Las Vegas has great restaurants to eat sushi. Consider Osaka Japanese Bistro for your next sushi craving.

Authentic Japanese Sushi Reflects Japanese Culture

Authentic Japanese sushi meal with sushi roll, green tea, wasabi and soy sauce artistically arranged

Sushi plate

Sushi is a dish loved around the world. Once it left Japan, sushi became a magnet for food lovers everywhere, with sushi bars and sushi restaurants popping up across the US, in Europe and basically just about everywhere. Japanese sushi is a complex and refined culinary specialty that truly reflects the Japanese culture it came from. Translating it abroad brings challenges, but true aficionados recognize and appreciate authentic Japanese sushi when and where they find it.

Japanese Pursuit of Perfection

japanese pursuit of perfection symbolized in perfectly trimmed bonsai tree in a container in a Japanese garden

The Japanese culture is steeped in a search for perfection, whether in the craft or profession they practice, in school, or even in simple day to day activities, like cultivating the perfect bonsai tree. The Japanese value in themselves and others a high degree of devotion and capacity to deliver excellence in all that they do. This tradition is probably related to the historical practice of Confucianism, when everyone was given a place in society and a task to accomplish. All tasks were valued, no matter the person’s status. This tradition has only deepened over the centuries. The Japanese have shown themselves to be capable of rising to the top in a number of industries by delivering consistently high quality products, such as we’ve seen in industries like automobiles and electronics.

In Pursuit of Perfect Sushi

Fresh fish in white tiger sushi from Osaka Japanese Restaurant

Nowhere in Japanese culinary arts is this passion for quality and perfectionism greater than in the realm of sushi-making. Sushi is a culinary salute to Japanese ingenuity and precision. Through its long history in Japan as this fascinating delicacy was perfected, sushi became one of the world’s most loved and sought-after dishes. In the wisdom of one of the world’s most renowned sushi chefs, Jiro Ono, a primary principle of personal endeavor toward higher degrees of perfection in life is to master the art of simplicity. Great depth and purity follow from simplicity, hence, the finest sushi is simple.

This passion for perfection became an art form in its own right in sushi’s creative recipes and presentation. The best world-class sushi chefs painstakingly master this Japanese culinary art to apply exacting standards of freshness and a perfect balance of flavors and textures. And sushi-lovers everywhere never stop delighting in the new varieties of sushi they discover to sample and enjoy.  

How Do You Know Its Authentic Japanese Sushi?

Aji nigiri one piece tuna sushi

Sushi is loved worldwide, and no place more so than in America. Americans love sushi, and eat over $2 billion dollars worth every year. But, sushi made in America may differ significantly from traditional Japanese sushi.  Many chefs are not Japan-trained and so may not achieve the standards of knowledge and preparation that every sushi chef in Japan will master. In Japan, a sushi chef trainee may spend two years just learning to prepare sushi rice correctly. Most schools in America will not have patience for that kind of extensive practice.

American sushi recipes are adjusted to satisfy American tastes, which includes milder and sweeter tastes. Differences in the amounts and ways that soy sauce is used and various other differences in flavors distinguish the two culinary cultures. Americans like soy sauce, but it’s important to use only a small amount, and dip the fish end of the sushi into it as too much soy sauce will make the rice fall apart. Americans prefer their rice on the outside of a sushi roll, while in Japan, rolls may be wrapped in seaweed, neatly enclosing the rice and other ingredients. Sushi rolls tend to be bite-size and simple in Japan. In America, they are preferred to be larger and packed with more ingredients.

And, the “all you can eat” sushi bar, which is common in the US, is a concept that does not really exist in Japan. Whereas the US may expect to focus on being able to serve large quantities of sushi quickly, quality and presentation, rather than volume, are paramount in traditional Japanese sushi preparation.

Perfect Sushi Rice is Fundamental

Roppongi

A very important indicator that your sushi is authentic Japanese sushi is the quality of the rice. Preparing just the right mix of rice and vinegar balances the taste perfectly with the fish that graces the sushi. The rice must be of the right texture and perfectly cooked so that it never falls apart on the plate, yet will melt deliciously in the mouth when eaten.

Sushi rice should be made in small batches as rice ages quickly and loses its perfect texture within a short time. This is one reason many connoisseurs avoid large “all you can eat” establishments that have to make their sushi rice in bulk which makes it hard to a keep rice fresh and of the highest quality. Sadly, a lot of American sushi does not achieve the quality of rice needed to call out the flavor of the fish and deliver a great sushi experience.

Japan-Trained Sushi Chefs

To achieve the highest level of sushi master chef, the Japanese sushi student must apprentice through up to ten years of training. A Japan-trained sushi chef has learned to deeply understand and use the best and freshest species of fish to create unique and beautiful sushi. He (or she, although most Japan-trained sushi chefs are still men) is expected to add his own creative flair and special touches that makes their clients come back for more. Sushi connoisseurs seek out sushi restaurants that employ Japan-trained sushi staff because they know that is where they will experience the true tastes, textures and pleasures of authentic sushi.

Authentic Japanese Sushi on Sahara in Las Vegas and Green Valley Henderson

Kai's Special sushi roll from Osaka Japanese Bistro

The Osaka Japanese Bistro in Las Vegas is an authentic, family-owned Japanese restaurant, established in 1967, and now operated by the second generation of the Nakanishi family. Recognized by Japan’s largest weekly magazine, the Asahi Shukan, as one of the world’s 50 best Japanese restaurants, Osaka is widely known for our quality sushi. We serve a wide selection of authentic sushi, nigiri and sashimi to satisfy even the most thrill-seeking and experienced sushi-lovers, and specialize in serving exotic fish, usually found only in Japan. Indeed, our specialty is our large, authentic Japanese sushi menu, including daily and seasonal specials and hard-to-find sushi varieties, prepared by Japan’s former National Sushi Competition Adjudicator, and award winning sushi chef, Chef Shingo “Shin” Aihara and his professional Japan-trained staff. We also serve an extensive menu of traditional Japanese dishes, including a teppanyaki grill experience.

Osaka now has two locations, in Las Vegas on West Sahara and our Henderson location in Green Valley. When in Las Vegas, if you’re ready to try something new and adventurous, Osaka probably has it! Come in and experience Japanese-style sushi and other delicacies that represent the very best Japanese cuisine.

Why We Don’t Serve “All You Can Eat” Sushi

Kai's special sushi plate at Osaka Japanese Bistro

Osaka Japanese Bistro has been part of the Las Vegas food scene for over 50 years. And, all that time, we haven’t offered an “all you can eat” sushi menu, even though we know that’s a popular choice among some diners. We brought the first Japanese food to Las Vegas back in 1967 and we still serve an extensive, authentic Japanese menu. We make more sushi in Vegas than just about anyone, catering sushi for many local events as well as providing quality sushi to casino-resort buffets and restaurants. And of course, we serve a wide selection of top quality fresh sushi in our own restaurants in Las Vegas and Henderson.  So what gives? Why don’t we also offer “all you can eat” sushi, too?

We Can Beat “All You Can Eat”

Here are 4 reasons why at Osaka we don’t offer “all you can eat” sushi on our menu:

1. Osaka Japanese Bistro Serves Only the Freshest Fish

Osaka is proud to serve the freshest fish in Las Vegas. We have cultivated and developed relationships that bring us the best selection of fish from Japan, including seasonal delicacies and hard-to-find varieties. We take pride in using only fresh caught fish in our sushi, delivering rich, fresh taste and quality that set Osaka apart from the rest.

