Don’t feel like primping in Prada in order to blend in with the hip crowd at some of Cincinnati’s more exclusive sushi restaurants? At Apsara in Blue Ash, you can enjoy high-class dining without the pretension. We actually witnessed one diner dressed like she had come directly from softball practice. The best part? This attire didn’t garner even one sideways glance from other patrons or staff.

On the cold and rainy evening my husband and I visited, the temperature inside wasn’t much better than outside. We commented to our server, who broke down a six-person table right next to the marble fireplace for us. By the time our drinks arrived, we were warm and relaxed.

As an appetizer, we selected the Mum Shrimp ($8): five Black Tiger Shrimp wrapped in rice paper, stuffed with a minced blend of carrots, celery, chicken, onion and garlic. Like egg rolls, but thinner, these are deep-fried and served with a sweet and sour dipping sauce. Not bad, but afterward, we were ready for the main attraction: the sushi.

When ordering a la carte as we did, you get two enormous pieces of nigiri sushi per order. A dazzling array of raw fish was served on a banana leaf bed and garnished with daikon (Japanese radish) and beet. The Yellowtail (Hamachi: $6) was superb, and had a melt-in-your-mouth texture. My husband commented that the tuna (Maguro: $5.50) shared a similar, high-quality mouthfeel. Apsara’s salmon (Sake: $5), a sushi bar staple, was scrumptious. We also explored uncharted waters by picking the smelt roe (Masago: $5). A generous portion, these lovely orange fish eggs produced a nice pop when crunched. The seared tuna (Tataki), which sushi bars typically offer only as a high-priced appetizer, seemed like a value at $5.50.

Apsara offers rolls (Maki Sushi) at a price to fit every budget. Simpler ones like the Avocado Roll and Cucumber Roll start at $4, while the high-end Playboy Roll goes for $15.95. We watched in delight as this flaming sushi was served at a table nearby. Wrapped in foil then doused in Bacardi 151 rum, this “barbecued” roll consists of spicy tuna, shrimp tempura, mango and asparagus, topped with cooked shrimp, sriracha (Thai hot sauce), mayo and furikake (Japanese rice seasoning), and is set aflame.

We opted for the Sweet Dragon Roll ($13.95). Surprisingly large, this roll has shrimp tempura in the center, wrapped in avocado, asparagus and barbecued eel, and is cut into eight pieces.

Along with cathedral ceilings, sleek lighting and a sizable bar, the main dining room sports floor-to-ceiling windows. A 15-foot high, 40-foot long water wall is the backdrop to the sushi bar. Such a water feature is appropriate given the restaurant’s name; Apsaras are female spirits of clouds and water in Hindu and Buddhist mythology, and images of Apsaras danced on the wall behind the water. Mission-style architecture and Asian figurines round out the scene.

A visit to Apsara wouldn’t be complete without trying something made with jackfruit. Native to owner Chanaka Delanerolle’s home country of Sri Lanka, this delicious fruit resembles a peach in appearance, but tastes like a pear. I had it in the restaurant’s signature drink: the Apsara Martini, a blend of jackfruit, peach, raspberry and Stoli Elite vodka ($10).

Apsara offers much more than sushi. Its menu includes soups, stir-fries and curries from various Asian countries as well as traditional American food with an Asian twist.sushi selections.