In 1971, Jimmy Nishiyama introduced the city of Las Vegas to Japanese hibachi cuisine. Three decades later, and the friends have stayed very much in touch. During that time, Geisha House, Nishiyama's brainchild, has grown to fill three locations and eight menu pages. Colorful specialty sushi rolls, such as the baked Japanese Lasagna—cream cheese and mayo atop a crabmeat and avocado roll—make fitting partners for grilled lobster, filet mignon, or scallops in hibachi dinners. Nearly 30 varieties of sake trip merrily across the palate, while the Geisha martini blends sake with plum wine and a treasure trove of James Bond jokes.
A seat at the sushi bar earns patrons a front-row view of the chefs at work inside August Moon Sushi Cafe. Wielding special sushi-making knives, chefs thinly slice tuna, cucumbers, salmon, and mushrooms before tucking the agglomeration into rice-lined sheets of seaweed. Bright green avocado slices and orange tobiko create a colorful display atop rolls. Order nigiri, and watch as chefs drape slices of raw seafood over tiny mounds of rice or fold them into origami cranes. Other specialities include barbecue pork belly and california salad.
Maki and assorted pieces of sashimi dock on tabletops at Yamamori Sushi & Grill. The chefs here not only create artistic presentations with slices of fresh fish, they also glaze bits of meat or tofu for teriyaki entrees and simmer noodles in flavorful broths. The restaurant's casual dining room serves as a hospitable meeting place for those looking for a quick lunch or large groups celebrating a mass wedding anniversary.
Michelin may have stamped its Best Value and Charming Restaurant distinctions on Hachi Ju Hachi, but all the acclaim should be directed toward the restaurant's chef and owner, Jin Suzuki. His innovative vision for traditional Japanese cuisine and open kitchen have yielded dishes such as steamed-seafood egg custard, pork-belly stew, and seasonal mushrooms with grated mountain yam. The mackerel, which is seasoned and dried in-house, is a popular entree, especially when it's prepared on the grill or in a stew of red miso broth. Best of all, Hachi Ju Hachi's unassuming vibe makes it a great place to chow down and drink sake with friends?or people who will pass as friends until your real friends arrive.
The chef slices thick slabs of fresh salmon, meticulously arranging them atop beds of rice as diners peer over the traditional sushi bar to admire his work. As he forges his fish-laden creations, the rhythmic cutting of his knife accompanies the melodies coaxed forth from the piano in the dining room and the cheery chatter of the evening’s guests. So passes another dinner rush at FuruSato Sushi Japanese Restaurant.
In the kitchen, cooks whip up authentic Japanese recipes for lunch and dinner using ingredients such as fresh scallops, real crab, and fresh mango. Servers whisk the dishes into the dining room wherein sliding doors, blonde wood, and minimalistic decor evoke the feel of a traditional Japanese home. Four private tatami rooms can be rented by groups of 4 to 20 people eager to partake in a secluded meal away from the prying eyes and wandering forks of other diners.
Seated at the long, curving sushi bar, diners at Super TGI’s Sushi get a close look at the chefs’ artistry: slicing and artfully arranging plates of fresh sashimi, perching lacy tempura atop bowls of udon noodles, and, of course, rolling dazzlingly colorful maki. But their most impressive feat might be entirely mental—they also must have a command of the nearly 100 types of specialty rolls on the menu. Of course, the ultra-creative names might well be a good mnemonic aid. No one will look askance if you order, for instance, a Mammamiya (unagi and hamachi), an eBay (a classic California roll plus shrimp and tobiko), a Miss Netscreen (tuna, salmon, and shrimp rolled in cucumber), or a Brian (seven kinds of fish, not counting the shrimp tempura).
Seafood doesn’t exhaust the abilities of the restaurant, a new outpost of the original TGI's Sushi in Campbell. Beyond the sushi bar’s red paper lanterns, groups sup on hot dishes such as sukiyaki, teriyaki, and the classic breaded pork dish tonkatsu.