On the other hand, an all-you-can-eat sushi restaurant requires purchasing fish in bulk and then freezing it to have large quantities available for producing less costly and faster sushi plates. Once frozen, fish loses its delicate, fresh texture and taste.  And, research shows that besides affecting the texture, freezing can also increase the bacterial content of the fish, which, if followed by improper handling, can lead to illness. When fish is frozen, it loses water and most of the soluble minerals and vitamins. Compromising quality for quantity is not in our DNA, so we stick with the best fish available and prepare it fresh at its peak. If that means serving less sushi, then we are ok with that. Our customers agree and return again and again, excited to see what fresh, new taste might be available each time they visit.

2. We Serve the Better Cuts of Fish

fresh cut sashimi swith lemon and cucumber at Osaka

All you can eat establishments use the whole fish to be able to produce large quantities of sushi at a minimal cost. It is no secret that customers tend to eat or order more of all-you-can-eat, yet the price is usually held to a reasonable level to attract new customers. Since the cost of doing business is important for any establishment, low price and high volume make it necessary for the restaurant to find ways to save money on the ingredients it uses.

At Osaka, our expert, our trained sushi staff carefully select the best cuts of fish in order to deliver the highest quality and consistently perfect sushi to the taste of our discriminating clientele. We have many regular customers who know sushi well and can attest to the quality of the sushi platters served to them. They have their favorite dishes and know they will get the same high quality dish every time they order it. Osaka prefers to stay one cut above and not have to compromise on the quality of the fish we use.

3. Seasonal Availability of Sushi Specialties

Osaka Japanese restaurant Tokujyo nigiri plate

Osaka’s sushi bar is the home of variety and rare dishes. Its menu reflects the restaurant’s focus on offering its clients not just the freshest, but also hard to get, fish species. Osaka’s ability to find and prepare the most interesting and new varieties of sushi has made it home to many local and visiting sushi connoisseurs. Specializing in seasonal varieties and testing new flavors and recipes doesn’t work well in an all you can eat situation, so you won’t find all you can eat specials at Osaka.

Instead, at Osaka, we pride ourselves on our wide and changing menu of sushi, as well as other traditional Japanese dishes. Most all-you-can-eat sushi restaurants settle for a fixed menu that is inexpensive, fast and easy to prepare. That is not our style at all. Some fish species are so rare and hard to find that their price will be higher, and we do pass that along to our customers. But these savvy customers know an extraordinary sushi-eating experience, and they are happy to pay a little more for excellence and the chance to taste a rarely available delicacy prepared by Japan-trained sushi masters.

Certain varieties of fish are only available on a short-term seasonal basis. Just look at a few of the daily specials we prepared one day last fall:

Osaka daily sushi menu board sushi specials

4. Expertise and Care in Sushi Preparation

Besides variety, Osaka prides itself on making authentic, high quality sushi, that we think is the tastiest, freshest and the best sushi in Las Vegas.  Our sushi chefs are trained in Japan, and have years of training and practice. Along with their knowledge of preparing fresh sushi to the highest standards, they have a flair for creativity, style and presentation. Osaka takes pride in its skill at the best sushi-making methods and recipes, and passes this along as a great sushi-eating experience for all its restaurant customers and in its sushi catering business as well. But this high quality and careful preparation means no corners can be cut, making ours an unsuitable place for all you can eat sushi.

Only the Best Quality Sushi is Available at Osaka Japanese Bistro

sushi spring roll fresh sushi from Osaka

A complete focus on quality is why Osaka does not serve all-you-can-eat sushi. Altering selection, ingredients or preparation to accommodate the needs of an all-you-can-eat menu in our opinion is a compromise of quality, taste, and presentation of the food. Our sushi chefs esteem their customers too highly to serve pre-made foods or ones that compromise quality over quantity. We serve only fresh sushi at our restaurants, made to order for each individual customer, just as our founders did years ago, and we take pride in doing so.

Forget “All You Can Eat” and Eat the Best Handmade Sushi at Osaka

Osaka Japanese Bistro is an award winning, family-owned Japanese restaurant in Las Vegas that is well loved among local Las Vegans and tourists alike. Not a few local dignitaries, celebrities and entertainers have made Osaka their night-time spot for a great meal and a good time over the years. Our tasty sushi menu features regular flavors and seasonal delicacies with a selection of sushi rolls, mouth-watering nigiri and fresh sashimi. You won’t find all you can eat, but you can eat all you want at our friendly sushi bar, or enjoy sushi as a complement to your meal at a table or in a traditional tatami room.  Stop by either of our two locations, the original Osaka Japanese Bistro on Sahara Avenue off the Las Vegas Strip or visit Osaka Henderson in Green Valley and taste the difference for yourself.

What was Las Vegas Like in 1967?

In Celebration of Osaka’s 50th Anniversary: A Look Back at 1967 Vegas

Osaka Japanese Bistro is celebrating our 50th anniversary. If we could take a time machine back to that founding year, besides a hardworking young couple starting up a Japanese restaurant in the desert, what else was going on in Las Vegas?  First, meet Sam and Aiko, then take a look at the big stories out of Las Vegas in the year 1967.

Osaka Japanese Bistro on Sahara Ave Las Vegas with Best of Las Vegas banners

Sam and Aiko Nakanishi Introduce Japanese Food to Las Vegas

Sam and Aiko Nakanishi founders of Osaka Japanese Restaurant on Sahara Ave Las Vegas


In 1967, the Nakanishi family opened the first Japanese restaurant in Las Vegas. It was named after their hometown of Osaka, Japan and brought exotic new tastes to Las Vegas like sushi, tempura and teppanyaki, all made with the best ocean fresh fish and other select ingredients to the highest standards of Japanese cuisine. Located just off the Strip, it quickly became a hot spot, a favorite for locals, including Strip entertainers and well known businessmen, as well as tourists, who quickly learned where to go for late night sushi.

And, now, 50 years later, it’s amazing how Las Vegas has grown up around the restaurant, still at its original location on West Sahara just off the Strip. From Las Vegas Boulevard to the suburbs, Osaka’s founders and early guests would barely recognize the place now.

For fun, let’s take a nostalgic look back at our founding year, 1967, and see what was happening in Las Vegas.

A Wild Year in Las Vegas History

1967 Opens with a Bang

cartoon explosion "bang"

The year 1967 started out with a bang in Las Vegas when, on January 7, an unhappy army deserter fired into a pile of dynamite constituting a homemade bomb, killing his wife and six others and completely destroying the Orbit Inn Motel in Downtown Las Vegas. The shocking event made headlines in town and across the country for weeks. Once again, wild and lawless Las Vegas earned its legendary reputation.

The Real Elvis Wedding

Cartoon Elvis Presley

Probably the event that got the most buzz in 1967 was the wedding of Elvis and Priscilla Presley on May 1, 1967. Elvis Presley, the highest paid entertainer in the world at that time, married his bride, Priscilla Anne Beaulieu, at the Aladdin, a place that made the sensational event seem even more like a magic carpet ride. The ceremony, needless to say, was the “talk of the town” and pretty much every other major city in America and all around the world. To this day, an “Elvis wedding” is still a tourist favorite in Las Vegas.

Siegfried & Roy Open a Magical Act in Las Vegas

Black and White tiger drawing

The legendary duo Siegfried & Roy first opened their exotic magic and wild animal act at the Tropicana in 1967. The two-man act packed their show nightly and became world famous. Their success in Las Vegas helped open doors for other performers, including a number of now famous magician and illusionist acts, and helped transform the Las Vegas Strip into a world class entertainment and family-friendly destination. All of Las Vegas was saddened when the act was forced to close in 2003 after Roy was seriously mauled by one of his beloved tigers, but their legacy is still felt in the spectacular entertainment choices available up and down the Strip today.

