A friend of mine mentioned Fusion D’Lite and thought we’d try it out. Not too long ago we tried Mizu Sushi in Cranford so we can compare the two.

Fusion is located on North Avenue in Garwood, right next to the Garwood Lanes. Not exactly the place you would expect a sushi restaurant, but parking was no problem in the Saladworks shopping center lot across the street.

We were greeted by Angela, who was one of the, if not the friendliest server north of the Mason-Dixon line. She was personable, attentive and very focused on service. While there is a fine line between being overbearing and dominating the meal, she walked it without stepping over, as we had a Japanese-food newbie in our party and she was helpful in identifying good choices for a beginner (which was gyoza, which they steamed for us instead of frying, California Roll – my suggestion – and the Grilled Ribs with Pasta – with the sauce on the side, just in case). The ribs came with soup or salad, and the newbie chose the clear soup.

My date had a selection of rolls. The Rainbow Roll was very good, and the Toro and Tuna rolls were also very nice. Angela suggested the Bubble tea, which is like a latte tea with maybe a hint of cocoa flavor, with tapioca forming a layer of black jelly-like balls on the bottom…with a wide straw to reel them in. Very interesting concoction.

I had the Lover’s Sushi and Sashimi with yellowtail, which I didn’t realize meant I would only get yellowtail. A little bit of cross-plate sharing did the trick, however. The yellowtail sushi was very nice, with generous cuts of nice thickness and presented at the right temperature. I enjoyed that.

We did indulge in a dessert and had a banana tempura with some ice cream, which was pleasant. Angela gave each of us a nicely sliced orange to end the meal as well.

As far as price, for sushi it is very reasonable for what you get. The dinner price for the grilled ribs and pasta was only $10, and for $7 the Rainbow roll was a lot. The Lover’s sushi was $23, but you could feature tuna, salmon or yellowtail. As we ordered appetizers, entrees, desserts and beverages, we didn’t hit $100 for the three of us.

Also, the night we went they were holding a benefit for the March of Dimes, donating 20% of the proceeds in the name of Makayla Jade Eglowitz, who died in infancy last year.

Knocks on Fusion would be some minuses on atmosphere, which was bright, but in the evening they didn’t dim the lights at all, so it wasn’t feeling very intimate. There is also a minimum of decor on the walls, so with the tile floor, it was louder than I would have expected it to be for a small place. However, it is colorful and clean.

Found some coupons as well, so you may want to consider those if you want to check it for yourself. http://www.valpak.com/coupons/display/FUSION-DLITE/Garwood/NJ/1098803/1097056

Atmosphere is what Mizu in Cranford does get right. More traditionally Japanese than Fusion, the pricing and portions are more along the lines of what you would expect at a local sushi place. Some nice touches, such as the hot towels, and reasonably attentive service gave us a nice experience there as well. The neighborhood location on North Union is a plus, as it is a calmer street than North Avenue. But I must confess I did leave a little hungry.