Where to Get MKE's Best Sushi
Just because MKE isn't on an ocean doesn't mean we don't love sushi. There are many Japanese restaurants around the city, most of them offering fresh sushi of all kinds, and yes, even those big wooden boats. Here are five of the best sushi joints in town.
One of the newest kids on the block, Rice n Roll has quickly gained a large following. The menu spans everything from pad Thai to steak tempura, with a large selection of sushi, sashimi and rolls. Traditionalists will appreciate that they can get 18+ types of nigiri and sashimi, including smelt roe, surf clam and mackerel. The amount of sushi rolls offered is massive, with some named after local neighborhoods like the Farwell with crab, cream cheese, unagi and fried shrimp or the East Town Monster with shrimp, cilantro, avocado and jalapeno. An $8.95 sushi lunch special during the week is a great way to try a variety of choices.
There's one maki roll at Kanpai that makes quite a splash. It's called the O My God, presumably because that's what everyone says when it comes to the table on fire. The roll (made with shrimp tempura, avocado, unagi sauce and wasabi aioli) is surrounded by an aluminum foil barricade so that the alcohol set aflame underneath doesn't affect the sushi. If that's a little over the top for you, there's a huge selection of other maki, sashimi and nigiri to choose from. The sushi burrito is a popular lunch choice, with Japanese cole slaw, crab salad, avocado and cucumber all rolled up like a burrito. Seafood haters will appreciate the fact that the menu includes a couple burgers at lunch and steak at dinner. Don't pass up any of their signature sake cocktails.
Don't judge a book by its cover. This sushi spot is located in an unassuming strip mall on Layton Ave. near the airport. The interior matches the outside: a little boring, but pleasant. The food, however, is anything but bland, and it doesn't hurt that the prices are inexpensive, thanks in part to the out-of-the-way location. People new to sushi (or pregnant women) may appreciate that their simple roll menu includes a raw or cooked designation, taking out any guesswork if you don't want raw seafood. Crunchy rolls are popular here, so if you're a fan of the fried tempura flakes, you're in the right place.
You may not expect to find good sushi in West Allis, but you'd be surprised. Fujiyama has been around for more than a decade and it's still just as busy as when they opened. While they have plenty of sushi options, the menu spans much broader Japanese cuisine, from udon to roast duck. Bento boxes at lunch offer a great way to try a lot of different things, and include soup, salad, rice, dumplings, teriyaki or tempura and your choice of maki. Hibachi is available here, that blast-from-the-past dinner experience where you sit around a large grill and watch as your chef cooks your meal. Yes, they even do the onion volcano trick, much to the delight of kids.
Another location you may not expect a sushi restaurant is across from Bayshore mall. Kawa moved into their location after a beloved cafe closed, and the interior has been revamped into a modern space with contemporary art on the walls. The fish is fresh and presented well and a lot of their produce is sourced from Growing Power. Besides sushi, katsu, a fried cutlet of pork or chicken, is a popular choice, served with miso soup, salad and rice. Have a large group or party? Go for the gusto and order the Party Boat which includes 17 pieces of sushi, 21 pieces of sashimi and a couple rolls for good measure.
Got the scoop on news or upcoming events? Contact me on Twitter @brewcitybooze.