The Las Vegas Marathon Begins its Run

Drawing of marathon runner breaking through finish line ribbon

The Las Vegas Marathon hit the ground running in 1967, and remains one of the oldest ongoing marathons in the US today. While that first marathon attracted fewer than 100 runners, today, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon is a world-class event that attracts the best runners in the world and tens of thousands of serious participants. Of course, in the spirit of Las Vegas, there are always lots of fun costumes, including plenty of Elvi, and many opportunities for selfies along the beautiful Las Vegas Strip. This year’s marathon on November 12 was an emotional and heartwarming event paying tribute to #vegasstrong for the survivors and heroes of the October 1 mass shooting on the Strip.

Evel Knievel Bombs Out

Close up retro helmet with goggles vintage style

Before social media and YouTube, there was one crazy daredevil, Evel Knievel, and of course, one crazy place, Las Vegas. To many people, Knievel exemplified the free, energetic and risk-taking spirit of the people that literally turned a desert into a thriving oasis, so this was a natural place for him to attempt one of his crazier stunts. On New Year’s Eve, December 31, 1967, Evel Knievel made a much anticipated and well-publicized attempt to jump over the very expansive water fountains at Caesar’s Palace on a Triumph Bonneville T120 motorcycle. Actually, the jump would have been successful but, due to insufficient speed at takeoff and some other slight miscalculations, Mr. Knievel ended up with some broken bones, lots of bruises and an interesting story to tell. Like a lot of Las Vegas tourists, you could say.

Osaka Japanese Bistro Then and Now

While Sam and Aiko were very busy in 1967 and probably missed many of these big events of that year, we stop for just a minute this year, 2017, to celebrate our half century in Las Vegas.

During these last 50 years, a lot has changed, but much has not. Now in the second generation of passionate family ownership, Gene Nakanishi, son of founders Sam and Aiko, took over the business in the 1990’s. Keeping his parents successful model of serving only the freshest authentic Japanese cuisine, prepared by expert chefs trained in Japan, Gene has expanded on their legacy by adding a Henderson restaurant location, where he also offers a bit of his own personal passion, live jazz music performance evenings.

band playing during jazz evening at Osaka in Henderson, NV

 

And, seeing that demand for Osaka’s delicious selection of choice sushi is never ending, Gene has expanded Osaka’s legendary sushi offerings into the biggest sushi catering operation in the Las Vegas Valley. Always appreciated by loyal Las Vegas patrons, Osaka has been listed 20 times on the “Best of Las Vegas” list and won an international award as one of the top 50 Japanese restaurants in the world.

Kai's Special sushi roll on plate from Osaka Japanese Bistro in Las Vegas

Osaka Bistro has grown and thrived thanks in good part to the dedication of our talented sushi, teppan and kitchen chefs and their staffs, our hardworking hosts and hostesses, our office staff who keep things up and running, and our dedicated sushi catering crew.

Osaka chefs

 

And of course we owe a lot of thanks to our many thousands of customers, whether they live, work or visit in Las Vegas. This is truly a unique and special community to be part of, and we hope to keep cooking for Las Vegas and Henderson for at least another 50 years to come.

 

These 5 Common Sushi Myths Will Surprise You

Smiling woman eating sushi with chopsticks in Japanese restaurant

Sushi is an exotic delicacy, and more and more Americans have fallen in love with its unique flavor profile. Yet despite its popularity, most people know few facts about sushi and because of that gap, myths abound on the do’s and dont’s of sushi as well as other assumptions. Even though it’s become wildly popular, many Americans aren’t sure what to believe when it comes to sushi.

These five common sushi myths will catch you by surprise!

Five Surprising Sushi Myths

Osaka sushi roll on plate avocado

Myth: With sushi, the fish is all that matters.

Fact: Good sushi is a marriage of perfectly prepared ingredients. Of course, the quality and handling of the fish is extremely important to good sushi. But the rice, seasoning, sauces, and garnishes play a critical role, too!  The mix of flavors, expert preparation, even the presentation determine the quality of sushi. A top-notch sushi chef is an expert in selecting the perfect ingredients that bring out nuanced and delicious flavors in one another.

Myth: All sushi is raw fish.

Fact: The term “sushi” actually refers to the specially-prepared rice. Sushi rice is usually vinegared and seasoned with a little salt and sugar. In fact, many sushi rolls contain cooked fish, or no fish at all. Sushi can feature other meats or even be completely vegetarian (try a cucumber roll!). The term “sashimi” refers to raw fish that is thinly sliced.

Myth: All sushi is expensive.

Fact: Sushi prices vary widely. The price of a sushi roll depends on many different factors, including the skill it takes to put it together, the cut and species of fish, and how rare the specific ingredients might be. Sushi restaurants typically include lower-priced rolls as well as high-end delicacies on the menu. Whatever your budget, you can enjoy fresh, delicious, artfully prepared sushi rolls.

Kai's Special sushi roll on plate from Osaka Japanese Bistro in Las Vegas

Myth: Sushi must be paired with sake.

Fact: Sake and sushi is not a traditional pairing. Sake is made from fermented rice, which traditionally is not considered a good match with rice-heavy sushi. However, contemporary sushi restaurants offer many kinds of sake, several of which go great with sushi – just ask your waiter. If sake isn’t your “cup of tea,”  you can also pair sushi with beer or wine. Speaking of tea, you may want to simply order green tea with your sushi. Green tea helps to clean the palate between bites to sharpen your enjoyment of each bite of sushi.

Myth: Only get sushi on the day a fresh shipment comes in.

Fact: Same-day fresh is not ideal! The perfect fish for sushi is slightly aged. Sushi chefs specialize in serving fish at the perfect time. That means that the fish you are served may have been aged for a day or two to bring out its best flavor and texture. Shipments are timed so that fish are ready to serve any day of the week. So don’t worry about timing your meal – any day of the week will work perfectly!

Enjoy Top Sushi in Las Vegas

tables along the window at Osaka Bistro in Henderson, NV

Las Vegas hosts some of the best restaurants in the country – and sushi is no different! Osaka Japanese Bistro, the first Japanese restaurant in Las Vegas, features a legendary sushi menu. Located on Sahara Ave just off the Las Vegas Strip and also in Henderson, Osaka’s  has been the top sushi restaurant choice for Las Vegans for decades.  It’s the ideal choice for an authentic Japanese dining experience, or for catering your Las Vegas event, food service or business. Come on in and learn more about sushi as you chat with our expert sushi chefs and enjoy a great sushi experience.

What are the Different Types of Sushi?

El Pollo Loco sushi roll example of uramaki sushi

Osaka’s El Pollo Loco Sushi Roll

Japanese cuisine is now mainstream and wildly popular throughout this country and much of the world. However, whether you’re a seasoned sushi connoisseur or a novice looking to order your first roll, terms on Japanese restaurant menus can be confusing. From nigiri to maki, here’s a rundown on the different varieties of sushi you may encounter in Japanese sushi restaurants.

Different Types of Sushi

Simply put, the term sushi in Japanese cuisine describes any dish prepared with vinegared rice. This distinctive and specially prepared sushi rice is combined with a variety of other ingredients. Raw seafood is the most recognized sushi ingredient. However, sushi is also prepared with cooked seafood, vegetables, egg, tropical fruit, and even meat. Sushi is commonly served with soy sauce, pickled ginger, and wasabi (Japanese horseradish).

Sushi was originally prepared by street vendors as a snack food. The bite size pieces were perfect for eating on the go. As sushi rapidly grew in popularity and spread across Japan, different varieties were introduced. Now, sushi-making is an entire art in itself, with hundreds of different varieties of sushi available around the world. But these will all fall into several main categories that you can recognize anywhere you go.

