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Where: Mizu Japanese Restaurant
Address: 5832 Youngstown-Warren Road, Niles; and 60 Boardman-Poland Road, Youngstown
Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and noon to 9:30 p.m Sunday
By Erin Kouvas
From one sushi lover to another, I know your pain. I know how you’ve searched and waited and longed for that special sushi that you can truly love to come into your life without the long drive to Cleveland or Pittsburgh. Well, my fellow sushi searchers, I have good news for you. I can sum it up in one word: Mizu.
Mizu is located at 5832 Youngstown-Warren Road. However, owner Tony Chen and his wife, Phoebe, are excited to be opening a second restaurant soon in Mahoning County, at 60 Boardman-Poland Road, across from the Southern Park Mall.
The menu is mostly sushi, but with wonderful hibachi selections for those who are afraid to take the sushi plunge. And for you vegetarians and vegans, there is veggie sushi available as well. So, now that you know they’ve got you covered with selections, let me go into those selections with a little more detail.
On this latest visit to Mizu with my husband, I had Chicken Hibachi (lunch $7.95, dinner $12.95) and salad with ginger dressing ($1.95).
Hibachi is steak, chicken, lobster or a variety of other options cooked on a flat top grill with fried rice and vegetables. Delicious! And so is the shrimp sauce that comes with it for dipping or drenching whatever you can.
We also got an appetizer called the Dancing Cracker, which was a mix of mango, crab, shrimp, cucumber and avocado on top of a Japanese cracker and topped with spicy mayo, eel sauce, wasabi mayo and tempura crunch for $7.95. Also quite good. Salmon and tuna sushi came next ($4.50 for 2 pieces) and a selection of their special rolls, the Orange Roll ($9.95), the Tiger Roll ($11.95) and the Cherry Blossom Roll ($10.95). Yum, yum, yum.
Just a quick tutorial for you newbies to sushi. Sushi is cooked vinegared rice combined with other ingredients, usually raw fish or other seafood. It comes two pieces per order. Sashimi, also served two pieces per order, means only the fish, but you always have wasabi, soy sauce and ginger on the side to spice it up if you’d like.
Sushi rolls are the fish ordered rolled in seaweed or sometimes a rice paper with rice and possibly other tasty ingredients inside, depending on the roll ordered. For those who will eat fish but won’t eat it raw, simply order something tempura (lightly fried) or the vegetarian or hibachi grill options will be great for you.
I would say that if it sounds good here, try it, because it probably is. The sushi is as good as it gets anywhere within an hour radius. Maybe that’s partly because Tony worked in restaurants in New York, where the competition demands a level of excellence, or maybe it’s just within him.
Either way, when I asked him what Mizu’s passion was, he said that it was “bringing the freshest sushi into town and to treat our customers well.” Well, you are treating my belly well as it loves sushi and has ever since I worked in a sushi restaurant myself more than 15 years ago. Until recently, if I wanted sushi, it would be quite a drive. Now, I have sushi two or three times a week, thanks to Mizu. Try it out for yourself and see if they make a believer out of you.
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