Saturday, June 10, 2006

Bistro Wasabi

Bistro Wasabi
3150 Chappel Drive
Perrysburg, OH 43551
419-872-1988

Bistro Wasabi is an oasis of local sophistication in the midst of a synthetic culture shopping area. Tucked on a side street of "Levis Commons", Bistro Wasabi offers an eclectic mix of Japanese sushi house favorites, Asian fusion creations, and the Toledo staple of steaks and chicken. Chef John Kim, formerly of the Toledo based Fujiyama, shines in this Zen-like ambiance.

During my first visit, I dined with "the girls" on assorted Maki rolls ($5-$18 per roll), the seaweed salad ($6), and a spring roll ($10). The seaweed salad was a delicate mix of seaweed, sesame seeds, chopped peanuts, curly & crispy rice noodles and a gentle rice wine vinaigrette. My dining companions were surprised, but pleased, with the addition of small pieces of red onions in this salad. The spring roll, wrapped in rice paper, was served chilled and featured julienned vegetables with shrimp, as well as two unique dipping sauces. One was a spicy, vibrant red Southwest chipotle pepper sauce and the other a hot and sweet combination of orange marmalade and chili peppers. If this is how Wasabi Bistro does fusion...I want more!

I returned within the week for lunch with other friends. This time I ordered the "3-Course Lunch Express" ($15/four options) to sample more of the sushi. The miso soup was pleasant, the Asian salad luscious, and the nagiri zushi did not disappoint me. While I prefer to eat sashimi as hira giri (big, perfectly cut, unadorned pieces of fish), the nagiri zushi alternative was excellent (Nagiri zushi literally means "squeezed sushi" and is sashimi pressed onto a small, oval rice ball often with a small amount of wasabi between the rice and the fish.). I am anxious to return and see if hira giri may be requested.

My companions ordered the Teriyaki sampler ($9) appetizer that included marinated and grilled skewers of chicken, beef and shrimp and a perfect cylinder of the richest mashed potatoes I have ever tasted. Although I detest mashed potatoes in fine dining establishments, the heavy cream and butter ladden treat on our table sent my chopsticks flying while I used my fork.

In the interest of additional research, I also sampled the "Sosun Steak Hoggie" ($9), as well as the Sapporo maki roll ($6) and spicy tuna rolls ($10) on the plates of my friends. The hoggie tasted like a Teriyaki version of a Philly cheese steak and certainly offers an acceptable alternative to those who don't care for sushi.

On both visits, my friends noticed that the menu is void of iced green tea or the ubiquitous, non-alcoholic "ginger-beer" favored in Asian fusion restaurants. I inquired with the owner, who assured me these options are being investigated. However, the restaurant features a full bar with both an ample wine and sake list.

As for the decor, it is a simple combination of hardwood floors, Japanese screens, and contemporary furniture. With museum white walls, a zinc bar and subtle blue neon accents, it has a "Sex and the City" feel. The space is extremely loud when the restaurant is full. The walled off sushi bar may offer a more quiet place for intimate dining. Although my table mates on both visits felt that the mostly black and white interior could use a bigger splash of color and some cieling or wall fabric to absorb some of the noise, everyone agreed that Bistro Wasabi is a welcome addition to an otherwise predictable mix of chain restaurants.

“Glass City Gourmet” is a chronicle of one woman's attempt to cook, eat, diet and entertain with both flair and whimsy while based in Toledo, Ohio. I encourage you to read on as the "Glass City Gourmet" attempts grand recipes, samples locally owned restaurants, visits indigenous markets and humbly pursues her quest to be formally recognized as the official "Glass City Gourmet".

5 comments:

  1. All I can say is WOW. This resturant is not something I expected in toledo. Let me just say the food is so good. I am not a fan of seafood or sushi for that matter. I was forced to try there since my wife loves seafood. There calamari temp is to die for. I had the NY Steak for dinner and let me tell you it's the BEST STEAK I had period hands down from a resturant. Which is totally odd since it's not something I expected from a asian or seafood resturant. My wife ordered the spicy peppercorn ahi tuna dinner and she litterly licked the plate clean. Luckly I got a taste of the dish before she started eating and let me say I am going to be eating the tuna next time. This resturant has become my favorite resturant.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dave & Slick !October 10, 2006 12:24 PM

    A truly refreshing delight !
    I love Sushi and the wife like a good Filet. We get the both of both worlds here. The fish is fresh and the presentation is exquisite. The steaks, a 32oz!! Ribeye and the filet melt in your mouth.
    The Bartender,Austin, makes a super cocktail to put it all together.

    ReplyDelete
  3. After moving away to Houston , Texas for more than 10 years and moving back to Toledo recently, I missed my local corner sushi bar. As I live near Levis Commons and pass by it on my way to work, imagine my suprise to find a world-class sushi bar here in NW Ohio. While a little pricey, this sushi ranks up there with the top 10 sushi bars I've ever been to. The food is fresh (something others around here can't seem to manage) and the atmosphere is top notch. A welcome addition to the neighborhood.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great blog, thanks for this review!

    Jason

    ReplyDelete
  5. My husband and I dined tonight at Bistro Wasabi. Our food and martinis were wonderful, but our service let much to be desired. We saw our water-filler-upper more than our waiter. The bottle of wine that we ordered came just as we were eating our last Baja Roll. We will not be returning.

    ReplyDelete