Maki

Maki, or makizushi, literally translates to “rolled sushi”. It is what most people envision when the word “sushi” is mentioned. The tube-shaped rolls are created using a bamboo mat referred to as a makisu. Maki is generally wrapped in seaweed (nori), but the seaweed is occasionally replaced by cucumber, soy paper, or shiso leaves. Rice is located directly inside the wrapping, and the filling is in the center. Maki rolls are usually cut into six or eight pieces.

8 piece futomaki sushi roll on a plate

Maki can be broken down into even more specific types:

  • Futomaki – Futomaki translates to “large, thick, or fat rolls”. Like the name suggests, futomaki sushi rolls are wide (usually 2 to 2.5 inches in diameter). They are filled with multiple fillings, and seaweed is usually on the very outside.
  • Hosomaki – Conversely, hosomaki means “thin roll”. These maki rolls have one filling, surrounded by rice and seaweed. Tuna and cucumber are some popular fillings in hosomaki sushi. Due to the convenient, bite-sized pieces, hosomakizushi is a popular snack item in Japan.
  • Temaki – Temaki means “hand roll”. Temaki is a cone-shaped piece of seaweed filled with ingredients that spill out of the wide end of the roll. Temaki is eaten by hand and should be consumed relatively quickly, as the seaweed absorbs moisture from the inside ingredients and becomes soggy.
  • Uramaki – Uramaki translates to “inside-out roll”. This Westernized sushi variety differs from traditional maki in that the seaweed is inside the roll and rice is on the outside. The common California Roll is an example of uramaki sushi. In Japan, where sushi is traditionally eaten by hand, this maki variety is rather uncommon.

Nigiri

Osaka tokujyo nigiri

Osaka Tokujyo Nigiri

Nigiri, or nigirizushi, means “hand-pressed roll”. It is the most traditional sushi type. Nigiri consists of an elongated mound of sushi rice that has been hand pressed by the chef. The mound of rice is then draped with a single topping. Some common toppings are tuna (maguro), salmon (sake), octopus (tako), freshwater eel (unagi), and egg (tamago). A small amount of wasabi is oftentimes placed under the topping. In most restaurants, including Osaka Japanese Bistro, one order of nigiri is two pieces.

Gunkanmaki is a type of nigirizushi that has a piece of seaweed surrounding the perimeter. This strip of seaweed helps contain a loose or soft topping, such as sea urchin (uni) or salmon roe (ikura).

Chirashi

Chirashi bowl fresh seafood in ricebowl

Osaka Chirashi Bowl

Chirashi, or chirashizushi, means “scattered sushi”. It is a bowl filled with sushi rice and a variety of different toppings. Toppings generally include raw fish and vegetables. Chirashi sushi is popular in Japan, because it is filling and comparatively easy to prepare.

Sashimi

Osaka sashimi platter of fresh sliced fish arranged in beautiful display

Osaka Sashimi Plate

While not technically sushi, sashimi is on most Japanese menus near the sushi. Sashimi is simply fresh, raw fish or meat cut into thin slices. Sashimi is not served directly with rice, but it is often served over a garnishment, such as shredded white radish (daikon) and/or shredded carrot. Like sushi, sashimi is eaten with soy sauce and wasabi. While it is considered appropriate to eat sushi by hand, it is proper to eat sashimi with chopsticks. There is a lot to know about sushi, as there is about Japanese cuisine, but with some basic knowledge you’ll be able to find your way through just about any sushi menu.

Find the Best Sushi at Osaka Japanese Bistro in Las Vegas

Osaka Japanese Bistro was the first Japanese restaurant in Las Vegas. Based on authentic Japanese recipes and never compromising quality, we have become the largest sushi-maker in Las Vegas, serving everyone from our guests in our restaurants in Las Vegas and Henderson as well as many of the food buffets up and down the Las Vegas Strip. With our award winning chefs and large selection of sushi, including maki, chirashi, nigiri and sashimi, you could say we know sushi.  Stop by Osaka today and enjoy the best fresh sushi in town.

5 Ways to Know you’ve Found a Top Sushi Place

Five Qualities of Top Sushi

Osaka sushi plate beautiful presentation

A top sushi place is hard to find, but when you find one, you’ll know it. At Osaka Japanese Bistro we’ve spent over 50 years perfecting the art of great sushi. Our sushi recipes are perfected using traditional methods of sushi-making, prepared by classically trained and experienced sushi chefs, and using only the freshest fish and finest quality ingredients. This is why so many Las Vegas casinos depend on us to provide sushi to their guests at buffets and other venues. We think we know a thing or two about great sushi and we’d like to share that knowledge with you.

While good sushi may satisfy your palate, the best quality sushi is a delightful and exotic experience that ignites your senses. Rather than merely a meal, the best sushi is a unique combination of art and science, crafted with attention to detail that leaves a lasting impression. Each sushi order is made fresh, created specifically for you, the customer. The sushi chef’s years of experience, training, knowledge and passion are reflected in each and every plate of sushi that is served.

But what are the key factors that separate merely good sushi and truly amazing sushi?

Five Signs you’ve Found the Best Quality Sushi

 

1. Presentation

More than any other food, sushi presentation matters almost as much as taste. Visit the sushi bar itself where the work si done. You should immediately see an impressive display, the sushi chef’s iced case with his supply fresh fish full of luster and shine and never any fishy odor around. An array of other fresh ingredients should be neatly arranged in the display case. The same care taken to make ingredients visibly appealing is likely taken in preparing your dish. When your entrée arrives, a truly perfect plate of sushi will look fresh and carefully composed, full of vibrant colors and a purposeful presentation and overall artistry that demonstrates the chef’s careful use of his tools and ingredients to deliver a beautiful dish.

Nigiri fresh roe and shrimp arrangement

2. Sushi Rice

The rice is a critical element in sushi and never an afterthought. It is so important, that a master sushi chef may spend years learning to craft the perfect rice. Typically dressed with seasoned vinegar, sushi rice should have a glossy sheen.

Sushi rice has the perfect texture to play off the fish. It should be sticky so that it holds together as you take a bite, but should still separate into individual grains once in your mouth, delicate enough that it brings out the flavors of the other ingredients. No matter what kind of sushi is on the menu, the rice is the core ingredient and starting point for great sushi.

3. Fresh Sushi Ingredients

Daily access to fresh, high quality fish is the mark of a superb sushi restaurant. To put it simply, the fish should be extremely fresh, usually delivered daily. It should never smell “fishy” which is a sign the fish is no longer fresh.

tiger roll Osaka Japanese restaurant sushi roll

Each piece of sushi should have a clean taste, with a variety of textures that melt smoothly in your mouth. Ingredients like seaweed should be crisp, not soggy or rubbery.  The restaurant should serve high-grade soy sauce that is mellow in taste, and should be made from freshly grated wasabi root.

4. Technique and Skill

The sushi chef is the heart and soul of the sushi experience. With years of training, a skilled chef will have excellent knife skills and manual dexterity, many years experience with a range of menus, flavors and recipes, and a personal, unique style that contributes to the uniqueness of the restaurant. In addition, the sushi chef’s commitment to the art of creating sushi is evidenced through a constant drive for self-improvement. An artist to the core, a sushi chef takes great pride in pleasing his audience.

Shinjuku sushi at Osaka Japanese Bistro Las Vegas

5. Creativity

The best quality sushi will reflect the restaurant’s unique style and personality. This will be reflected in the creativity of the menu. The sushi chef’s artistic vision should entice customers with a variety of culinary selections built around many types of fish and other ingredients. Many develop specialties using local ingredients or to please local tastes. Others perfect old classics with flair and extra touches to add variety and style. To truly appreciate a great sushi chef, look for the “chef’s choice” on the menu. It indicates that they are excited to inspire your palate with innovative cuisine. A changing menu is also a great sign. This means that the restaurant is constantly experimenting with new combinations to tantalize your taste buds.

