Inside Tsunami Sushi’s long-awaited @Highland location

Tsunami Sushi‘s newest wave has rolled in. The second Baton Rouge location of the Lafayette-born restaurant is now open on the first floor of @Highland. 

The restaurant opened its doors to eager patrons on April 12, says General Manager Allyson Mayeux. Though the office complex might seem like an unlikely place for a high-end sushi spot, Mayeux says the Tsunami team decided to open at 1 Smart Way to service more of Baton Rouge. The location will allow the restaurant to reach a new clientele with its notable menu items and dreamy interior. 


Like all good things, Tsunami’s new digs took time to complete—almost two years, according to Mayeux. Still, just a few weeks after opening, the restaurant has already been able to fill tables with both lunch and dinner rushes. 

“It was definitely a long time coming, but we are very happy to finally be open,” she says. “We’ve just been progressively getting more and more busy as the days go by, which is really great.”

Yummy Yellowtail Nigiri

Mayeux says the space is a bit smaller than Tsunami’s longtime downtown location at the Shaw Center, but it still houses 251 seats between the sushi and drink bars, outdoor tables and indoor dining space.

Inside, the restaurant features a cocktail bar, an open dining room, a sushi bar and two secluded rooms that can be reserved for special events. The space’s decor is moody and modern, featuring plenty of nods to its name.

Expect to see tsunami-inspired touches, including the restaurant’s signature wave logo, dark blue hues woven into the color scheme and paint patterns that mimic water.

“The Shaw Center has a view of the river … Our view (here) is on the inside of the restaurant with all the aesthetics and all the touches of detail,” Mayeux says.

Tsunami brought in local design firm Tiek Byday for the architecture and interior design. Bridget Tiek, one of the firm’s principal interior designers, says eagle-eyed patrons can spot Asian-inspired features like custom-made lamps and a wood wall modeled after Japanese joinery.

There are also pops of gold and brass to play on the subtle metallic theme throughout Tsunami’s four Louisiana locations. For example, the @Highland spot has gold beaded curtains that mimic the silver ones at the Shaw Center. But, Tiek says the most notable metal feature is the large brass pipes hanging from the ceiling. These major fixtures and the cool blue color palette helped drive the design. 

“That installation was pretty much the centerpiece of the design,” Tiek says. “It was all based around that ceiling. Because the height was so vast, something had to occur to make it feel a little bit cozier. If there was not something hanging down there, was this fear that the space was just going to feel way too open.”

The two semi-private spaces have their own vibes with muraled walls, pops of rattan for added texture and unique light fixtures, including one fashioned like a dangling cluster of lily pads. The rooms are dubbed “semi-private” because they lack doors and other patrons may be seated in the area if tables are available.

“That is something different than we don’t have at the Shaw Center,” Mayeux notes. “They have that area at the bar lounge that they use for their larger parties. But I know a lot of guests really like to see, ‘Can I have a large party somewhere?’ and ‘Can it be in some place (or) room that is separate from the main dining?’” 

The @Highland location’s menu is almost the same as the Shaw Center location, with hot small plates from the grill and cooled and colorful sushi rolls constantly being pumped out of the busy kitchen. However, there are a few menu items that only @Highland patrons can enjoy. Its kitchen features a little more room than the Shaw Center’s, along with a wok station, which allows the new location to offer fried rice with chicken, shrimp or beef. 

“It’s been a big hit here,” Mayeux says. “I see at least one on every single table whenever I’m walking through, so guests really like it. It’s a good option for kids, too.”

The Highland location also features Dumplings But Trouble and a beef and veggies dish. Mayeux says diners can also expect these items, plus a few new sushi rolls, to debut across all locations on May 12. On the same day, all locations will be open for Mother’s Day with mimosa flights and drink specials. 

Tsunami @Highland is open Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m.–10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.–11 p.m.; and Sunday, noon–8 p.m. Tsunami is at 1 Smart Way. Find it on Instagram.