Osaka Sushi Bar, Coon Rapids, MN

4forks

outside

12580 Riverdale Blvd, Ste B
Coon Rapids, MN 55448
(763) 421-3356

http://www.osakaseafoodsteakhouse.com/coonrapids.php

Neighborhood: North Suburbs of Minneapolis, Riverdale Mall
Cuisine: Japanese Sushi Bars
Cost: $$ = $11- $30 – Moderately priced (average entree $12-$34)
Four Forks = Defines excellence in local dining.  Worth the investment (Sushi)

Hours:

Monday through Thursday:
11AM to 2:30PM
4:30PM to 10PM

Friday:
11AM to 2:30PM
4:30PM to 11PM

Saturday: Noon to 11PM
Sunday: Noon to 10PM

HAPPY HOUR:   

Sunday through Thursday:
4:30PM-5:30PM
8PM – Close

Friday :
3:30PM-5:30PM
9PM – Close
They claim to have 30-50% off Sushi (Special Menu) it equates to about $2 off the regular priced menu items of Rolls and Hand rolls, Sushi/Sashimi (2 Piece orders)

SPECIAL FEATURES:  Japanese Steak House with better fresh Sushi!

Handicap accessible: No
Parking: Private lot
Vegetarian options: Yes
Kid friendly: Yes
Liquor served: Full Bar
Wine List: I wouldn’t.  We didn’t see much worth drinking and though I have had a glass there previously, no one could tell us how long it had been sitting open.  Ick.  Have a martini or some hot saki instead!
Outdoor seating: No
Reservations: Yes
Splitting fee: no.

Complimentary: Miso Soup (Tofu, seaweed Y scallion) & Garden Salad (Fresh mixed green vegetable, with Ginger Dressing) is served with most meals

They describe themselves at Osaka Sushi and Hibachi Steakhouse to have Teppanyaki (is a style of Japanese cuisine that uses an iron griddle to cook food) Chefs.  If you dine in the Hibachi Grill area, the chefs “preside over sweltering tableside hibachi grills (that you share with other guests), entertaining diners as they slice and dice cuts of filet mignon, chicken, and fish.”  Bill and I, along with friends have eaten the hibachi a number of times, but really were not impressed with the food.  My biggest problem with the preparation is that they don’t know how to balance the cooking time, serving you the meal all at once.  They are working on a big grill!  So scoot stuff over and cook the next ingredient!  I understand that the meat takes the longest to cook.  They cook that completely; followed by the noodles, then vegetables.  They literally serve you these items on your plate as they are finished, rather than together at once.  We found that most people have waited so long and are famished, so they can’t help themselves and nibble.  Once the next piece is cooked, they are stuck in the end with the vegetables on their own.  The fried rice is decent and they make a unique white sauce we often order at the sushi bar as well.

They have a number of locations and each is different.  Though we like the location by Northtown, most often choose the Coon Rapids one for sushi because it’s close and I’m typically only going for the Sushi with friends anyways.  Bill now declines the option all together and has me go without him.

sushi bar

This time like most others, my friend Monica and I sat at the sushi bar.  We find that we receive better service directly from the sushi chef and it is always quieter than the other room where they serve the hibachi. 

hibachi

It’s obvious that most of the customers are here to celebrate a friend’s birthday.  It can be fun and we’ve been there, done that, but they come around singing and playing this annoyingly obnoxious and poorly recorded version of “Happy Birthday” song it seems like every 15-20 minutes.  There are drums, silly masks (there isn’t enough sanitizer on earth for me to put that on my head) and a lot of loud cheers.  If you are trying to hold a regular conversation with anyone, it can be very distracting.  The service over all for the entire place is sub par by the wait staff.  Most of the time they literally don’t understand what drink you are trying to order and it takes forever between cocktails.  They tend to make the servers work both rooms and you really have to track them down if you need anything. 

It doesn’t seem like the manager/owner is very nice.  He really doesn’t treat the staff very well and though the employees are friendly enough, he snaps at the cute little hostesses right in front of guests.  He should concentrate on smiling more or being more productive by filling guests drinks!