Great Sushi is in How it Tastes

Of course, the final test of your great sushi experience will be when you actually consume the sushi.  But first, a true sushi experience is more than just eating your food. It is an experience of many senses – visual, because a beautiful presentation will whet your appetite; your nose, because fresh and delicate smells will prepare your taste buds, and of course taste, the most perfect, melt-in-your-mouth sushi rice will make room for all the accompanying ingredients to deliver a wonderfully delicious sushi experience. The best quality sushi will always deliver fresh and exciting tastes that make you linger over the sensation and then go back for another bite.

Enjoy Top Sushi at Osaka Japanese Bistro in Las Vegas

The ideal piece of sushi combines a variety of fresh ingredients to achieve a delicate balance of flavors. While the taste should be fantastic, the presentation, chef’s expertise, and the originality of the restaurant’s menu and ambiance are just as important.

It is rare to find a sushi experience that meets each of these criteria, but here at Osaka Japanese Bistro we are proud to have achieved this feat. Try our unique menu and dare to be inspired!

Making the Best Sushi is All in the Training

Kai's special sushi roll at Osaka Japanese sushi restaurant

As you sit back and enjoy that exquisite sushi roll at Osaka in Las Vegas or your favorite Japanese restaurant in your hometown, have you ever wondered just what it takes to learn and master the delicate art of making great sushi? Turns out that making sushi is a lot more complex and subtle a specialty than you might think. Skilled sushi chefs who prepare truly authentic Japanese sushi go through years of rigorous training, often up to 10 years, to become an itamae, or sushi master.

Becoming an Itamae or Sushi Chef

In Japan, the title of a head sushi chef, or itamae, is an exceptionally prestigious and revered title. It is not loosely awarded and only the best of the best get to have it. The term Itamae translates to “in front of the board”, that is this is the person in charge of all that happens on the board where sushi preparation takes place. They are charged with the responsibility of preparing sushi, ruling the sushi kitchen, and pleasing the guests. An itamae in Japan is highly revered and honored.

Fresh mackeral and hocho japanese knife on sushi master cutting board

Aspiring itamae students must come prepared for grueling training and the challenges of the trade. To begin with, great sushi making demands excellent manual dexterity. Sushi makers must have expert knife skills and be able to achieve absolute precision. And the art of sushi making demands creativity in order to build a distinct and memorable sushi menu and reputation.

Expert knife skills are important to be able to cut fish different types of fish expertly and precisely in order to bring out the best pieces of the fish. In sushi preparation, rice and the careful mixing of sauces and arrangement of other ingredients must also be very exact. Neatness and accuracy are crucial.  Each sushi making session must result in perfect rolls, including carefully prepared sushi rice with exactly the proper balance of vinegar and salt, that present a visually stunning and deliciously perfect piece of sushi for the guest with each bite.

Mackarel fish sliced on sushi cutting board

 

 

With so much to master, the road to attaining the itamae standard is long, tough and requires complete professional devotion of time and skills. Here is the path the future itamae will most commonly take:

Sushi training school and apprenticeship

There are many schools today offering courses on how to train as a sushi chef. However, while these courses may equip students with the concepts and some mechanical skills of sushi preparation, the journey to becoming an expert and revered itamae requires extensive experience and apprenticeship. Programs limited to school training often fail to engrain the intense devotion and discipline, or allow time for learning, making mistakes and trying again, that makes for a truly master sushi chef. In Japan, the real way to become a respected sushi chef is to learn on the job; starting from the very bottom and working your up to the top.

Start with cleaning duties

In Japan, an aspiring itamae must learn the discipline of hard work.  He will start in his first sushi kitchen job with cleaning duties which include washing, scrubbing and general clean-up.  These duties are part of the training and prove the student’s devotion to becoming an itamae. This period may go on for a few months depending on the master, who will assess the young worker’s abilities from afar and know whether he has what it takes to become an itamae.

Graduate to preparing perfect sushi rice

Preparing sushi rice is a special process that requires precision and consistency.  Every master sushi chef has his own unique and secret recipe for the sushi rice preparation. In this step, the student learns how to make the rice, a careful blend of rice, vinegar and salt. The student’s itamae master guides him in each step, under careful supervision, until the student’s work meets the master’s own high standards. After demonstrating the ability to make perfect sushi rice consistently without supervision, the student will be rewarded with a move to the level of wakiita.

Sushi chef apprenticeship as a wakiita

Reaching the level of wakiita is one step closer to becoming a sushi chef. In Japanese, wakiita literally means “close to the chopping board”. However, it’s good to note that some wakiita may work for years and years under their itamae before they can become an itamae on their own right because there is plenty to master.

As a wakiita, the trainee can expect a wide variety of duties in the sushi kitchen, all of which may have to be completed rapidly and with precision. The tasks typically vary depending on just how much his itamae trusts the trainee. The duties may include preparing ingredients, preparing fish, slicing scallions, or even preparing sushi takeaway orders.

Also at this stage, with adequate experience, the junior sushi chef may have the capability of wielding his own sushi knives, referred to as “hocho” in Japanese. Permission to wield a hocho in a professional sushi kitchen is a sign from the itamae that the student is ready to go to the top.

cucumber roll sushi spring green on traditonal green mat

A new itamae is born

After many years of training and apprenticeship, the sushi master student will finally have the skills and experience to be appointed as an itamae. The new master sushi chef will have by now developed his own style for how to handle ingredients and wield the hocho. He will also have become very comfortable interacting with guests and working closely within the sushi preparation team. The world awaits the new itamae who will surely leave his mark on sushi menus somewhere around the globe and be remembered by many happy, satisfied sushi fans.

To see a great sushi chef in action, view the Food Network’s video that shows Osaka’s master sushi chef at work at our Sahara Ave Las Vegas restaurant, or stop by our West Sahara or Henderson locations and watch our master sushi chefs prepare the most authentic Japanese sushi in town.

Las Vegas’ Best Sushi Catering Service

You’ve enjoyed the tastes and textures of Osaka Japanese Bistro’s sushi at our legendary Las Vegas restaurant or maybe at our Henderson location. But did you know we also offer that authentic sushi taste, great fresh ingredients, innovative sauces, mouth-watering selection, and award-winning sushi chef artistry in our catering business as well?

Osaka japanese restaurant sashimi plate

If you have an upcoming event like a wedding or business banquet, or if you run a restaurant, buffet or other institutional food service, consider adding popular and tasty Japanese sushi and sashimi to your menu. Osaka sushi is authentic and exciting, colorful and visually beautiful, adding just a touch of the exotic to any menu. With many sushi varieties to choose from, we can help you add variety and fun to virtually any menu, with something for every palate.

And, when you choose Osaka catering in Las Vegas for your sushi needs,  you’re in good company.

Premier Catered Sushi Provider for the Las Vegas Strip

If you’ve enjoyed tasty sushi while visiting a Las Vegas casino buffet, chances are it was sushi prepared by Osaka Catering. That’s because Osaka provides 3 out of 4 pieces of all the sushi served on the Las Vegas Strip, including at the buffet services of many famous casinos. Meeting the needs of these big, highly selective clients is no easy task. In keeping with their high standards of quality and customer service, the top casinos demand fresh, authentic, exciting sushi rolls carefully and expertly prepared by highly-trained sushi chefs – and that’s precisely what they receive from Osaka. On any given day, Osaka delivers upwards of 20,000 pieces of freshly-made, delicious sushi to our growing number of catering clients on the Strip and around the Las Vegas Valley.

Serving the Best Catered Sushi in the Osaka Bistro Tradition

Kai's special sushi prepared by Osaka Catering Las Vegas

Osaka Catering was built on the quality standards set by the Nakanishi family when they opened the first Japanese restaurant in Las Vegas back in 1967. And, while Osaka Japanese Bistro is still going strong after all these years, and serving one of the most extensive and authentic Japanese menus in town, with such enormous demand for our famous sushi, our catering business has grown even faster.

