Japanese Restaurants in Middle River

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Chiyo Sushi's talented chefs prepare more than 100 familiar Japanese eats such as teriyaki and salmon nigiri as well as dishes that make use of more inventive ingredients such as monkfish liver, sea urchin, and live scallops. The bill of fare contains multitudes, from delicate sashimi to crispy tempura to savory udon soup. Diners populate tables at lunch and dinner, sandwiched between prints of kimono-clad nobles that adorn the walls and broad, tree-framed windows that allow fresh air in and soy sauce-dwelling demons out.

1619 Sulgrave Ave
Baltimore,
MD
US

Shiso Tavern takes the concept of Asian fusion beyond the table to behind the bar. There, signature cocktails have half-familiar names: the green tea palmer, for example, which mixes green tea-infused vodka with lemonade and honey. There are lychee martinis, bottled beers, and sake samplers, all influenced by, if not imported from the east.

These libations pair well with a menu of sushi and wok-fired dishes. There are enough staples here to delight fans of classic Thai, Chinese, and Japanese cuisine, but the chefs shine when permitted to invent. The Baltimore Sun praises their soft-shell crab roll, calling it a visual "stunner" with an "exciting" medley of textures, from the tender crab to the crisp veggies and tempura. Specialty entrees range from grilled octopus salad to the sushi nacho, a wonton wrapper layered with sliced tuna tataki, spicy salmon, and avocado. You can also trust the chef's judgment by ordering a plate of sashimi or nigiri, cuts of fish picked based on their freshness and the likelihood that they'll match your dinner jacket.

2933 Odonnell St
Baltimore,
MD
US

At Tatu Restaurant--voted “Best New Restaurant” in 2011 by the readers of Baltimore Magazine--the culinary team unites Chinese and Japanese cuisines into a single smorgasbord. Diners can feast on traditional Chinese dishes, such as sesame chicken, short ribs braised in five spices, or Shanghai beef, a New York strip steak grilled in hot oil, cilantro and soy-mirin sauce. Fresh sushi interpretations include the salmon tartar roll with Chinese mustard and wonton chips, or a chilled shrimp roll with wasabi cocktail sauce. Diners are encouraged to share their plates, and complement their meals with house cocktails such as sake sangria, a mix of sake and plum wine muddled with lychee fruit and tangerines.

614 Water St
Baltimore,
MD
US

A host of Japanese culinary traditions makes up Yama Sushi’s menu, where diners discover not only sushi but also hibachi-seared steaks and bento boxes brimming with dumplings and sides. Choose a basic salmon roll or opt for the super lobster-tail roll, with fried lobster tail topped with barbecue eel and eel sauce. Miso soup served with optional seafood, whole fried soft-shell crab, and plates of curry fried rice further complicate guests’ decision-making processes. Yama Sushi’s owner, who likes to personally greet patrons and ensure they aren’t wearing black shoes with brown belts, hopes his own friendliness is echoed by the warmth and cozy nature of his restaurant, which he calls “our fairyland.”

4347 Ebenezer Rd
Baltimore,
MD
US

The chefs at Republic Noodle reinterpret pan-Asian dishes—including Vietnamese, Cambodian, and Thai classics—with European techniques, organic produce, and all-natural meats. The dinner menu tempts twosomes and foursomes with small plates such as Maryland blue crab egg rolls or a fresh Maine lobster tempura roll, both igniting hunger more effectively than a sandwich wrapped in aluminum foil set aflame. Seasoned creations cyclone together inside Republic's woks, including big eye tuna crowning vermicelli rice noodles, red curry, coconut milk, lemongrass, and garlic. Alternately, broth bowls suspend such specialties such as soba noodles and seasonal vegetables in choice of miso, chicken, or vegetable broth. Groups can take advantage of Republic's no-corkage BYOB policy to fuel lively conversations and friendly challenges such as converting chopsticks into equipment for stilt-walking competitions.

1121 Light St
Baltimore,
MD
US

At four stories tall, XS has plenty of room for surprises. Modern art hangs from the exposed brick walls in the deceptively large industrial building, where giant silver tubes stretch from hardwood floor to lofted ceiling and a sleek room with red-leather wall panels awaits discovery. On the ground floor, waiters weave around the wrought-iron staircase and stainless-steel tables bearing platters piled with sushi and Japanese fusion cuisine.

Every morning, these platters hoist breakfast items, including french-toast variations, goodie-stuffed omelets, and smoked salmon. By night, they carry stuffed maki rolls, kobe-beef burgers, and sweet-thai-chili tuna, as well as handcrafted cocktails. Nighttime is also when DJs spin hits, making for a combination nightclub-restaurant to rival CBGB’s, which of course stood for Consume Bacon, Get Bizzay.

1307 N Charles St
Baltimore,
MD
US