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Feb 20, 2018
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Posts Tagged ‘sushi’

Wasabi Sushi Bar to open Kirkwood location

Thursday, October 26th, 2017



Heads up, citizens of Kirkwood: Wasabi Sushi Bar is set to open its newest location at 312 S. Kirkwood Road. The new space will be in the space that once housed Five Star Burgers, which The Scoop reported closed at the end of September. The Wasabi team plans to have the space remodeled and open by Dec. 14.

Owner John Kim opened the first Wasabi Sushi Bar in 2003. The restaurant currently has seven locations in the greater St. Louis area, and Kim also owns SanSai Japanese Grill.

The Kirkwood location will be Wasabi’s first standalone space. Lindsay Keaton, a representative for the restaurant, said the new space will give the chain the chance to grow and further define itself. “It’s finally going to be the Wasabi experience in its truest form,” she said.

The new location will have a larger bar and expanded menu that launches at all locations when the Kirkwood space opens. In addition to more than 50 sushi rolls, the restaurant will offer kobe beef, salads, signature cocktails and several new entrees.

Keaton said the Kirkwood location was important to Kim. “Each neighborhood is unique and different,” said Keaton. “[John] wants to dive in and get to know each one of them, learning how diverse each community is.”

The newest Wasabi will be open daily for lunch and dinner.

Photo courtesy of Wasabi Sushi Bar

Rachel Wilson is an editorial intern at Sauce Magazine. 

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First Look: BLK MKT Eats in Midtown



First Look: BLK MKT Eats in Midtown

Friday, October 13th, 2017



St. Louis has danced with the dual sushi bowl and poke trends for years, but cousins Kati Fahrney and Ron Turigliatto have brought the first fast-casual sushi bowl and roll restaurant to St. Louis with BLK MKT Eats.

The restaurant, located at 9 S. Vandeventer Ave., across from Saint Louis University, opens for lunch Wednesday, Oct. 18.

As The Scoop reported in July, Turigliatto and Fahrney are first-time restaurant owner who turned their passion for home cooking and travel into a business. The former teachers traveled across the country exploring similar concepts and fine-tuning their menu.

The 1,000-square-foot space will operate primarily as a carryout operation with curbside pickup and delivery to come in the near future. Ravenous diners who can’t wait to get home can snack on the spot at a standing bar or one of four stools at the window.

The menu features a handful of items that can be served as a burrito-sized sushi rolls wrapped in thin sheets of nori or as bowls with greens, brown or white rice. Three items are also available as nachos served atop house-made wonton chips.

The cousins source their raw salmon and tuna from Seattle Fish five to six times a week and use it in a variety of items like the OG Fire, which includes the customer’s choice of salmon or tuna. The Swedish Fish showcases Fahrney’s cured salmon, a recipe she’s perfected over years of family Christmas Eve dinners.

Those squeamish about raw fish can try the Tasty As Cluck featuring buttermilk-fried chicken or the Seoul Delicious with grilled chicken. Vegans and vegetarians are not forgotten, either; the Holy Shiitake swaps meat and seafood for braised mushrooms.

BLK MKT Eats will be open Monday to Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Thursday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Here’s a First Look at what to expect from Midtown’s newest fast-casual spot:


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Editor’s Note: This article originally stated BLK MKT Eats received fish deliveries three to five times a week. It was updated at 4:45 p.m. with the correct information. 

Photos by Michelle Volansky 

Catherine Klene is managing editor, digital at Sauce Magazine. 

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The Scoop: Elliot Harris rolls behind the sushi bar at BaiKu

Friday, April 22nd, 2016



{Onii-san maki roll at Baiku}

Former food truck sushi chef Elliot Harris has found a new, more stationary home. Harris, who sold Chop Shop STL in December 2015, is now executive sushi chef at Baiku Sushi Lounge in Midtown.

Baiku owner Brad Beracha said Harris actually joined the restaurant in January, but the announcement was postponed while Baiku temporarily closed its doors that month so Hotel Ignacio (located in the same building) addressed structural problems in the building. Beracha said Harris used that time to tweak the sushi menu. Repairs are made and Baiku will reopen for dinner next Tuesday, April 26 and lunch on May 3. The restaurant will be closed on Sundays.

