At Tokai Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar, guests can slide right up to the sushi bar and watch Chef David at work, folding yellow tail and avocado or soft-shell crab and eel into decadent sushi rolls. Sushi is just half of the eatery’s specialty; the menu also tempts diners with thinly sliced ginger beef, shrimp tempura, and chirashi—an assortment of fresh seafood served over seasoned rice. Japanese beer, wines, and sake complement both cooked and raw meals.
Over the last five years, the chefs at Barracuda Japanese Restaurant have continually tinkered with their sushi, teriyaki, and noodle dishes, customizing the menu to fit each Barracuda location’s neighborhood and clientele. Using fresh fish and fruit sourced locally and sustainably whenever possible, the team crafts more than a dozen specialty rolls, including the Japanese Cowboy Roll, which matches crabmeat with mango, avocado, and thinly sliced Kobe beef. Staples such as chicken teriyaki rest side by side with more intricately prepared eats including pan-seared rib eye with mashed potatoes. Lit from underneath, the dining room’s dim orange walls surround potted plants and wooden tables that can accommodate groups of all sizes.
In Sushi 88 & Ramen?s large, laid-back dining room, platters piled with sushi travel to tables, and bowls of steaming tonkatsu ramen emerge from the kitchen. The walls' Japanese tapestries flutter over diners sampling the menu's huge variety of maki rolls, bento boxes, and entrees, such as beef short ribs and grilled mackerel. Sushi 88 & Ramen accompanies meals with specialty Japanese beers, and the deft chefs can personalize sushi orders for any special occasion, whether it's asking a date to the prom or asking a business partner to trade offices.
Though Iron Sushi authentically executes standard maki recipes such as the california, spider, and alaska roll, the specialty here is the unexpected. Like pets and favorite washing machines, many of the restaurant's specialty rolls have human names?such rolls as the Eddie's Special, made with shrimp tempura and cream cheese, and the Hannah Roll, which combines soft-shell crab with sweet unagi. The more adventurous might choose the Avocado Special, a roe-topped tower shrouded in avocado slices that's accompanied by the simple description, "chef's secret." More than a dozen appetizers let diners prelude maki meals with classic Japanese dishes such as agedashi tofu and wakame salad.
The cooks at Tenka Japanese Restaurant grill squid, deep-fry oysters, and assemble raw orders of sushi with the steady hands of a brain surgeon building a house of cards. Sushi rolls can grow around simple cores of tuna and cucumber or more piquant fillings like spicy mayonnaise, asparagus, or shrimp tempura. For even more robust flavor, the cooks skewer beef after first marinating it in soy sauce and sake, or deep-fry pork cutlets and add them to curry rice.
2G Japanese Brasserie calls itself as an izakaya: a traditional Japanese drinking establishment that also serves food, and an ideal place for lingering after work or during lunch breaks. But at 2G, the food hardly takes a backseat to sake and beer?take executive sushi chef Sasaki Masaki's menu, for example. Each spicy salmon roll and slice of yellowtail sashimi is crafted with extreme attention to detail, incorporating real crab, fresh vegetables, and other ingredients sourced from carefully selected local growers and vendors.
That same care goes into plates from the kitchen, where executive chef Hidetoshi Nambu crafts Japanese entrees such as sake-marinated seabass, whole roasted crabs, and chicken teriyaki. Other dishes, such as Kobe-style beef burgers and house-made beef curry, showcase a global influence. Those two entrees also appear on the casual lunch menu, along with options to assemble your own bento plate, a less confining version of the traditional bento box.