Thursday, October 23, 2008

Hayashi Sushi & Grill: Hip Sushi Restaurant

My wife, daughter and I visited a new sushi and grill in Cedar Park, Texas called Hayashi Sushi & Grill this past Sunday. The restaurant is located near the Cinemark Theatre on 1431. When we first arrived, we were greeted by the friendly staff. When we first entered when noticed that the decor is more modern and would be suited for more of hip type clientele. I would define it as Japanese nouveau with the cuisine to match. We were seated in the back of the restaurant at more traditional tables. The ones located near the front are bar stools and tables. We were told that there is a lounge that there are live music events. If you are looking for an Asian fusion type of place, I would recommend this place for the atmosphere. An older crowd would find it a bit uneasy. The furniture looks like it came from Ikea.

We ordered from the menu. My wife ordered the salmon. My daughter ordered the shrimp. I was a little more adventurous and ordered the sushi and sashimi meal. Our waiter was very friendly and took his time to introduce us to the menu. He explained that he was a customer when he visited the restaurant. Because of the atmosphere and food, he decided he wanted to work there.

For the price, the portion sizes were ok. Quality of the ingredients scores high on my meter. The sushi was very fresh. The cuts of the portions were a little poor, but not bad. My wife liked her salmon which was prepared very well. Not dry. My daughter loved the shrimp. I would say, overall, that the visit was pleasing to the palate and not too bad on the wallet.

I understand that there is one located in Georgetown. From the pictures that I have seen of the decor, it looks more traditional and less hip which would be more in line with my tastes. I will give it a try later on. Stay tuned to my blog for the review.

For your convenience, I have added the link to their website. Click here.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Momiji Hibachi & Sushi: A Hidden Treasure

I highly recommend Momiji Hibachi & Sushi for a couple of reasons. The first is the service. The staff is very knowledgeable of the menu and the food choices. My wife and I were greeted warmly and in a very friendly manner. The cashier asked if it was our first time there. When we answered that it was, he took the opportunity to explain the menu and make suggestions. For example, he discussed the hibachi section and provided us with options. After we had placed our food order, the wait staff brought out our food quickly and explained the different sauces to us. The great thing is that you can actual watch the chef prepare your meal. If I had remembered to bring my Flip camcorder, I would have filmed it. The ingredients were very fresh. The beef was very lean. We had order the steamed rice with our meal and it was perfectly cooked. The vegetables were done perfectly. Cooked, but still retained the crispness. We had the Miso soup and it was delicious and served piping hot. We also had the Gyoza (Pan-Fried Dumplings). Delicious as well. Full of meat and balanced perfectly with spices. There are a few things that may cause a person to rethink the visit. The first is the ordering process. There is an ordering counter. So, if you are expecting to order at the table, you will be waiting for a while. There is a TV there and the music is a little loud. It does remind you of a fast food place. I think that if they changed it a bit, it would be great. When I have lunch, I like watching the news and listening to music. At night, I would suggest turning off the TV and using softer music. Just a suggestion. Aside from that, my wife and I will be returning for the sushi. Check out their website for the menu. You find it is very complete and has a great selection. We walked by the sushi case and saw that the seafood was very fresh and were quality cuts. Try the Mango Ice Cream for dessert. It is wonderful and is a great finish to an excellent meal.
Pros: Quality ingredients, friendly staff, great menu choices
Cons: Ambiance (choice of music and volume)