Described by Mpls.St.Paul Magazine's editors as "as close to an authentic Japanese sushi bar as we come in the Twin Cities," Fuji Ya is a destination for sushi and sake served in a "hypnotic atmosphere." At each of its two locations, chefs diligently slice freshly flown-in yellowtail and surf clam, all of which populate the extensive menu. Sidle up to the sushi bar to watch the assemblage of maki rolls and sushi platters, or gather in private zashiki rooms to dine on hot entrees of sesame-crusted tuna and roasted duck with citrus soy glaze.
moto-i gives diners an authentic Japanese culinary experience without requiring that they leave uptown Minneapolis. Unpasteurized draft sake is brewed inside the izakaya-influenced bar and restaurant; onsite production keeps this staple libation fresh and free of jet lag. Executive chef Omar forges Asian-fusion dishes that meld flavors such as whole fish served with handmade pickles and abura ramen peppered with smoked pork shoulder. Instead of airing football games and soccer matches, the restaurant’s TVs run live and pre-recorded sumo wrestling bouts simulcast from Japan, proving to diners that sports aren’t required by international law to include a ball.
Head chef Yukio Kamada had a multicultural culinary upbringing. He attended culinary school in his native Japan, but studied French and Italian cooking techniques. He uses these techniques to bring a touch of the unexpected to Wasabi Fusion Restaurant's Asian fusion cuisine.
For example, as chef Kamada explained to the Asian American Press, he might braise Japanese tuna in a French red wine or sing "Mambo Italiano" while folding fresh fish into sushi rolls. One of his specialties is hibachi-style cooking—searing meats, vegetables, and seafood on a central grill.
Tiger Sushi’s skilled seaweed wranglers concoct an extensive selection of specialty sushi, sashimi, hand rolls, and rice and noodle dishes to sate seafaring taste buds. Start a dinner excursion on the right load-bearing limb with servings of Fire Pot soup—a spicy basil broth festooned with shitake mushrooms and a choice of chicken or shrimp ($3.50)—or a snow-crab salad, littered with avocado and masago ($5), while you peruse an aqueous menu of sushi, sashimi, and roll options. Master chefs roll up a belly-sating variety of specialty rolls, such as the sunrise roll, which fuels the sun's intricate system of levers and pulleys with shrimp tempura, cucumber, salmon, mango and masago ($15), and the sunset roll, a dusk-enhancing serving of spicy tuna with salmon, white fish, and seaweed salad ($15).
Japanese hibachi-style cooking, or teppanyaki, is a culinary experience wherein chefs cook on gas-heated hotplates in front of diners. After it migrated to a bigger spot in Calhoun Square, Sushi Tango added a set of specialty hibachi tables for close-up savory showmanship. Prep your palate with edamame ($4.95) or pork gyoza (dumplings, $5) before diving into the briny depths of seafood hibachi dinners such as shrimp ($22), calamari ($18), or salmon steak teriyaki ($22). As Sushi Tango's friendly chefs chop and stir together a hibachi full of meat such as your choice of white or dark chicken ($17) or filet mignon ($24), they'll keep things interesting with jokes, culinary sleight of hand, and lightning-quick knife-fu. All Sushi Tango's hibachi dinners are served with green tea, soup, salad, shrimp appetizers, vegetables, and fried or steamed rice. Special combinations such as musta sefu (steak and shrimp, $28) and surf and turf (filet mignon and lobster tail, $36) are also available on the hibachi menu.
Hotel restaurants can sometimes blend together in a generic parade of pork chops and mashed potatoes. Rare Steak & Sushi, however, bursts out of the mold with its selection of grass-fed steaks and innovative sushi. Located on the second floor of the Grand Hotel, the eatery charmed Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl of Minnesota Monthly, who raved about its grass-fed steaks. To complement cuts of filet mignon and New York strip steaks, Chef Chano also rolls up 30 varieties of sushi. The creations range from the simple—such as freshwater-eel sashimi—to the complex, including a hawaiian roll packed with tuna, pineapple, and fried almonds or the vegetarian salad roll, which Grumdahl was “especially wild about.” A quick scan of the dining room reveals a diverse collection of clientele, as the eatery—open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner—appeals to locals, businesspeople, and hotel guests alike.