“I’ve worked with Elliot before,” Beracha said. “He is talented, creative and with him selling the truck, the timing was perfect. He is right for the future of Baiku and the direction we want to go.”

Harris has nearly 20 years experience behind a sushi bar, including time spent at Beracha’s now-shuttered Miso in Clayton. He said he will focus on nightly specials with new items slowly making their way to the menu, like a variation of the Korean poke dish Harris once served at Chop Shop.

“I want to bring in specialty fish, and there will be a focus on seasonal ingredients,” Harris said. “This will let me open up to catering to the customer and do chef’s choice or things off-menu.”


Editor’s Note: This post was updated at 2 p.m. Friday, April 22 with correct information about starting dates for lunch and dinner service. 

-photo by Carmen Troesser

First Look: Midtown Sushi in Midtown

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2015



Located in the short-lived Flying Rolls space, Midtown Sushi opened its doors on Monday, Dec. 21 at 3674 Forest Park Ave. Serving more than rolls and nigiri, Midtown Sushi offers Japanese cuisine ranging from traditional appetizers to ramen to curry.

Industry veteran and co-owner Conan Sutton is no stranger to sushi and Japanese cuisine, having spent the last 22 years in local kitchens at Seki’s and as a chef at Wasabi Sushi Bar for two years. Sutton’s mother, Michiko Sutton, is serving as chef and adviser alongside her son.

Diners can get their fix for lunch or dinner in the 49-dining room or opt for carryout or a soon-to-launch delivery service. Midtown Sushi is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Here’s a first look at what to expect when you step inside Midtown’s newest sushi spot:


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-photos by Michelle Volansky 


The Scoop: Chop Shop STL to close, Angie Burger purchases truck

Wednesday, December 9th, 2015



Chef-owner Elliot Harris has served hungry sushi lovers from the window of Chop Shop STL food truck for four years. St. Louisans can grab their last big fat sushi roll during Chop Shop’s final service tomorrow, Dec. 10, when the truck pulls up to Wells Fargo at Beaumont and Pine streets.

“It was a tough decision, but it’s time to close this chapter,” Harris said. “The last four years have been the most rewarding, and it’s a great sense of accomplishment to do well.” Harris said he has “a couple of irons in the fire” and plans to stay in the culinary field.

The truck will not side idle long, though. Harris said things fell into place this summer when he rented his truck to the Budweiser Bud & Burgers competition in July. The winner of that battle, St. Louis native Angie Saville, used his truck during the competition and left a knife behind. The forgotten blade led to a friendship between her and Harris, and Saville purchased the truck with her competition winnings. She will rewrap and rename the mobile eatery Angie Burger, to roll out in spring of 2016.

The small menu will focus on burgers, including Saville’s award-winning entry The Angie Burger. Ground beef is mixed with Budweiser, bacon, cheese and seasonings, then grilled and topped with glazed bacon, caramelized onions and two kinds of cheese. Other burgers and sides are in the works.


-photo by Laura Miller 

First Look: Robata in Maplewood

Wednesday, October 7th, 2015



Church’s Chicken flew the coop at 7260 Manchester Road in Maplewood, and Robata swooped in to take its spot. Thom and Emily Chantharasy, former owners of now-shuttered Sekisui on South Grand, opened their ramen, sushi and yakitori restaurant Monday, Sept. 28.

The newly remodeled space features bar-height seating and dining tables to accommodate approximately 30 dinner diners. The sushi menu offers single servings of both cooked and raw nigiri, five- and six-piece sashimi and two-piece tempura styles, as well as 30 fully cooked maki rolls and 28 rolls with raw or partially cooked ingredients.

Steaming bowls of ramen can be built to order, starting with the noodle (fresh imported Japanese thin cut, regular cut, fat cut or a rice noodle), then the style (variations of pork, chicken or vegetable broth with toppings), and finally the option to add more vegetables or protein to your bowl.

The yakitori menu offers 16 chicken, pork and seafood skewers and nine vegetable skewers meant to be mixed, matched and shared around the table (the same goes for the sushi). The meat may be ordered plain (shiro) or marinated in a sweet, savory sauce (tare).

