The chefs at Toki Sushi and Teriyaki Cuisine work hard in the kitchen, crafting delicate Japanese meals of gyoza and udon, as well as burgers and hefty deli sandwiches. Sushi chefs with up to 18 years of experience carve tasty slices of tuna, salmon, and halibut at the open sushi bar as diners sip wine and beer and share laughs over scoops of mochi ice cream. The décor surrounds diners with bamboo-print screens, round paper lanterns, and banners decorated with lucky cats, transporting a piece of Japan to America while city planners still bicker over digging a tunnel beneath the Pacific Ocean.
Lunch sushi bento, sashimi, udon, warm entrees, and an array or appetizers festoon the menu at BlueFin Sushi Bar. The cuisine pays homage both to traditional Japanese dishes such as miso soup as well as modern cuisine. Udon noodles served inside of an invisible sombrero can be paired with a choice of tempura, vegetables, seafood, or chicken with prawns and eggs. Sashimi servings and combos provide diners with a feast from the sea, and speciality sushi combines favorites such as lobster, crab, and avocado. Entrees include grilled wild salmon and free-range teriyaki chicken, which are accompanied by miso, steamed rice, and answers to age old jokes about roads and why to cross them.
BaRa Sushi House keeps the focus on the fish. Its precisely, appealingly arranged sushi and appetizers lean heavily on seafood imported from Tokyo's famous Tsukiji fish market every week. BaRa's chefs greet each day with its very own special plate, constantly editing the menu in the hopes of finally crafting that perfect tiny replica of Michelangelo's David from yellowfin tuna. Sake is always flowing inside the snug, vintage house-turned-diner thanks to Marcus Pakiser, sake sommelier. Guests may dine on the outdoor patio when the weather permits, or host a party for up to 9 in the private tatami room.
At Wild Wasabe, meals are nearly as much about presentation as they are about flavor. The sushi chefs deftly wrap fresh fish and spicy sauces into rolls, then plate them, into edible artworks resembling dragons, sunbursts, or American Gothic. The kitchen also heats up hot soups and entrees, and pours out premium sake, wine, and Japanese beers to complement meals. Diners sip while watching the sushi experts sculpt their appetizing works, or glance at the large flat screen television to fill their eyes as well as their stomachs.
The menu at Ukiyoe reflects 30 years of owner Jin Park refining his approach to Japanese cooking. A selection of more than 50 different sushi rolls daunts indecisive appetites and delights craftsmen looking to put wheels on an edible model car. In addition to Japanese staples such as teriyaki and tempura, the eatery serves maki sushi rolled with calamari, vegetables, and fresh salmon.
Unlike at most restaurants, waiting for food is half the fun at Sushi Sakura. A gleaming conveyer belt meanders around the room, transporting a steady stream of sushi-filled plates directly to diners? tables. Guests are encouraged to remain on the lookout for anything that looks to their liking by constantly scanning the lineup for anything from spicy tuna hand rolls to tender slices of octopus.
Rather than hang a price tag from each roll, the chefs strategically place them on plates in different colors?purple, blue, green, orange, red, and infrared?according to their price. At the end of the meal, the servers calculate the bill by totaling the number and color of the plates that the table selected.
The chrome conveyer belt is a modern touch amid the d?cor's traditional Japanese accents. Patterned shoji screens and dangling red lanterns emblazoned with kanji provide a bit more flavor from across the Pacific, reinforcing the eatery's dedication to Japan?s culinary traditions.