Small surprises abound inside Takenoya, where ice milk tea might contain sweet bites of mango jelly and one of the sushi rolls might arrive wrapped in soybean paper or cucumber rather than traditional seaweed. Those interested in eschewing surprises can build their own bento box, which compartmentalizes their chosen meals of chicken teriyaki, nigiri, or other specialties into neat squares alongside soup, salad, and rice. Savory noodles swirl amid shrimp tempura in the nabeyaki udon, one of several noodle dishes. The menu also includes traditional plates such as pork katsu, japanese curries, and korean short ribs.
The elaborate sushi listings showcase more than 25 signature rolls. The spicy tempura-lobster roll nestles its namesake ingredient against cucumber, avocado, sprouts, and smelt egg, whereas the summer fresh roll cocoons tuna, salmon, and yellowtail inside a cucumber shell. Four types of box sushi are prepared with a pressing box, which molds each bite into a tiny cube.
At Ichiban Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar, each specialty roll reels in hungry visitors with a core of flavorful ingredients such as roasted eel, mussels, and spicy sesame sauce. Of the many rolls on the menu, the Box Sushi roll with seared tuna and spicy crab meat might be the most unique one, since it uses a Japanese wooden box instead of seaweed paper to achieve its classic tubular shape. In addition to rolling sushi, chefs also top donburi Japanese rice bowls with teriyaki chicken and curried beef. Even the appetizers are steeped in distinctly Asian flavors, from fried pork gyoza dumplings to veggies encased in a crispy tempura shell.
Mount Fuji is the tallest mountain in Japan, so it's fair to expect a restaurant called Fuji Sushi to stack the rolls high. This place doesn't disappoint with its sushi platters, which come loaded with tuna, salmon, and specialty rolls. But sushi accounts for just a fraction of the menu here. The rest includes teriyaki or yakitori skewers, as well as sashimi and spicy seafood soups. After dinner, hang around for a cup of italian coffee or green-tea ice cream freshly scooped out of a frozen kettle.
Having mastered several subsets of Chinese cuisine, the chefs at China Pavilion couldn't fit all their entrees onto a single menu. So they created three: one with America's popular staples, one brimming with traditional platters, and one showcasing chef specialties. The first lines up dishes that are now familiar—sweet 'n' sour chicken and mongolian beef—as well as recognizable feasts served in new ways, such as the peking duck wrapped in crepes. More traditional and exotic options abound on the Chinese menu, such as pickled cabbage and pork noodle soup, or spicy king crabmeat sprinkled with basil and served in a clay pot. The chefs’ selections, meanwhile, range from classic to experimental: strips of Angus beef sizzle in oyster sauce, and garlic-pepper salt coats Alaskan halibut in a wok. China Pavilion’s full cocktail bar balances meals with citrusy sips of sour plum martinis, and on weekends, visitors can drop by for a dim-sum brunch that leaves tongues more satisfied than an astronaut wearing Moon Boots.
With more than 30 years in business under its belt, it's no wonder that Seaward Sushi Bar is a stalwart choice for sushi in the Ventura community. Its menu of sushi rolls?bestowed with whimsical names such as Superman and Hot Lips?is written on the wall alongside detailed descriptions so guests know exactly how each one is built.
And while some rolls are wrapped with traditional sheets of seaweed, others are held together with pink soy paper or slices of halibut sashimi. But that's not the only unexpected twist the chefs put on their sushi. They also incorporate unusual ingredients such as tempura sprinkles and garlic sauce, and they frequently pair baked seafood with raw fish to create rolls with contrasting temperatures. Bottles of traditional and flavored sake are available to pair with any of the rolls served inside this casual eatery, which is bedecked with rustic wood panels and an oversize seascape mural.
When many people think of Japanese cuisine, visions of multihued sushi rolls often spring to mind. But at Gotetsu, the menu is strikingly absent of the rice and raw-fish morsels. The staff is helmed by owner and native of Japan Yukari Watanabe, who has chosen to highlight some of the most often-overlooked dishes in Japanese cuisine. Among them is yakitori, also called kushiyaki, a dish of grilled chicken and meats on thin wooden skewers.