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Wasabi Japanese Restaurant and Sushi Bar

Sumashi soupIn a word: Sushi for some, hot plates of hibachi for others.

The specs: #0732  
Address, hours & details via Isthmus; reviews at The Food Hunt, 77 Square, Yelp, Trip Advisor, Food Racket, Associated Content, mad hungry; listing at Eat Drink Madison; official web site, Wasabi Japanese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Latest Wasabi Japanese Restaurant and Sushi Bar news and reviews

JM ate the hibachi shrimp with miso soup.
Miranda, Nichole, Phil & the kids ate some sushi rolls: oshinko, 2x avocado, asparagus, unagi, veggie tempura, Autumn, and Lambeau, with some miso and sumashi soups.
The bill was $78, or under $20/person, plus tip.
JM gave Wasabi Japanese Restaurant and Sushi Bar a B+; Miranda, Nichole and Phil gave Wasabi Japanese Restaurant and Sushi Bar an A- (see our grading rubric).

Have you ever had that deep-down, full, satisfied-but-not-gorged feeling from a meal? Wasabi is one place in Madison we've been able to find that feeling and then replicate our results. We went there every so often pre-list for our sushi craving, which dissipated after a trip to an ocean a few years ago, but hadn't been back in a while. This meal of mostly vegetable rolls and delicate soups didn't disappoint.

The miso soup is standard, but it's worth noting that they added extra tofu for the kids, who love the stuff. (They also had a sippy cup and a high chair, but no separate kids' menu). The sumashi soup was crystal-clear, with crispy tempura crumbs, pretty pink-swirled slices of fish cake that looked like extruded Play-Doh but tasted much better, fresh mushrooms and finely chopped green onions.

Hibachi shrimp

JM got his customary hibachi dinner, which he always finds does a good job balancing the parts that everyone likes (shrimp and rice) with the parts that some people like (vegetables).  The upshot is that nicely oily shrimp do a great job of dressing the veg and the result crunch is both fresh and juicy.  Soy sauce is rarely needed except for the most salt-loving among us.

The special rolls were interesting and creative, and worth the average $10, but the basic vegetable rolls (avocado, oshinko, asparagus, etc.) were satisfying enough. Our favorites were generally the inside-outs, the "Autumn roll" of tempura squash, cream cheese and avocado with toasted sesame seeds, and the "Lambeau roll" that combined slightly tart, sweet mango with avocado, a bit of salmon, and snappy orange roe.

The regular rolls were pretty regular. The best of the bunch was the asparagus roll, which had thin, bright-green stalks dressed in spicy mayo. The avocado rolls were filling, the unagi and cuke roll was fine, and the oshinko roll was very subtly pickled - maybe too subtle for our palates.

Lambeau roll and asparagus rollRolls

This is our last A to Z stop for sushi (unless we pick it off a buffet). It was good to end on a high note.


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Quick, someone open up a place called Zushi Sushi.

Very middle of the road sushi, a bit better than Takara but a bit worse than Muramoto and Takumi. But just to put into context: UW students are pretty lucky to have a Japanese restaurant of this quality so close to school. Most college towns at best have a few chains and a bunch of bars; this at least resembles a classy place for a date.

Wholeheartedly agree with the Autumn roll...that thing is divine. The Love roll with salmon and kiwi was a wonderful suprise. Fantastic spicy tuna here also. Our go-to place on State St. as far as sushi.

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