Tuesday , November 25, 2014 - 2:57 PM
Osaka Sushi & Izakaya recently underwent a complete remodel and expansion of its space, and increased its menu options as well.
Manager Cassie Ringel has been with the restaurant almost since it opened in 2003. Owners “Chef” Cho and his wife Hee Sook Park created the menu of Japanese cuisine with some influence from their home country of Korea.
“The owners make the restaurant,” Ringel said. “They are extremely dedicated and they are just amazing. They treat their employees like family.”
The owners make the sauces from scratch.
“You can buy a lot of the sauces for a sushi bar, but they make all of the sauces,” Ringel said.
The restaurant offers more than 100 sushi rolls, including customized rolls made to order, and other popular Japanese dishes. The variety means there is something to suit any taste, Ringel said.
“It’s a really casual environment,” she added. “It is great for families. There is something for everyone. It’s not just sushi. I see businessmen, families and people who travel who come here every time they are in Utah. It’s really homey. The owners want to make everyone feel welcome.”
Lunch specials include the popular bento box ($12.95) with rice, gyoza and choice of teriyaki meat, shrimp or vegetable tempura, tonkatsu and chef’s choice of three pieces of sushi or sashimi; tonkatsu ($9.95), breaded pork cutlets in an Asian barbecue sauce made from fruits and vegetables; Ramen ($8.95), a comforting noodle favorite with vegetables; and Udon Nabeyaki ($9.95), made with thick noodles, cabbage, eggs, chicken and tempura served on the side.
Oyster shooters ($6.95), served on the half shell or in shot glasses or Ebi Mayo ($5.95), rock shrimp tempura with sweet mayo sauce, are popular ways to start a meal.
The eatery was voted Best in State for its Avocado Bomb ($10.95), made with soft shell crab, spicy crab and spicy tuna surrounded by avocado with spicy mayo and eel sauce on top. Another of Ringel’s favorite tapas dishes is the sautéed smoked duck cabbage ($8.95).
“We have some really good gluten-free options for the sushi or yakitori,” Ringel said.
Yakitori dishes are skewered and cooked on a special grill. Some favorites include asparagus wrapped in bacon ($3.50), giant scallops ($2) and shitake mushrooms ($2).
Sushi rolls range from classics, like the California roll ($4.95), to the exotic, like the Rattle Snake ($14.95), with shrimp tempura and grilled fresh water eel, to something sweet, like the Starburst roll ($10), with peach mango, strawberry, cucumber and cream cheese.
Other chef specialty rolls include Sunset ($13.50), with spicy scallops, crab, cucumber, eel and avocado; Mexican Crunch ($9.95), a deep fried roll with spicy crab and cream cheese; and, New Vegas ($9.50) with tempura fried spicy tuna, crab, lemon slices and cucumber.
The Japanese pancake, or Okonomiyaki ($7.95), with shrimp, bacon, calamari and vegetables and the grilled salmon or Sake Kama ($8.95), finished with hot and sweet sauce, are other favorite dishes with diners.
Some like to stick to lighter fare with a salad like seaweed ($3.95) in a spicy citrus dressing, or squid salad ($4.50).
The menu wouldn’t be complete without an assortment of delicious desserts. The Japanese red bean waffle ($3.95) is topped with a generous portion of sweetened red beans. Ice cream flavors include green tea, mango or strawberry ($4.95). The restaurant also makes deep fried bananas with vanilla ice cream or banana brulee with vanilla ice cream ($5.95).
Osaka Sushi & Izakaya
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