September 12, 2008

Sports Bar Turns Japanese: Sakura Japanese Steakhouse Review (View Listing)


Price: 3 out of 4

ToledoMenu Staff

Recently I visited Sakura for lunch with a large group. Overall the experience was quite good - friendly service, clean restaurant, and the food was delicious.

In a former life, Sakura’s digs were a decidedly less Japanese restaurant called Ralphies (which has since moved further down Monroe to the Starlight Plaza), and even further back in history, a Big Boy. A complete overhaul of the restaurant interior has convincingly torn the American hamburgers and sports heritage from the building’s memory - some booths have even been replaced with low Japanese tables and floor mats. I would say there are about five distinct-feeling dining environments in the restaurant - our group chose the Hibachi tables.

After some edamame (steamed soy bean pods) as an appetizer, because I was in a group, I was able to try several items: a dragon roll (avocado with whole eel and masago, salmon on top), a Boston roll (shrimp, lettuce, cucumber, mayonnaise), as well as an incredibly tender piece of Hibachi steak and flaky Hibachi salmon. For my lunch I chose the miso soup and sushi deluxe (7 pieces assorted sushi and california rolls). Sakura has good miso - pretty salty, but just the right temperature and consistency.

Our Hibachi chef, Ray, was very funny and talented. He claimed to “speak no English”, but he was flirting and teasing one of the ladies in our group quite a bit, in spite of the supposed language barrier.

The verdict - Sakura is a fun dining destination, with terrific food whether you like sushi, Hibachi, or even teriyaki. Reservations are advised.

We Recommend

I recommend the sushi deluxe or Hibachi salmon. And be sure to get some edamame.

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