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Review: Okinawa Steak & Sushi

On the menu: Ginger Salad, Chicken and Shrimp Hibachi and steamed rice.

There’s nothing like a little entertainment while your lunch is being prepared. There’s fire, there’s egg juggling, and fancy slicing and dicing—it’s Hibachi style cooking at . Aside from an aggressive menu starting with nearly a dozen appetizers like spring rolls, dumplings, tempuras and tatakis (lightly seared fish served with a citrus soy sauce) ranging in price from $3.25-7.95, Okinawa continues to entice diners with some unexpected pleasures as in the Ginger Salad: a combination of crisp lettuces, and cucumbers dressed with a mustard, lemon juice, rice wine vinegar and chopped ginger dressing. You don’t often see this one, but it sits next to a favorite of mine—the Seaweed Salad. In the effort of variety, I selected the Ginger Salad ($1.95), it was cool, crisp and delightfully satisfying.

There are two main attractions at Okinawa: the sushi bar and the Hibachi grill tables. At the Sushi Bar you can be entertained just by reading the names for some of them. The Bagel Roll, Submarine Roll, Crazy Crab Roll, Dynamite Roll, and Spider Roll to name a few. Don’t you want one of each? With over 31 sushi rolls to choose from, there is something for every taste. The prices range from $3 to $9.50. Then there are the Okinawa Specials. Two of particular note are the Last Samurai—a triple spicy red snapper and avocado roll topped with spicy salmon and habaneño caviar ($7.95), and the Zen Special Roll—a five layer sushi roll of spicy tuna between sushi rice topped with fresh salmon then another layer of tuna and garnished with masago (the roe of an islandic fish from the smelt family) and black caviar ($10.95). These are just two of the more creative specials from among seven unique rolls.

The Hibachi Grill menu covers a wide spectrum of lunch and dinner offerings and where much of the excitement takes place. After you place your order with the server, the hibachi chef enters with a cart that contains the ingredients for your freshly prepared meal. From the choices of a totally vegetarian selection—the Vegetable Medley at $9.95 to chicken, calamari, salmon, sirloin steak, shrimp, Filet Mignon and Chef’s Black Pepper Filet hibachi lunches or dinners, you also have the option of mixing seafood with beef and/or chicken.

For example, you may select the Steak and Salmon hibachi meal at $16.95, or the Filet Mignon and Lobster at $22.95 or you can trump that idea with the likes of the Okinawa Marina (Shrimp, Scallop and Lobster) for $26.95, or the Emperor (Filet Mignon, Shrimp and Lobster) for $28.95—a “surf and turf” plus one.

The lunchtime specials are offered at $2 off the price of your hibachi meal. This comes with a salad, and steamed rice. You may order fried rice for $1 extra. I ordered the Chicken and Shrimp ($9.95). The portion was more than generous, and I enjoyed the fact that I could communicate with my chef about my taste preferences: a “little less this, a little more that.” I would love to have one of those flat grill tables at home, but I’d have to train for the egg juggling routine. That’s fun!

Lunch is served until 2:30 p.m. every day, so come with friends or colleagues and gather around the hibachi grill table for freshly prepared food, some food theatrics and great conversation.

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