Exposed wood beams and shoji-screen-like latticework re-create the atmosphere of a traditional Japanese house inside Koto Buki's dining room. The cuisine also keeps it authentic—udon noodles, curry rice, stir-fried veggies, and teriyaki sauce serve as the base for a choice of meats, and shy vegetables hide inside fried batter in tempura dinners. Like the butlers who prepare Richie Rich's Christmas gifts to his pet shark, chefs expertly slice and wrap dozens of sushi choices, from traditional slabs of sashimi on beds of rice to inventive specialty rolls with names such as Crazy Boy, Ninja, Vegas, and Kiss of Fire.
Chefs disregard international boundaries at the appropriately named Fusion Bistro. Instead of sticking to the cuisine of one nation, they cook up some of the world’s most popular dishes, from sushi and sashimi to pizza and chicken wings. Some of the bistro’s more eclectic offerings include the spicy-chicken roll and the whimsical Sarah Palin roll, which wraps salmon, avocado, and cucumber slices in a voter’s ballot. Just as inventive is the bar’s martini list, which features more than 30 fruity, chocolaty, and dirty variations of the classic cocktail.
A piquant theme runs through much of the menu at Spicy Tuna Sushi Bar & Grill. The kung pao chicken, naturally, showcases the heat: its peanuts are stir-fried with mixed veggies and spicy brown sauce before coating freshly steamed heaps of in white rice. But the kitchen staff doesn't simply fixate on making hot dishes; chefs craft mild-yet-savory Asian favorites, ranging from lobster tail and prawns bathed in oyster sauce to the tonkatsu's beer-battered pork cutlets. Their carefully curated sushi menu also introduces mouths to ocean-fresh bites of nigiri and sashimi. This commitment to a diverse menu is part of what helped earn the restaurant honors as Toledo's best sushi restaurant in the Best of Toledo 2012 survey held by the Toledo City Paper.
No matter what they order, patrons frequently slake their thirsts with sake and imported Asian beers. During warm-weather months, many meals unfold on the restaurant's open-air patio; however, no matter the season, a fully stocked game room remains open to lure patrons inside.
Family-friendly Nagoya Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi prepares authentic Japanese fare mere inches from ravenous patrons on in-table hibachi grills. Using fresh fish and ingredients from around the world, expert chefs mix up flavor medleys with tricks and flair. The traditional dinner menu starts off with cold and hot appetizers ($5–$15), including Japanese favorites gyoza—crispy oysters—and the seaweed salad, which sneakily ensnares tongues with chlorophyllic flavor. Hibachi dinners create a landscape of flavor with bubbling springs of soup, leafy fields of house salad, fresh vegetables, and the plump hibachi shrimp appetizer, all drizzled with Nagoya's own special sauces. Choose from a variety of land-bound and ocean-entrapped entrees, such as the hibachi steak ($24), scallop and shrimp ($26), or vegetable ($12). Sushi-bar offerings range from nigiri and sashimi to a large selection of specialty rolls and combinations suited for sharing or zealously hoarding. A generous assortment of wines, sakes, and martinis lightly complements the menu of satisfying comestibles.
The seasoned chefs at Biwako Sushi, led by head chef and owner Andy Kwon, concoct a variety of traditional Japanese and Korean dishes, often experimenting with playful sushi arrangements. Rolls can be found laid out in neatly staggered rainbow rows, organized into the shape of a heart pierced by an arrow, or arranged as tiny dioramas populated with plants, sushi clusters, and tiny sushi traffic lights. Casual splashes of soy sauce and garnishes surround exotic and custom rolls, tightly wrapping ingredients such as tempura shrimp, masago, and eel.
The more than 25-dish menu also encompasses Korean meals such as kalbi, bibimbap, and tonkatsu, letting diners sample a range of flavors without having to stow away in a UN ambassador's luggage. When not crafting dishes in the secrecy of the kitchen, Chef Kwon teaches others the art of sushi-roll preparation in hands-on classes.
Yotsuba’s skilled sushi chefs sprinkle fresh fish and organic seaweed with low-sodium soy sauce brewed in-house. Tempura and teriyaki dishes steam atop low tables in the West Bloomfield location’s tatami room, where cushy legless seats host floor-level dining in traditional Japanese style. High-backed booths and bar seating at both locations raise patrons off the ground for views of chopstick-wielding chefs tapping out the drum solo from "Wipeout" behind the sushi bar.
Peals of laughter rise from families around the granite tabletops at which hibachi chefs crack jokes and flip shrimp over the grill. At Ichiban Steakhouse, expert grillers don black chef suits and show off their skill at slicing and searing chicken, steak, and seafood. Flanked by dark wood walls, nearby sushi chefs slice fresh fish to wrap tightly in specialty rolls. Five tatami rooms provide semiprivate spaces for business meals, romantic outings, or discreet transformations into a werewolf.