French Fusion sushi boat is one of the many different sushi
options at Asuka Japanese Cuisine. (West Life photo by Larry
brings hibachi-dining, sushi to Westlake
By Cynthia Schuster-Eakin
Published July 2, 2008
is a firebird. Japanese lore has it rising out of flames like a
Asuka Japanese Cuisine has risen out of the old Brendan
O’Neill’s space in the West Bay Plaza, turning it into a sleek and
sexy new hibachi steakhouse and sushi bar.
The restaurant features a dozen large hibachi stations
where diners can have their meals prepared at their table by expert
hibachi chefs. Hibachi is the restaurant’s main business, since
hibachi dishes are more like American grilled fare than other Japanese
specialties. Diners select their choice of vegetable, chicken, filet
mignon or seafood. Hibachi dinners include soup, salad, shrimp appetizer,
vegetable and fried rice. Entrees are priced from $13 to $22, with
combination meals like steak and lobster slightly more expensive.
These menu staples can also by ordered with a variety
of sauces. You can try chicken, beef or seafood teriyaki, with Thai
basil ginger, mango or curry sauce, spicy black bean sauce or eggplant
garlic sauce. Seafood tempura ($19) is shrimp, scallops, salmon
and lobster accompanied by vegetables, dipped in a light batter
and deep-fried. The menu also includes a variety of noodle dishes,
such as pad thai, and entrees made with soba or udon noodles.
Half of Asuka is dedicated to a fusion-style sushi
bar. When it comes to sushi, Japanese are purists. Sushi is made
with premium grade, very fresh, unseasoned seafood. The flavor is
extremely mild. Sushi is dipped in soy sauce and wasabi for added
The sushi rage in America started on the west coast
about 10 years ago, in areas of California and the Pacific Northwest
where a large Asian population resided. Since then, the craze has
taken off across the country. Restaurants everywhere feature sushi,
but not necessarily made in the traditional manner. Americans want
big flavor and sometimes add salt or vinegar and oil marinades to
the seafood and rice. Fusion-style sushi is prepared in the pure
Japanese style, with mayonnaise, mustard or pepper sauce served
on the side of the dish as decoration, or on a separate plate for
Sushi or sashimi can be ordered ala carte. Asuka offers
sushi as an entrée, with soup or salad. Sushi Deluxe is a 10-piece
platter of sushi and a California roll ($19). Sushi for two includes
16 pieces of sushi, a spicy tuna roll and eel avocado roll ($39).
Sushi hand rolls are larger than the ala carte sushi
items and combine seafood, vegetables and rice. The Asuka roll is
fried shrimp tempura, cucumber and avocado wrapped with rice and
topped with eel sauce ($11). Iso maki is spicy yellowtail wrapped
with seaweed salad and served with a special sauce on the side ($13).
The Crazy Friday roll is peppered tuna and asparagus ($13), while
the wasabi roll combines smoked salmon and lobster salad with cream
cheese and pungent wasabi ($13).
The lunch menu offers smaller portions of items featured
on the evening bill of fare. The lunch box meal is a great deal,
with your choice of entrée such as salmon teriyaki ($7) or shrimp
tempura ($8), served with soup, salad, three pieces of California
roll and rice. The lunch roll special allows the customer to choose
any two featured sushi rolls for $9, or three for $10.
During the month of July, Asuka is offering a grand
opening special hibachi lunch for half price on Monday through Friday.
Tiramisu, cheesecake and Japanese red bean and green
tea ice cream are offered for dessert.
The bar features a variety of quality Japanese wines
and beers, as well as American and other imported beers and top-shelf
liquors to complement your meal. Or, you can order an Asuka special
green tea martini, or a bottle of Japanese soda.
Asuka Japanese Cuisine is open for lunch from 11 a.m.
to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Dinner is served from
4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and from 4:30 p.m.
to 11 p.m. on Friday. Saturday hours are noon to 11 p.m. The restaurant
is open on Sunday from noon to 9 p.m. Major credit cards are honored.
Private parties can be accommodated. Gift certificates are available.
Phone Asuka, 30006 Detroit Road in Westlake, at (440) 808-8558 or
(440) 808-8428. The restaurant is wheelchair accessible.