Japanese Restaurants in Smoketown

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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.

416 W Muhammad Ali Blvd
Louisville,
KY
US

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.

962 Baxter Ave
Louisville,
KY
US

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.

426 W Market St
Louisville,
KY
US

Skilled sushi chefs handcraft blossoms of pickled ginger and sashimi to pair with dollops of wasabi and delicate butterfly garnishes. Behind the glass cases at the sushi bar, they forge signature rolls such as the chef's favorite Lobster Paradise roll with mango, kiwi, and tempura lobster tail. Along with sushi, the chefs prepare pho, Vietnamese noodle dishes, and teriyaki chicken. For offsite dining, the restaurant offers carry-out, delivery, and catering services for business meetings, parties, and lunchtime stakeouts.

217 S 5th St
Louisville,
KY
US

At Kobe Japanese Steakhouse, patrons can enjoy entertaining teppanyaki-style dining in front of a limber habachi artist or opt for more intimate seating in the dining room. The teppanyaki experience invites bold guests to take seats at a square bar and watch Kobe's centrally located master chefs juggle flames, knives, vegetables, seafood, meats, and appetites as they whip up meals before diners' growling stomachs and flickering eyes. The Iron Plate Grill menu tantalizes tongues with fried oysters ($5.95), soft shell crab ($7.95), pan fried dumplings ($3.95), and more. If you choose to snuggle up in the dining room, temp your tonsils with filet mignon ($17.95), lobster and steak ($23.95), or beef teriyaki ($14.95). Sushi, noodles, fried rice, salads, and hot and cold appetizers round out the edible roster. Everything on the menu can be enjoyed with a premium Japanese sake or a Kobe sake cocktail, like the Sea Splash, made with blue curacao, triple sec, and pineapple juice ($5.50), ideal for easing lingering tidal stresses.

301 Southern Indiana Ave
Jeffersonville,
IN
US

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.

1758 Frankfort Ave
Louisville,
KY
US