To maintain our trademark high quality and freshness standards, our professional sushi team uses only the freshest, tastiest fish and other ingredients, sourced daily and prepared with care by highly trained sushi chefs. Our kitchen is a new, state-of-the-art production facility that is equipped to help us produce the very best sushi to our own high standards, and do it all on time. We then deliver our sushi with care, freshly made and beautifully presented, to provide a delicious and memorable catered experience for every event and every guest we serve.

Order Catered Sushi for your Event

Fresh sushi with fish roe close up by Osaka Japanese Restaurant sushi catering division

You don’t have to be a famous casino to provide your guests with the same high-quality sushi and sashimi. From banquets and parties to casinos, restaurants and institutions, Osaka can deliver a selection of fresh Japanese sushi in whatever quantities you need. We’ll work with you or your food service team to determine the selection mix and quantity desired, and go over details from delivery to service to clean up. We’ll make sure every detail is handled so that your guests enjoy a wonderfully fresh and exciting sushi experience, and you can sit back and relax.

Make your special event even more memorable with fresh, authentic Japanese sushi made with the best ingredients and based on traditional Japanese preparation methods. Contact Osaka Catering today for more information.

Celebrate Chinese New Year in Las Vegas

Enjoy these 2017 Chinese New Year Activities in Vegas

What do you have planned to celebrate this year’s Chinese New Year? The Year of the Rooster New Year celebrations begin this year on January 28th and, as always, Las Vegas will be celebrating in style. Whether you live in Las Vegas or will be coming to town to celebrate with us, there will be lots of holiday excitement and activity, both on and off the Las Vegas Strip. Take a look at some of the Las Vegas events planned for this year’s Chinese New Year celebration.

Chinese New Year on Display

As usual, the Strip casinos provide extravagant displays for your enjoyment. Don’t miss the famous Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Garden with it’s Chinese New Year theme. There are plenty of chickens on display, of course, along with other themed decorations and all the beautiful plants and colors that characterize this iconic location. The Venetian also features holiday-themed floral and artistic displays at the Waterfall Atrium and Gardens as well as hosting lion and dragon dancers during the holiday weekend celebration.

The 2017 Chinese New Year Parade

The Las Vegas Spring Festival Parade celebrating Chinese New Year will take place on Saturday, January 28 at 11 AM in Downtown Las Vegas. This annual parade features colorful and creative floats that are constructed by different community groups in commemoration of the heritage of our many Asian communities. Organized each year by local Asian community groups and businesses, there is a full lineup of entertainment and activities at Downtown’s Container Park after the parade and continuing until 5 PM.

Lion Dancing at the LINQ

Traditional lion and dragon dancing is a staple of Chinese New Year. Performances are scheduled at various locations around Las Vegas. This year, among a number of locations, dancers will be seen at the LINQ Promenade on Friday evening, January 27 and from 1:30-9:00 pm on Saturday and Sunday, January 28 and 29. These open air performances are free to the public.

Benefit Concert at the LINQ

The Sichuan Song and Dance Theater Company will perform at the LINQ Theatre on January from 2-4 in an exciting performance of traditional Chinese song and dance numbers. Tickets are available and proceeds benefit the local JD Miller Middle School.

Enjoy Japanese Sushi for Chinese New Year at Osaka Japanese Bistro

Hungry after all that parading, dancing and singing? Osaka Japanese Bistro is a great place to celebrate the New Year in Asian style with traditional sushi plates or delicious hot entrees from our teppanyaki grill.  We’re traditional too, as the first Japanese restaurant in Las Vegas.  In our original location, not far from the Strip, or at our popular Henderson location, enjoy dinner or make it a late night snack at our sushi bar, or even order meals or a sushi party platter to go! Our award winning cuisine features a huge menu of traditionally prepared sushi, along with a full menu of Japanese dishes. If you select the teppanyaki grill, watch our chef will prepare fresh dishes before your eyes. As a favorite spot for local Las Vegas celebrities and local citizens alike, no celebration of Asian culture in Las Vegas is complete without a visit to Osaka Japanese Bistro!

Visit Osaka for the best sushi in Las Vegas

The Food Network Agrees: Osaka makes some of the freshest authentic sushi in Las Vegas

Guy Fieri of Food Network visits Osaka Japanese Bistro's Gene NakanishiWhether you’re new to Las Vegas or a long-time resident, you owe it to yourself to check out the best sushi in Las Vegas. Osaka Japanese Bistro is a family owned and operated business that has given generations of Americans their first taste of traditional, richly flavored Japanese cuisine.

Guy Fieri and the Food Network Agree!

We were thrilled to get a visit from the Food Network’s restaurant reviewing road warrior, Guy Fieri. He spend some time in the kitchen to see our sushi chefs at work and learn  how we put together our great tasting, fresh sushi plates. Of course, he enjoyed sampling a variety of our best sushi and got a chance to chat with owner, Gene Nakanishi. We know we impressed with our fresh ingredients and traditional sushi-making method that gives our food its rich, fresh flavor and beautiful presentation.

When it was all put together, here’s what the Food Network had to say about Osaka.

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VIDEO: FOOD NETWORK AT OSAKA JAPANESE BISTRO

The Original Las Vegas Japanese Restaurant – and Still the Best!

Why has the food at Osaka Japanese Bistro won the prestigious Asahi Shukan award for being one of the 50 best Japanese Restaurants in the world? Because of our history of excellence. Osaka was founded by the Nakanishi family in 1967 and quickly became a favorite among visitors and entertainment elite throughout the city. Everyone from tourists to the Rat Pack flocked here for the best sushi in Las Vegas. Nearly 50 years later, it remains family-owned and operated and continues to give guests the same complex flavors and amazing dining experience.

Fresh Fish is the Heart of our Delicious Sushi Menu

sushi chef working to cut fresh large tuna fishDelight your palate at Osaka with three distinctive and delicious forms of Japanese cooking. Our menu offers a little bit of everything Japanese, and we’re glad to work around any dietary restrictions you may have.

One ingredient we are passionate about is using the freshest, highest quality fish available, arriving daily and expertly trimmed and sliced by our award-winning sushi chefs. The best and freshest fish are at the heart of the delicate and delicious selection of flavors on our sushi menu.

Sushi Bar

fresh suchi rolls at Osaka's suxhi barFor a tasty and filling meal in a hurry, visit our sushi bar. We use only the finest fresh and seasonal ingredients to create a unique array of sushi dishes. If you’re new to sushi or not sure what you like, try our sushi sampler. This variety plate gives you a taste of four different rolls so you’re sure to find the one you love. If you’re a sushi afficionado, you’ll find a huge selection of traditional sashimi and sushi rolls, and some of our own creation, like our signature Pocket Aces roll (spicy crab, avocado, cream cheese and crunch, topped with salmon and fried onion and drizzled with Teriyaki, tataki and yumyum sauce).

Teppanyaki Grill

teppan grill food preparation with flaming grillFor an exciting night out with friends, you can’t beat our teppan grill. This fun indulgence allows you to watch your food being prepared and interact with the chef and other guests, enjoying the sights, sounds and smells as your meal takes shape. You can order surf and turf options including New York Strip topped with tiger shrimp. If you want to splurge on an iconic signature dish from Japan, don’t miss our kobe beef fillet.

