As if in competition with Sakura’s playful lemongrass-green hues, the sushi artists twist colorful maki rolls and concoct house-made soy sauce and eel sauce. Whenever possible, they fly in fish in fresh-packed ice and avoid freezing ingredients including seafood, chicken, and beef dipped in golden tempura batter or thick teriyaki. After slathering a california roll with ginger and wasabi, patrons take on the server's challenge of using chopsticks to eat green-tea ice cream or pick up a tear-stained letter from a fork.
After arriving in the United States from his native China, head chef Leon Liang honed his cookery skills at restaurants in Montgomery, Alabama, and Charleston, South Carolina, eventually opening an establishment of his own with Kasai Japanese Restaurant. Taking its name from the Japanese word for joyous celebration, Kasai welcomes diners with a parade of udon noodles, hibachi-style steaks, and a dizzying array of sushi makis and nigiri treats. Like butter sculptures or edible finger paints, each meal blends artistry and gastronomy, enrapturing taste buds and eyeballs with sushi rolls draped in vibrant green avocado and meticulously arranged sashimi platters. Visitors share laughs over tuna and sake at the marble-topped sushi bar, or ensconce themselves in the sheltered back room with traditional cushioned floor seating and a simple, elegant decor of dark hardwood.
In addition to a sensory-stimulating spread of Asian and American buffet fare, Royal Buffet & Grill offers a full menu of Chinese classics. At the hibachi grill, an accommodating chef slices and dices dishes to your liking, whether square, saucer, or obtuse-isosceles shaped. Adults pay $6.95 for the lunch buffet, $10.95 for dinner, and $5.50 to $7.99 for standalone entrees. Children under 3 eat for free and wicked witches trapped under houses can eat leftovers if they behave.
As diners at Yellow Tail nibble on 30 varieties of fish and vegetarian maki rolls, they can wave at their dinner's relatives swimming in colorful aquariums. Aromas of simmering yakisoba, beef and chicken teriyaki, and tempura draw diners toward a sprawling 160-foot seafood buffet to browse sushi and more than 15 Japanese and Chinese entrees. At a teppanyaki-style grill, they watch chefs sear beef, chicken, and vegetables. And behind the bar, which is wrapped in a mosaic of tiny colored tiles, bartenders fill glasses with imported beers, wine, and sake.
Sushi on the Roll Sushi on the Roll's adroit chefs carefully wrap vinegar-sprinkled rice, nori, and fresh seafood into creations that won the restaurant Best Sushi on the 2010 Fox 8 Akron-Canton Hot List. Classic maki favorites such as an eel or salmon roll satisfy piscine cravings, and spicy rolls such as the Moffa, layered with spicy tuna and shrimp tempura, work their pleasing pyromancy on palates. The eatery's chefs also host periodic hands-on Sushi 101 classes, which divulge the secrets of making nigiri and maki rolls as well as how to grab a good night's sleep by stuffing pillows with perfectly fluffy rice.