Tucson Weekly calls their sushi "some of the best in town." The teppan cooking is also above par. The restaurant ... More
Tucson Weekly calls their sushi "some of the best in town." The teppan cooking is also above par. The restaurant has a bistro-like atmosphere, and the cocktail lounge also functions as a sports bar. The kitchen offers a full spectrum of sushi choices and teppan-yaki dishes, ranging in price from a couple of dollars per sushi portion for teppan dinners. Full bar service is available with Japanese beers, sake and wines.
This review will cover the teppan yaki and the service.
My heritage is Japanese, I grew up eating Japanese food and I ate it while in Japan for two years and I cook some of it. Sakura's food is mediocre. We went tonight for our anniversary. I had the teppan yaki chicken and my wife had the shrimp. We feel both were slightly over-cooked. For teppan, it is best to cook the ingredients in the sauces. They didn't and poured the sauces on the meat & vegetables toward the middle end of cooking. As a result, there was hardly any flavor to the food. Rather bland. Even the fried rice was not so flavorful. And the chicken was just a hair too dry.
Portions were enormous, however. We took our leftovers home. But we didn't eat any as the food really was not outstanding. You know how you usually look forward to eating your Asian food leftovers? Not in this case.
The soup they serve is just a salty stock soup. Cheap and not miso. It was a big whoop and I only had a few spoonfuls. The gyoza was deep fried, not pan fried then steamed like they are supposed to be. They tasted OK, but they were not true gyoza.
The chef gave the usual show that everyone expects. He was OK, nothing spectacular but OK. The waitress and hostess were very considerate and gave very good service.
The couple next to us ordered sushi (which he had to remind them to bring out). I was not impressed. It looked like whoever put it on the serving plate did not care. It was a bit sloppy and not very artistic in it's presentation. You may wonder why anyone should care about that, but in a true Japanese restaurant, presentation is everything. Food is an art to them and if a Japanese restaurant doesn't care about it's presentation, then it makes you wonder about the quality of the food. The couple didn't complain about the sushi, but they didn't say it was great, either. They didn't eat half of it and gave it to the family sitting next to them.
I forgot to mention that when the gyoza was initially served us by a serving assistant, it was cream cheese wontons. He brought it out and said here is your gyoza specifically. My waitress came out just after that and saw that it wasn't gyoza so she took it and replaced it with gyoza before I needed to bring it to her attention. Points to her for remembering we ordered gyoza and doing something about it. But I wonder why their staff doesn't know the difference between gyoza and stuffed wontons? They definitely look different. I would think the stuffed cream cheese would have been definitely a give away.
Prices were about what you would expect for a Benihana-type restaurant: My teppan yaki chicken was around $17 and my wife's shrimp and vegetables was $22. Oh, it was billed as "oriental" vegetables and had the usual suspects of Napa cabbage, carrots, sprouts, and onions but had only a couple of snow peas.
If all you want is entertainment then I guess go. If you are looking for great food then don't. I do not know how this is supposed to be one of the top go to restaurants in town because I am not impressed.
I have never been to a restaurant like Sakura and I was a little nervous at first being I do not like seafood but I opened my mind and went, not only did I go but I let someone take me there as a first date. I checked online about what to wear and you can wear anything from shorts and a tank top to a tuxedo. It's a classy restaurant but let's face it, a dressy, tie-only restaurant just doesn't do well in the desert southwest. I was extremely comfortable the entire time. My date had said we'd wait an hour for a table and we'd sit at the bar until then, which was fine with me, but we not only got right in, we were the first 2 at a table for 8 and there was another table empty. Not to mention it was 730pm on a Saturday night. I really expected to wait a little while. You must try the Saki and when you do, ask for it hot. The chef was awesome with his knife throwing and fire making. It's OK if you don't like seafod; they have awesome steak and I saw Teriaki Chicken on the menu, too. It was quite the show! After the most delicious soup, wonderful salad and best filet mignon of my life, we then sat in the very large outdoor patio for a few hours drinking more and more Saki and listening to a great live band. I think the prices were well worth the show, the food, the band, the atmosphere....I would go back in a heartbeat and I know I am, we have already made plans. We live 80 miles away and it was also well worth the overnight trip to Tucson. I know I was extremely good company too, but my night at Sakura will be an unforgettable one and I am putting that night on the "best night of my life" pedastal! It was wonderful, you MUST try it!
This is the closest thing in Tucson to a dinner theater. Patrons sit at tables munching popcorn or ice cream
while watching Western drama, science fiction, or the annual Christmas show. It's all parody, melodrama and audience participation through ...
In a neighborhood where most people won't expect to find entertainment of any kind, there is a place where it's
happening musically for the far eastern side of Tucson. This venue features local rock musicians almost every night of ...
On the way to or from Sabino Canyon, be sure to stop in at this Wild West themed restaurant and
saloon for lunch, dinner or dancing. Call for information on The Crystal Palace Review, the restaurant's musical dinner theater. ...