Small surprises abound inside Takenoya, where ice milk tea might contain sweet bites of mango jelly and one of the sushi rolls might arrive wrapped in soybean paper or cucumber rather than traditional seaweed. Those interested in eschewing surprises can build their own bento box, which compartmentalizes their chosen meals of chicken teriyaki, nigiri, or other specialties into neat squares alongside soup, salad, and rice. Savory noodles swirl amid shrimp tempura in the nabeyaki udon, one of several noodle dishes. The menu also includes traditional plates such as pork katsu, japanese curries, and korean short ribs.
The elaborate sushi listings showcase more than 25 signature rolls. The spicy tempura-lobster roll nestles its namesake ingredient against cucumber, avocado, sprouts, and smelt egg, whereas the summer fresh roll cocoons tuna, salmon, and yellowtail inside a cucumber shell. Four types of box sushi are prepared with a pressing box, which molds each bite into a tiny cube.
At Ichiban Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar, each specialty roll reels in hungry visitors with a core of flavorful ingredients such as roasted eel, mussels, and spicy sesame sauce. Of the many rolls on the menu, the Box Sushi roll with seared tuna and spicy crab meat might be the most unique one, since it uses a Japanese wooden box instead of seaweed paper to achieve its classic tubular shape. In addition to rolling sushi, chefs also top donburi Japanese rice bowls with teriyaki chicken and curried beef. Even the appetizers are steeped in distinctly Asian flavors, from fried pork gyoza dumplings to veggies encased in a crispy tempura shell.
With more than 30 years in business under its belt, it's no wonder that Seaward Sushi Bar is a stalwart choice for sushi in the Ventura community. Its menu of sushi rolls?bestowed with whimsical names such as Superman and Hot Lips?is written on the wall alongside detailed descriptions so guests know exactly how each one is built.
And while some rolls are wrapped with traditional sheets of seaweed, others are held together with pink soy paper or slices of halibut sashimi. But that's not the only unexpected twist the chefs put on their sushi. They also incorporate unusual ingredients such as tempura sprinkles and garlic sauce, and they frequently pair baked seafood with raw fish to create rolls with contrasting temperatures. Bottles of traditional and flavored sake are available to pair with any of the rolls served inside this casual eatery, which is bedecked with rustic wood panels and an oversize seascape mural.
When many people think of Japanese cuisine, visions of multihued sushi rolls often spring to mind. But at Gotetsu, the menu is strikingly absent of the rice and raw-fish morsels. The staff is helmed by owner and native of Japan Yukari Watanabe, who has chosen to highlight some of the most often-overlooked dishes in Japanese cuisine. Among them is yakitori, also called kushiyaki, a dish of grilled chicken and meats on thin wooden skewers.
Mount Fuji is the tallest mountain in Japan, so it's fair to expect a restaurant called Fuji Sushi to stack the rolls high. This place doesn't disappoint with its sushi platters, which come loaded with tuna, salmon, and specialty rolls. But sushi accounts for just a fraction of the menu here. The rest includes yakitori skewers, as well as sashimi. After dinner, hang around for a cup of italian coffee or green-tea ice cream freshly scooped out of a frozen kettle.
Behind the modest, wooden sushi bar of Momoya, chefs prepare more than 30 sushi rolls to send out to waiting tables. You might try the Tiger Lady, a mix of shrimp tempura, spicy tuna, cucumber, and eel sauce. Or the Lion Man—same deal, but with salmon tempura. Kiss, Volcano, To Die For. The list goes on, and it's full of crabmeat, baby lobster, black cod, and a whole lot more. Sprinkled among all these rolls are hot apps such as edamame and baked yellowtail collar. Lunch and dinner combos—served with miso soup, salad, and rice—let you pair up your favorites from a selection of teriyaki, tempura, and katsu dishes.