Osaka Golden Valley's talented team of chefs is split between two delicious specialties—sushi and hibachi. Each day, they perform a culinary spectacle for guests, transforming fresh seafood into maki and sashimi at the sushi bar or searing meats and veggies tableside at hibachi grills. Their gourmet repertoire also includes traditional Japanese entrees such as teriyaki, tempura, and noodle dishes. With seven locations in the Twin Cities metropolitan area, the restaurant franchise keeps locals packed with enough soy sauce to withstand Minnesota's harsh winters and harsher condiment famines.
The passion for fresh fish is reflected through Nami Sushi’s aquatic motif and even in the name— nami means wave in Japanese. The fish is so delicious that CBS Local hailed the restaurant as on of the best sushi spots in the Twin Cities in late 2010. A marble sushi bar runs the length of the dining room, chilling the colorful slabs of tuna, salmon, and octopus that sushi chefs mold into signature nigiri, specialty rolls, and abstract self portraits. Behind the scenes, a kitchen staff churns out hot entrees such as the new york strip teriyaki, shrimp tempura, and sautéed ginger chicken.
At Seven The Steakhouse, chefs prepare succulent steaks, seafood, and pastas amid the restaurant's dark wood tables, high ceilings, and flickering fireplace. Sourced exclusively from 1881 Omaha Hereford beef cattle, tender steaks and fillets share a menu with cuts of pan-seared salmon and Maryland jumbo crab cakes. A reviewer for Gayot compliments the “effortlessly charming servers,” whose muscles bulge from carrying 24-ounce porterhouses and decadent desserts sweeter than a cotton-candy statue of Mother Theresa. The restaurant will be donating 40% of the proceeds from this Groupon to help send the Minnesota Thunder U14 boys' soccer team on a educational workshop in Brazil.
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.
Passing through the stone-lined threshold of Ichiban Japanese Steak House & Sushi Bar's pagoda-style building, visitors enter an indoor garden where plants burst from beds around a waterfall and bubbling stream. The decor draws from Japanese tradition and culture—on which both Ichiban locations base their aesthetic variations—in much the same way as the chefs’ cuisine. Since 1979, these culinary greats have introduced diners to the teppanyaki style of grilling as well as classic Japanese dishes such as tempura, udon, and gyoza.
At tableside grills, knives flash as chefs sizzle, flip, and set ablaze morsels of scallops, filet mignon, salmon, and chicken. While cooking, each chef displays an individualized sense of showmanship and culinary style by spotlighting a range of spatula moves and carving meats into the profiles of their favorite celebrities. Sushi chefs fill boat-shaped platters with more than 40 varieties of sushi, rolling seaweed around roe, eel, squid, cucumber, and fried tofu before placing each on a canapé of seasoned rice. All these dishes flit across tongues with complementary sips of sake, wine, beer, or mixed drinks with names such as Panda and Kabuki.
Sushi of Tokyo may actually be located in Plymouth, but nobody is doubting where the restaurant finds its inspiration. Japanese chefs masterfully incorporate raw ingredients such as surf clam, smelt roe, and squid into their nigiri and sashimi. It doesn’t matter that their kitchen is conspicuously lacking in smoke and flames—not when their California rolls taste so good with crunchy cucumbers, imitation crab meat, and sides of salty Pacific Ocean water. Though much of the food is uncooked, the chefs supply ample heat with their spicy lobster salad and udon noodle soups brimming with chicken, veggies, or seafood.