Robata is open Monday through Thursday from 5 to 11 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m. to midnight. Here’s a first look at what’s in store at one of Maplewood’s newest eateries:


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 -photos by Meera Nagarajan

The Scoop: New sushi restaurant opens in Webster Groves

Monday, August 3rd, 2015




After seven years managing Blue Ocean Sushi on The Loop, Pui Nammakhot is opening her own restaurant in Webster Groves. The Sushi Station will celebrate its grand opening at 29 N. Gore Ave., in Webster Groves in early September. The restaurant had a soft opening Friday, July 31 and is currently operating with a limited menu.

The full-service sushi restaurant will offer dozens of sushi rolls with fresh fish delivered from Chicago every three days. Sushi Station will seat 35 inside and soon another 25 on an expanded patio. Nammakhot will also offer carry-out and delivery.

The 14 nigiri options include surf clams, shrimp and snapper, while the 17 regular and 24 specialty rolls range from simple vegetarian options to creations like The Old Webster that features salmon, tuna, yellow tail, asparagus, gobo and a honey-wasabi mayo. The Sushi Station also serves a selection of entrees like katsu kare (Japanese-style curry with chicken or pork), udon noodles and Japanese fried rice.

Nammakhot said Webster Groves was the ideal location for her first sushi restaurant. “Webster Groves was always my dream place to come and open and do business in this community,” she said. “Webster Groves is a family community. I wanted to go to a place that doesn’t have much sushi and introduce (it) to the area.”

Nammakhot said she wanted to cater to families, so she planned an affordable menu that isn’t overwhelmingly spicy and features make-your-own sushi options for especially picky eaters.

On the beverage side, The Sushi Station will feature bottle Japanese brews like Sapporo, Hitachino and Kirin, as well as sake and Japanese whiskey. Currently Sushi Station operates from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday; doors will be open daily after the grand opening.

Happy Hour Like a Boss – Part 2

Tuesday, July 14th, 2015

When the whistle blows at 5 p.m., there’s nothing like a strong drink to wash away the pains of the workday. You can find happy hours at any neighborhood bar and at watering holes near office buildings and factories. All of them will settle your fix for a cheap drink just fine, but a few get high marks – whether for the top-shelf drink selection, awesome food options or the duration of the deal. Our July issue features 22 places to unwind after work, whatever your reason for grabbing a seat at the bar.



 { The pear, prosciutto and fontina pizza and local draft beer at Katie’s Pizza & Pasta }

For pizza and beer: Katie’s Pizza & Pasta
Happy hour: Daily – 3 to 5 p.m. and 9 to 10 p.m.

Pizza and beer were meant to be together, but you won’t find pounds of Provel and generic suds at Katie’s Pizza & Pasta. There are five kinds of 6-inch pizzas, including the pear, prosciutto and fontina, as well as the Margherita drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil ($6). Pair your pie with a local draft, say a 4 Hands ($3), grab a friend and a seat on the sunny patio, and enjoy an elevated yet affordable version of a classic food and drink combo. – K.S.


For the all-day drinker: Frazer’s Restaurant & Lounge
Happy hour: Mon. – 3 p.m. to 10 p.m., Tue. – 3 to 7 p.m., Wed. to Fri. – 3 to 6 p.m.

Whoever said happy hour starts at 5 p.m. hasn’t been to Frazer’s on a weekday. This Benton Park spot has the kind of cozy charm and mustachioed irony that will make you want to ditch your day job and take up residency on one of its leather stools. The neighborhood watering hole has all the makings of a full-day affair with breaks on domestic bottles ($2.50), wells ($4) and vino ($6), and loafer-clad locals who will slap you on the back, order you a beer and convince you to “stay a while.” Behind the bar, hipster bartenders freeze martini glasses with liquid nitrogen, and on Wednesday, check out the vintage cocktail specials ($6). The best day to play hooky at this never-too-crowded hot spot? Thursday, when freshly shucked Blue Points ($1.50) and big-as-your-fist boiled shrimp ($1.50) are served up for hours of happiness. – S.S.