The Sushi Chefs don’t give you a lot of interaction while you are seated there, but they are polite and often offer a free appetizer if you’ve been sitting for a long time waiting.  I’ve had almost every roll on their menu and they offer a nice selection of specialty rolls.  The Nigiri slices could be a little thicker but the price is reasonable for sushi after all and the fish is good.  The sushi bars offers many daily specials and the sushi chefs are willing to prepare your own custom roll.  I enjoy that they prepare the food in front of you, but the seating is low so you can’t really see much of what they do “before your eyes” if you are seated.

They do have coupons in mailers everywhere so you can get 20% off, but the Groupons can be a bit misleading and should clearly state hibachi only and the fact that they usually now exclude sushi and/or take out.

We started off with: Mixed Seaweed Salad ($5.95, though ours was complimentary)

IMG_9323

It’s good.  Not wonderful, but flavorful.  I really like seaweed salads, but this one had some chunks of chewy squid, which is not my favorite.  It was dressed in delicious sesame oil.

We also enjoyed the Edamame.    Lightly salted boiled soybeans in pod ($3.95)  Wonderful dipped in soy sauce.

Entree:
Sushi Entree – 10 pieces of assorted raw fish on sushi rice with California Maki Roll; Crabmeat, avocado & cucumber ($19.95)

IMG_9324

Monica and I shared this.  It is a decent amount of the most well-known sushi – nigiri-zushi, which means hand-pressed sushi.  It is oval-shaped and vinegar is mixed into the steamed rice while the rice is still hot.  Then it is topped with the freshest fish.  Some of my favorites include Hamachi (young yellowtail), Maguro (tuna), Sake (salmon), Tai (sea bream), and Monica loves Unagi (freshwater eel).  I have had some fishy tasting Unagi, so I’m a bit leery.

We also split a Dragon Roll – Toasted Eel. Cucumber topped with Avocado, topped with Tobiko ($11.95)

IMG_9327

I love just about any type of roll.  Particularly the ones that have tobiko (the Japanese word for the flying fish roe.)  It has a red-orange color, a mild smoky or salty taste, and a crunchy texture.  it is a nice contrast to the creaminess of the sauce and is perfect with the spicy crab meat. 

We then topped off our bellies with a Lisa Crunch; a crispy shrimp tempura roll ($7.95)

lisa crunch 2

This is one of our favorites.  It’s almost like dessert.  Tempura shrimp, avocado and cream cheese on the inside.  It has a generous crunchy coating of panko crumbs “crunchy flakes” and is drizzled with a house made spicy mayo sauce; as well as an eel sauce that reminds me of a hoisin sauce.

You may want to try some of my other favorites:

spicy girl

The Spicy Girl ($13.95) Shrimp tempura and yamagobo (Japanese pickled burdock root) on the inside and lobster and chili sauce on the outside.

black dragon

The Black Dragon ($13.95) Features lobster and avocado on the inside, with eel, avocado and tobiko on the outside.

Or the Winter roll… I could go on and on…

We always share for as many flavor as possible and each like to order extra fresh ginger with our soy sauce and wasabi, the Japanese horseradish.

Dessert:  No, I’m always too full for dessert here!

They do have regular ice cream for $3.50, but why wouldn’t you have it Tempura style for another dollar?  They offer Tempura Banana’s for $4.50 that I’ve never tried and they offer a Pineapple Boat for $4.95 that I’ve seen them give individuals for their birthday.

Overall, I’ll always be back for the sushi.  It is rare to find anything fresh within miles unless we head downtown.  It’s also not as common to find a sushi restaurant with a full bar, though we most often sip on hot sake.

One thing to note is that it’s unfortunate that they don’t cater to the disabled.  One reviewer had asked for a table and even though they had a whole large section of tables available, the waiter said they could not seat her unless she wanted to sit at the bar on a tall stool.  Very sad.

Because their sushi rocks, they received this high rating.

Bon appetit!
~Chris

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