suggestions. We were not rushed, but not ignored either! We will be back!

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5.0Dined on April 29, 2018

The Venue turned out to be a perfect choice for our final dinner on our 3-day weekend in the Desert. 2 of the 6 in our 3-couple group are not raw fish/sushi enthusiasts, so we almost switched our reservation to another spot the night before. But, after everyone reviewed the menu online, we decided to take our chances and were all, including the 2 non-sushi eaters, very pleasantly surprised. The food was wonderful and the service exceptional. The restaurant is small enough to be intimate, but not too small to be uncomfortable seating for any size party. We were unanimous that we would return on our next trip to the Desert and would highly recommend The Venue to all friends and associates (the first was on Sunday to a local real estate manager...).

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5.0Dined on April 26, 2018

One of our favorite places to eat. Each visit to the desert includes a trip to the venue.

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5.0Dined on April 20, 2018

One of the best places for sushi that we have been to in the USA!

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5.0Dined on April 19, 2018

Great food and service!

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5.0Dined on April 19, 2018

Fresh, beautiful presentation of Sushi and the best we have ever have eaten from here to Laguna Beach!!!!

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5.0Dined on April 13, 2018

Excellent food & service!

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4.0Dined on April 12, 2018

The food was as good as usual but the service was a little wonky.
Although the server was friendly she seemed a little distracted. Maybe she was new. Beyond the service being off kilter we asked for our leftovers to be boxed and it was never brought to us. We left without it which amounted to about a roll and a half.
This is the first time the service has been off.
Outdoor ambiance was excellent.
Grateful they had gluten free Tamari available.

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5.0Dined on April 12, 2018

The staff was very attentive and the food they recommended did not disappoint.

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5.0Dined on April 9, 2018

Impeccable service and great and innovative cuisine. A great meal topped off with the best green tea ice cream ever!

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1.0Dined on April 7, 2018

Despite having made reservations the only option I was offered was a seat at the poorly designed Sushi bar. Horribly uncomfortable tattered bar height stools with a view of giant monitors playing sports. The restaurant was half empty on a Friday night while staff and managers hovered over an iPad at the hostess station staring at a floor map seemingly holding tables for mystery reservations that never arrived. This is a very unwelcoming overpriced restaurant with way too much unwarranted attitude to possibly survive. The sushi chefs don’t even bother to smile or acknowledge you. I have no issues spending money on expensive culinary adventures but this experience left me stunned at the complete lack of attention to detail. Everything certainly did look like it just popped off the cover of a food and wine magazine but would have been better suited made of plastic sitting in a window box on the sidewalk. The decor is part midcentury bordello meets Target clearance section. All show and no action. Don’t know who is behind the management of this sad joint but they certainly need to start paying attention quick before the shutters arrive. Dreadful!

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3.0Dined on April 4, 2018

Overall the quality is good and fresh. I would like to see a little more on the roll menu that perhaps is more cold and spicy. Their appetizers are great though.

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4.0Dined on March 30, 2018

Good food and great staff. Would have preferred a broader menu choice for kids/ sushi alternatives

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1.0Dined on March 28, 2018

The service was horrific. We waited 15-20 minutes to sit down(with reservation) and 4 open tables. We were seated and waited another 15 minutes before server came to our table. They made mistakes with our order and the sushi and seaweed salad were sub par. I don’t expect to be in business much longer.

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4.0Dined on March 27, 2018

We are seasonal visitors here and we’re looking for a new sushi place. This had good reviews, so we went there. It was very quiet. In the beginning, we were the only diners. Service was good. Food was good but served on very large plates that dwarfed the food and overwhelmed the small table. It won’t replace our normal sushi bar, but it was a good experience.

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5.0Dined on March 24, 2018

Sushi was excellent! Minimal wine list, but reasonable. Service was great. Ambiance was very chill lounge music. Was very impressed and highly recommend.

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5.0Dined on March 23, 2018

Fabulous experience. We have had the Omasake several times now and it is absolutely superb. The chef very kindly catered to my celiac allergies. The waitress was fabulous. Her service skills were outstanding. She recommended a beautiful sake which was superb.

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5.0Dined on March 21, 2018

Perfect service, excellent sushi, wouldn't change anything.

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5.0Dined on March 20, 2018

Visited this spot for the first time since recently becoming local residents and we were not disappointed! The service was superb, the atmosphere was fun but nice and low key, and the food was exceptionally good. Many menu items make for a diverse set of options even for non-sushi connoisseurs.

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5.0Dined on March 20, 2018

Well prepared sushi. Creative and authentic. Waiter was friendly and helpful, but spent way too much time socializing with most tables. Request for water glasses to be refilled and additional ginger root took forever to complete. This annoyance interfered with the delightful meal.

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5.0Dined on March 18, 2018

My husband and I were vacationing in Palm Desert and I booked this restaurant as I could use my reward points and we love sushi.
The experience was great - our server recommended some really great options that we probably wouldn't have tried on our own, and the service was great. The wine list was comprehensive and not over priced. The macaron for dessert was an unexpected surprise in a sushi restaurant and was to die for! We will definitely visit again.

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3.0Dined on March 18, 2018

Food was ok but an order of sashimi was 8 pieces ....much too much . Also I prefer when the sushi chef wears gloves as they do at nobu where I was the night before . At this This restaurant.. no gloves . Mayb that’s just my issue

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4.0Dined on March 15, 2018

Great food trumps deficiencies in service (slow, confused) and comfort (don't sit at the counter unless you enjoy a cold breeze on your neck).
That said, I'd go back in a New York minute for the inventive menu.

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5.0Dined on March 14, 2018

The sushi was fresher than fresh! You can certainly taste the difference between fresh and just OK.

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5.0Dined on March 13, 2018

Great appetizers. Venue roll outstanding. Polite and attentive service.

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