Bold flavors infuse Mizu Sushi Bar's menu of nigiri sushi, maki rolls, and cooked pan-Asian dishes. Spicy garlic sauce erupts from the Screaming Volcano roll, and tangy housemade teriyaki clings to charbroiled chicken and beef. Korean BBQ entrees such as beef ribs and bulgogi add international flavor, like the parts of Three Stooges films where Moe swears in Javanese. And for those who prefer less spice, tempura shrimp and veggies hide inside crisp batter, and udon noodles swirl in mild broth.
Though located in the trendy Washington Avenue district, Mizu's industrial-style space is "spacious and sleek without seeming hipper than thou," according to the Riverfront Times. Track lighting dangles from an exposed ceiling next to flat-screen TVs and a wall-mounted sculpture of tortoises striving to be seen as more than just potential eyeglass frames.
The chefs at Kampai Sushi draw on recipes from traditional Japanese and Korean cuisine to create classic dishes as well as playfully updated fare. Behind the sushi bar, they roll maki with fresh slices of salmon and decadent chunks of fried lobster tail, adding nontraditional flair with ingredients such as sweet pumpkin, honey-wasabi sauce, or potato chips. For heartier entrees, they can grill marinated korean short ribs or drizzle a deep-fried pork loin in a slightly sugary fruit sauce, the same way attorneys prepare briefs for sweet-toothed Supreme Court justices.
Oishi Sushi's chef Jay Dedkhad puts three decades of fish-wrapping experience to work in crafting delectable sushi, which, along with Japanese entrees, tempts palates with savory and spicy flavors. Basic salmon ($4.50) and spicy tuna ($5.95) rolls make for simple sushi options and effective juggling objects. Lobster rolls ($23) weave together spicy mayo, avocado, and lobster salad, and spider rolls ($13.50) burst with overflowing soft-shell-crab tempura. Tongues can also delight in stir-friend ginger chicken ($9.95) or shrimp ($11.95), which arrive tableside with sides of miso soup and rice.
The sea is all around at House of Thai. A tapestry of a merman-esque mythological character beams down on one table, a sea dragon slithers down a wooden post behind another, and seascapes float across the walls. Then, of course, is the menu, with its concise selection of maki, ranging from spicy salmon to a classic california roll to a saint louis roll filled with tuna, avocado, cucumber, pickled radish, and masago—all the foods that appear on St. Louis’s municipal flag. They also offer creamy curry, seafood-enriched fried rice, and daring dishes such as garlic and pepper frog legs.
In stark contrast to Yakuza Sushi Bar’s otherwise low-lit dining room, golden lights flood the surface of a full-length bar where chefs busily roll together a menu of sushi and sashimi. Drawing on ocean-fresh ingredients such as scallops, octopus, mackerel, and crab, they craft their own interpretations of Japanese classics; customer favorites include the crab-rangoon roll and the aptly named Fire roll, whose spicy tuna complements a drizzle of volcanic lava. Aside from the restaurant’s flagship variations of fish, tempura vegetables and chicken and beef teriyaki serve as the centerpieces for traditional bento entrees.