{From top, speciality cocktails , spicy octopus roll and salmon nigiri at Cafe Mochi}


For the sushi lover: Cafe Mochi
Happy hour: Tue. to Thu. – 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

The half-price happy hour at Cafe Mochi might be one of the worst-kept secrets in St. Louis. Sushi pilgrims flock to the pink neon sign outside this South Grand destination and wait anxiously, hoping to place their orders before the 6:30 p.m. deadline. All 15 non-specialty rolls are half price (less than $10), meaning you can dig into a classic California roll or a spicy octopus roll filled with tender bits of the cephalopod, kaiware (daikon radish sprouts), hot sesame oil and eel sauce, and even Futo Maki, filled with crab, shrimp, cucumber, sprouts, egg and roe. But the real sushi-phile steals are the 15 half-price nigiri options, succulent pieces of raw salmon, ruby-red tuna and more draped across a small mound of rice. Hot sake for two ($6) is available, but on hot summer nights, we unabashedly order specialty cocktails (two for $6) like the lurid Tropical Melon, a fruity sugar bomb of melon liqueur, vodka and orange and lemon juices. No shame, people. – C.K.

-Katie’s Pizza photo by Greg Rannells, Cafe Mochi photo by Elizabeth Maxson



The Scoop: New sushi restaurant, Sushi & ?, to open doors in Midtown

Monday, July 6th, 2015




A sushi restaurant with a peculiar name is going in at 3043 Olive St., in Midtown. Sushi & ? is slated to open doors across from Pappy’s Smokehouse this Friday, July 10.

This is the fourth sushi venture for married co-owners Kang and Hana Na. They also own Sapporo Sushi in Ballwin, and Hana Na said they hope to change Sushi & ?’s name to Sapporo 2 in the near future. The Nas previously owned two locations of Little Tokyo in St. Peters and in Clayton. The latter was purchased by Wasabi Sushi Bar.

Hana Na said the new 70-seat restaurant will see weekly fish deliveries to create dozens of sushi offerings, including 26 nigiri options, 22 traditional maki (rolls) 14 specialty rolls, as well as Japanese entrees like spicy grilled squid. The question mark in the restaurant’s name stands for a selection of Korean and Japanese dishes, like soondooboo, a Korean tofu soup dish, and both Japanese- and Korean-style ramen.

Na said their new restaurant differs from their previous ventures because it will offer more of a variety of Korean and Japanese dishes and a more extensive bar program to attract college students and international students who frequent Midtown.

“We added some more Korean dishes here and some hard liquor, mixed drinks,” Na said. “The main thing is, of course, the sushi. My husband is really good. He’s the best chef.”

The bar program will feature a bottle beer list including Sapporo, a Japanese rice-lager, as well as local favorites like Urban Chestnut, Schlafly and 4 Hands. Eight sake-based cocktails will also be available, including a sake margarita and variations on a martini and cosmopolitan.

Sushi & ? will be open daily for lunch and close mid-afternoon to prepare for dinner service.


First Look: Chi Sushi in the Central West End

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015



Things have been quiet for the last eight months at Chi Sushi & Sake in the Central West End. During that time, owner Jay Yoon sold the sushi lounge at 4 N. Euclid Ave., to his brother, Jae Hoon Yoon. Now, the restaurant has re-opened with an abbreviated name, Chi Sushi, and an expanded menu.

While Chi Sushi & Sake leaned toward the lounge scene, Chi Sushi posits itself as a full restaurant. Chef Whitney Yoon, wife of Jae Hoon Yoon, worked at Nippon Tei in Ballwin for 15 years before bringing her skills to the Central West End eatery.

The menu, previously a slate of sashimi, nigiri, maki and specialty rolls, now includes hot and cold appetizers and entrees. You’ll find a number of starters and small plates like tako yaki (crispy octopus balls) and kaki furai (fried oysters). Larger plates such as chicken teriyaki, grilled salmon and tofu-vegetable tempura are served in a bento box with miso soup, a house salad and rice.

The sushi bar has expanded its offerings as well. Look for more exotic fish and seafood, from giant clams to uni. More rolls have been added, including a number that feature crispy tempura thanks to the addition of a fryer in the kitchen.

Here’s a first look at the new Chi Sushi:


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-photos by Michelle Volansky

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