Head chefs Shawn and Henry Shin—who has been a chef since he was 19—curate Wasabiya Japanese Cuisine’s menu of traditional and contemporary Japanese food including more than 65 sushi rolls. Whether classically prepared, partially fried, or oven baked, each roll follows an inventive recipe. The New Orleans packs spicy crawfish and cucumber, and the Kentucky Derby unites spicy crab, shrimp, scallop, and cream sauce while 165,000 people watch you eat it. Wasabiya’s staff rounds out the menu with cooked entrees such steak sukiyaki and shrimp and vegetables battered in a light layer of tempura crunch.
Inside Fuji’s modern, lounge-like dining space, dimly lit by drop lighting, hibachi chefs flip shrimp and slabs of new york strip steak on the grill. Meanwhile, sushi chefs chop, blend, and roll ingredients into 65 varieties of colorful rolls, many oven baked, partially or fully tempura fried, or draped in spicy and sticky sauces. Bartenders pour international wines, beers, top-shelf spirits, and a wide range of sakes to complement each dish. As diners toast to a romantic dinner date with someone special or a successful business lunch with an entrepreneurial sock puppet, servers bustle between tables, ferrying traditional and contemporary Japanese dishes such as broiled mussels, spicy gyoza pot stickers, sukiyaki steaks, and deep-fried, katsu-style pork and chicken.
A ring of rice encircles the Caviar roll's morsels of yellowtail tuna, smoked salmon, avocado, and cream cheese. The roll's exterior is just as complex, with its delicate crust of masago, tempura flakes, and eel sauce. Sushi chefs assemble hearty sushi rolls such as this at the spacious wooden sushi bar, which curves and twists its way from the front to the back of the dining room. Sushi is the focal point of both the dining room and the menu itself—chefs slice 80 different rolls, ranging from traditional crab and avocado to exotic flourishes such as squid and kiwi. To enhance their sushi selections, diners can consult the sake menu, or fold it into a paper plane and drink whatever beverage it lands on.
Chefs in tall blue toques command Mikato Steak and Sushi's ten tabletop grills, where they combine culinary derring-do with entertaining showmanship while frying rice with steak, seafood, and vegetables. The main kitchen bustles with activity, as well; chicken katsu joins other Japanese cuisine such as broiled eel and shrimp teriyaki, and sushi chefs slice sashimi and coil specialty rolls. In addition to sating hunger of all stripes, Mikato Steak and Sushi welcomes families with a children's menu and kids' birthday special, which includes ice cream, a Japanese rendition of happy birthday, and a senryu about the transitory nature of life.
A finalist for Best Sushi according to a 2012 City Voter poll, Osaka Sushi & Japanese Cuisine fills their menu with one-of-a-kind combinations. Their chefs roll out more than 50 types of maki, from basic unagi rolls to elaborate specialty rolls, such as the eponymous Osaka roll filled with spicy crab, fried shrimp, and avocado then topped with steamed shrimp and mozzarella, all served on a flaming dish. Nigiri and sashimi present fresh flavors without a protective wall of rice. The aloha roll trades savory flavors for sweets with a core of deep-fried ice cream hidden beneath strawberries and mangoes.
A sake pub, Maido is a slang word commonly used in Osaka, Japan. The literal translation is “every time”, but it has evolved to be used as a common greeting between businessmen and now means something more like “I look forward to doing business with you again,” or “thank you for giving me all of your money.” However one deciphers the sentiment, the food at Maido Sake Bar speaks for itself. The expansive menu revolves around a large selection of maki and small plates intended for sharing. Bento boxes and udon noodle dishes round out the menu options and sate those in search of a warm dinner.
Ichiban Samurai’s owner has been slicing and flipping steak, chicken, and scallops on a hibachi grill for more than 30 years. He also trades a teppanyaki table for the sushi bar, where he stuffs such ingredients as smoked salmon, spicy crab, cream cheese, and jalapenos inside 74 special rolls with creative names including Choir of Angels and Mr.