Stabilized by a protective layer of sticky rice, raw fish explodes in a shockwave of flavor when exposed to munching mouth-bone agitation. Sushi, cooked fish, and beef entrees frolic along with the creative appetizers, salads, and udon and soba noodles on Ebisu’s menu. Start with garlic soy edamame ($5), Ebisu ribs ($8), or a squid salad ($7) before entangling taste buds in a web of nabeyaki udon noodles with shiitake mushrooms, green onions, eggs, konnyaku, cabbage, fishcake, and shrimp tempura ($12). Main courses include the Ebisu sushi platter, served with seven nigiri sushi rolls, one special roll, and miso soup ($20), and kombu-grilled salmon with miso cream sauce ($17).
Bamboo Grille’s culinary craftspeople grill, steam, and sizzle signature entrees that are found on a mouthwatering menu, which showcases authentic dishes from Japan, China, Vietnam, and Korea. Ravenous patrons can coronate a meal with an appetizer, such as edamame ($4) or chicken lettuce wraps with green beans, carrots, and shiitake mushrooms ($9). Discover edible treasure troves such as the flaming pepper steak drizzled in flaming cognac sauce ($17), or the lightly battered walnut shrimp, which utilizes a creamy white sauce and honey-glazed walnuts to enliven incisors with a sense of elation they haven’t felt since they were spared by the tooth fairy ($13). Treat taste buds to an underwater delight with the teriyaki salmon ($15), or revel in the various choices of sushi, such as the spicy crab and yellowtail-packed Rodeo roll ($10.50) or the soft-shell crab tempura roll ($10).
The chefs at Yoshi Bento not only fill bento boxes with teriyakis, tempuras, and salads, they also roll sushi creations and simmer pots of Japanese noodle soups. Some of the specialty rolls on the menu include the Las Vegas roll laden with fried salmon, crab meat, and eel and the Scottsdale roll dusted with crunchy powder and a crown of spicy mayo. The drink list includes beer and wine, in addition to sake and green tea that may be served up hot, cold, or at absolute zero degrees.
Armed with 60 items, the menu at Yume Sushi Grill portends a wide selection for sushi disciples. Kick back in the cushy dining room chairs and cast out nets for the deep-fried calamari ($6). Lunching office warriors can treat recently unmuzzled bosses to a quintet of sashimi ($10) or a savory lunch special such as the cali roll and five pieces of sushi, varieties include red-snapper tai, tuna maguro, and salmon sake ($8.95). Like ducks flying south to play frisbee golf, the flavorful chicken bulgogi ($10) can naturally find its way to any table. Vegetarians, meanwhile, can join in the palate parade by ushering in a band of stewed vegetables and thick noodles doused in yellow curry sauce ($12).
Born in Seoul, South Korea, chef Yohan Yun first began working in sushi restaurants when he was 16. However, he credits his father with teaching him many of the skills that he still uses at Big Eye Sushi Bar to craft miso, soy sauce, and nato, a type of fermented soybean. The menu spotlights never-frozen fish; even the maki use rice sparingly. The rolls instead accessorize the tightly bundled fish and vegetables with such adventurous ingredients as chipotle cream sauce and thin slices of lemon. Orders of sashimi arrive with fragrant ginger sauce or jalapeños, keeping diners from tossing chopsticks to rakish musketeers having sword duels.
Dai Hayashi traveled the world for nearly 20 years before learning that his favorite home wasn't somewhere on a map, but in the kitchen. After leaving Tokyo in 1977 and exploring Russia and Europe, he found himself in Los Angeles, in the kitchen of Hana Sushi, where he became an astute apprentice in the Japanese culinary art of careful slicing and assembly. Dai stayed put in Southern California for 24 years, during which time he worked as a chef and eventually opened his first restaurant.
In 1993, Dai packed up his spatulas, kids, and other inanimate objects and moved to Scottsdale, where he harnessed his years of expertise to open Sushi Ko. Today, he works alongside his children—Ika and Hikaru—behind the sushi bar, slicing fresh fillets and dutifully participating in wasabi-eating contests.