 

From Friendly Sushi Bar to Traditional Tatami Room Experience

Any foodie can tell you that what’s on the plate is only part of the complete dining experience. Interact with friends and our friendly, efficient sushi chefs at our lively sushi bar.  Your orders are prepared on the spot with flair and good spirit. Or, in Osaka’s tatami room, guests are treated to an authentic Japanese atmosphere as they savor world class, traditional flavors. Enjoy a quieter, more relaxed meal in your tatami booth along with plenty of attention from our knowledgeable servers. We offer a number of hot and cold appetizers and a wide range of authentic Japanese salads. These include surprising combinations of flavors and textures such as cucumber and wakame, sliced mountain potatoes, and spinach topped with bonito flakes. For your main course, indulge in mouthwatering dishes like our hearty rice bowls, vegetable omelettes, or chicken, beef, or pork entrees. For a real treat, try one of Osaka’s Special Boats, which include a number of tempura and teriyaki dishes served with delicious sauces and sides.

We think the Food Network would agree, if you haven’t visited Osaka Japanese Bistro, you don’t really know Las Vegas.

Looking for Best Restaurants in Las Vegas? Osaka is Still the Place to Be!

Sushi roll from Osaka Japanese BistroFounded in 1967 by native Las Vegan Sam Nakanishi, Osaka Japanese Bistro was Las Vegas’ first Japanese restaurant. As a great new option in a town with few ethnic food restaurants, Osaka’s fresh, healthy food and authentic Japanese atmosphere made it the place to be for local notables and regular folks as well. Today, fans agree Osaka remains among the best restaurants in Las Vegas.  Run today by Sam’s son, Gene Nakanishi, Osaka has earned recognition from diners and critics alike for the quality and freshness of its ingredients as well as the diversity and variety of its menu. The restaurant’s award-winning sushi chef, Shingo “Shin” Aihara, leads a team of talented Japanese-trained chefs in creating a memorable and delicious dining experience that qualifies Osaka to take its place in the ranks of Las Vegas best restaurants.

Award Winning Japanese Cuisine in Las Vegas

Under the leadership of Aihara, a one-time National Sushi Competition Adjudicator in Japan, Osaka has Best of Las Vegas banners hanging on the entrance to Osaka Japanese Bistro on West Sahara in Las Vegasbeen recognized and acclaimed by food critics and diners around the world as one of the best Las Vegas restaurants. The Asahi Shukan, Japan’s largest and longest-circulating weekly magazine, named Osaka among the 50 best Japanese restaurants in the world – the only restaurant outside of Japan included on the list. Famed internationally, Osaka is well-known and well-loved by locals as well. Both the Las Vegas and Henderson locations are favorite spots for a tasty lunch or a great late-night dining experience. The local newspaper, the Las Vegas Review Journal, has awarded its readers’ choice “Best of Las Vegas” honor to Osaka 20 times.

Large and Delicious Menu of Sushi and other Japanese Favorites

Authentic Japanese dish served at Osaka Japanese BistroThe basis for this enthusiastic praise rests with Osaka’s extensive and well-crafted menu and dining experience. Offering three Japanese dining styles–including a sushi bar, a teppanyaki grill and traditional tatami rooms–Osaka is designed to meet all of its diners’ Japanese food cravings. Osaka’s authentic dishes include over 30 appetizer options and 75 different sushi rolls. Befitting its stellar reputation, Aihara and his cooking staff use only the freshest ingredients based on seasonality to craft Osaka’s signature dishes, including sayori (halfbeak), awabi (live abalone), katsuo (bonita), kanpachi (rudderfish) aoyagi (live surf clams) and Blue Fin Toro. Many of these exotic ingredients are typically only found in Japan, and Osaka imports them to provide their sushi bar with the widest variety of any restaurant in Las Vegas.

Family-Owned Restaurant Serving Las Vegas for Generations

Family-run since its opening four decades ago, Osaka is not just one of the best restaurants in Las Vegas; the restaurant, its owners and its staff have also become an important staples of the local community. band playing during jazz evening at Osaka in Henderson, NVHaving participated in numerous local charity events, Osaka is also a member of the Las Vegas Host Lions Club, a community organization dedicated to promoting volunteering and community pride. The Nakanishi family carries on its tradition of quality recipes and a passion for service that has sustained the popularity of Osaka with tourists and locals alike.  Many return again and again to enjoy a delicious lunch or dinner, witness the cooking artistry at the teppan table, relax in a traditional tatami room or chat with friends at the sushi bar in a classic Las Vegas atmosphere. Patrons can choose between the historic, original restaurant location on West Sahara Ave, not far from the Strip, or to take in an evening of live jazz at the Henderson restaurant. With its excellent ingredients, authentic menu and dedication to the community, it is easy to see why Osaka Japanese Bistro has become a premier destination and holds its long-standing place among the best Las Vegas restaurants.

Sushi Etiquette in Las Vegas

Japanese Table Manners

Before you visit a sushi restaurant in Las Vegas, prepare to enjoy a truly authentic experience by learning a few basic traditional Japanese table manners. This is one way to deepen your understanding of the rich Japanese culture related to dining and eating sushi. And, it is also a whole lot of fun!

Tatami Room Experience

If you can find a sushi bistro that serves food on a tatami floor instead of at a Western style dinner table, tatami room at Osaka Japanese Bistro in Las Vegasgo there. You will immediately feel more immersed in the experience. There are certain things to keep in mind with a tatami floor: Take off your shoes before you step into the general eating area, and make sure that you do not step on any cushion except the one that you will be sitting on.

Before Eating Sushi

Before you put anything in your mouth (yes, even the sake), clean your hands with the wet towel, known as an oshibori, provided by your server. Everyone should order before anyone touches any of the appetizers. Every meal begins with the Japanese phrase, “I gratefully receive,” pronounced itadakimasu.

If someone must eat right away before everyone at the table has been properly served, then that person Sushi chef offering a plate of sushi over the bar at Osaka Japanese Bistro Las Vegasshould not eat until the other people at the table say “please go ahead” or osaki ni dozo to that person.

Sushi Bowls and Dishes

Small bowls should be picked up and held close to the mouth. Large bowls and plates should not be lifted in this manner. When you are eating from shared dishes, use the opposite end of your chopsticks when you want to pick up or move food.

Drinking in a Japanese Restaurant

Japanese drinking etiquette means that no one starts drinking until everyone starts drinking in a salute, which resembles a toast. When you are drinking alcoholic beverages, then you should serve each other and never pour your own drink for yourself. Serve friends drinks as their cups empty.

Japanese Table Manners

soft shell crab dipping chopsticks

It is unacceptable to chew with your mouth open, audibly chew, burp or blow your nose at the table. If you must do these things, it is better to excuse yourself from the table completely and visit the restroom.

Should I Finish My Sushi?

Unlike Western society, it is good manners to finish every last morsel of your food in Japanese culture. If you know that there will be items on the menu that you cannot eat, you should request a substitute at the beginning of the meal. If you are surprised by a dish, then it is more polite to touch none of the dish than to eat some of it.

After Finishing your Japanese Meal
chopsticks in wrapper atop plate on table at Osaka Japanese Bistro in Las Vegas

Your setup should look the same after the meal as it does before the meal. Return every dish to its

starting position, including putting all of the lids back on the serving dishes that you use. Your

chopsticks should end up back in their paper holders or on the specialized chopstick resting area.

After finishing the meal, the phrase “thank you for the feast,” pronounced gochisosama deshita, is appropriate to say to the cook.

At local’s long-time favorite Osaka Japanese Bistro in Las Vegas and Henderson, Nevada, we serve a broad menu of authentic Japanese cuisine in an authentic atmosphere, including tatami room, sushi bar or teppanyaki experience.

Teppanyaki Grill: Enjoy Japanese Barbecue with Style

Osaka Japanese Bistro Teppan GrillWe thought it would be a good time to reintroduce our customers to teppanyaki dining.  With spring and summer’s longer days coming up, our pleasantly warm Las Vegas evenings encourage people to dine out more often. Dinner at a traditional teppanyaki grill is a fun and different dining experience that is also tasty and healthy.

Teppanyaki is a Japanese-style dining experience that gives customers a front-row seat as a chef prepares their meal table-side on a sizzling iron griddle. The Japanese word “teppanyaki” is a combination of “teppan” which translates to iron plate and “yaki” which means grilled or pan-fried. Lunch or dinner at a teppan grill is a crowd-pleasing treat – a flaming onion volcano is sure to put a smile on any diner’s face – with a wide variety of entree choices from lobster tail to Kobe beef.

History of Teppanyaki Grill

While some claim that teppanyaki dates back 200 years, the Japanese restaurant chain Misono is credited with a strong hand in creating modern teppanyaki and in 2015 celebrated the 70th anniversary of their first “teppanyaki steak” served in 1945. Shigeji Fujioka opened his Misono restaurant in Kobe and his teppanyaki steak became popular among American officers stationed in Japan after the war. The foreigners enjoyed the blend of high-quality meat and watching the chef work on the teppanyaki grill. Word soon spread to celebrities and food lovers about this unique dining experience.

Teppanyaki Grill Technique

Chef cooking wagyu beef in Japanese teppanyaki restaurantThe flat, hot cooking surface is key to the flavorful preparation of Teppanyaki dishes.  Teppan grills, which are usually propane heated, can reach temperatures up to 450° C. The solid, griddle-style surface allows for the cooking of small volume ingredients ingredients such as rice, eggs and vegetables that will accompany the main meat dish, so your entire meal is prepared fresh before your eyes. Unlike a typical restaurant meal, which often cools as it is brought to the table, the teppanyaki grill allows for every bite of your meal to be hot and fresh, as you eat while the chef works by your side on his hot cooking surface. The chef prepares the entire meal table-side from soup and salad to appetizers to vegetables, rice and entrees. It takes years for teppanyaki chefs to perfect the knife work and other skills required to cook in front of customers, as well as to learn the presentation style and tricks that make the Teppanyaki an entertainment experience as well as a meal.

Teppanyaki Grill Ingredients

Teppanyaki grilled seafood plateSince teppanyaki started in Kobe, beef is front and center on the menu with diners choosing from such cuts as rib eye, New York or filet mignon. Top restaurants, including Osaka Japanese Bistro, offer certified Kobe beef from Japan. Teppanyaki, however, is not just for steak lovers as chefs also prepare chicken and pork. Seafood teppan grill may feature anything from shrimp to  jumbo sea scallops to calamari.

Teppanyaki Today

In 2006 the Japan Teppanyaki Association was formed with the aim of improving teppanyaki chef skills and promoting the dining style. The association helped implement a system of teppanyaki skills with chefs taking exams and earning certifications all the way up to Semi-Master and Master. Teppanyaki continues to evolve with chefs around the world putting their own touch on the cuisine. You can find teppanyaki grills on every continent from Dubai to Cape Town to Las Vegas.

Osaka Japanese Bistro has a long tradition of preparing teppanyaki for our guests. Teppanyaki is available at both our Las Vegas and Henderson locations. It’s a great experience for groups, so call ahead to reserve a spot and bring your friends for a fun time. With our extensive Teppan Grill menu, you can enjoy a broad range of seafood, meats and side dishes, all prepared in traditional fashion by our trained teppan chefs.  Come in tonight for a memorable meal and fun experience at our teppan grill.

The History of Sushi

An Ancient Japanese Staple becomes a Modern Favorite

Today, in all corners of the world, sushi is a familiar and much-enjoyed staple of the culinary landscape.  People in cities around the world crave this Japanese specialty as seen by the rising abundance of Japanese sushi bars and restaurants everywhere you travel. Before diving into your next California roll, consider the storied history of sushi and how its journey has shaped and changed this versatile delicacy across centuries and continents.

The Early History of Sushi

A woman planting rice by hand at the foot of Mount FujiWhat’s identified today as the first type of sushi—called narezushi— was quite different from what we know today. During rainy seasons in Japan and southern China as early as 5th century B.C., lakes would flood fish into rice fields. People would preserve this excess fish by pickling it, stuffing it with rice, and preserved for nearly a year. When taken out of storage, the rice would often be discarded before the fish was served. While this tradition faded in China, it only grew in popularity in Japan.

This dish became easier to prepare in 13th century Japan when the vinegar industry exploded. As a result, people became accustomed to sour tastes in their food.  They began to consume the sour-tasting rice that accompanied the preserved fish in what would evolve into the current type of sushi—han-nare—that only needed one month’s fermentation.

Fish market in Yedo (Tokyo), old illustration. Created by Neuville after photo by unknown author, published on Le Tour Du Monde, Ed. Hachette, Paris, 1867

Over the following centuries, the sushi-making process shrunk to a period of days and hours. People no longer waited for a naturally developing lactic acid on the rice, and instead added vinegar to mimic the historically tart taste. This next type of sushi, haya-nare, would involve packing layers of rice and fish into wooden boxes and adding region-specific specialty flavors and ingredients.

Modern Sushi

The next stage of sushi’s evolution would take place in Japan’s largest urban center, Tokyo. In the early 19th century, traveling food stalls became popular throughout the city for the same reasons that food trucks are popular today, offering easy accessibility to city workers during breaks and transit. These food stalls helped popularize what’s known today as nigiri—mounds of rice with slices of fish draped over the top.

Twentieth century refrigeration revolutionized the sushi scene even further—it made preservation and production significantly easier.

Sushi and the West

sushi master twisting sushi nori rolls on a bamboo matAs Japanese migrants spread throughout the world, so did their culture and culinary impact. People from the United States, Great Britain, and Australia encountered sushi and would later prioritize and popularize it in different ways. The image most commonly associated with sushi is the roll, or makizushi. This type of sushi is formed by a bamboo mat into a cylindrical shape; it usually features nori (seaweed) on the outside and a variety of ingredients on the inside. The California Roll, one of the West’s most popular, was invented in Los Angeles and is made of crab (or imitation crab), cucumber, and avocado .Many of the historic types of sushi mentioned above are still available in certain regions of Japan.

Nowadays, sushi comes in all shapes, sizes, and flavors depending on where you order it. With such a wide selection available, and lots of local and chef creativity, a sushi outing a fun experience for all.  Diners enjoy watching the carefully trained sushi chefs prepare the dish right at the counter.  It is a fresh, healthy meal that will satisfy any diner.  

Osaka Japanese Bistro in Las Vegas: Authentic and Fabulous Sushi Menu

Banzai sushi roll from Osaka Japanese Bistro menuOsaka Japanese Bistro has been serving top quality Japanese sushi in Las Vegas for almost 50 years. Our sushi menu, designed by the former National Sushi Competition Adjudicator in Japan, chef Shingo Aihara is prepared by a trained all-Japanese crew. When you visit Osaka Japanese Bistro in Las Vegas or Henderson for your next platter of sushi, explore some of the wonderful flavors and forms of sushi that we offer. if you have any questions about our sushi menu, feel free to ask your server.

 

 

Las Vegas Host Lion’s Club Wine and Sake Tasting Fundraiser

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Las Vegas Host Lion’s Club Wine and Sake Tasting Fundraiser

 

Osaka Japanese Bistro is proud to host the 2013 5th annual Las Vegas Host Lions Club Wine and Sake Tasting Fundraiser. Entry will include a full Japanese Buffet, featuring Osaka’s popular Sushi Boats, and access to a wide variety of wine and sake. This event will benefit various Lions Club charities, including LCIF Sight for Kids

Starts: Sat, 11/16/13 at 2:00 pm
Ends:Sat, 11/16/13 5:00 pm

This special event will take place at the Henderson Osaka location, 10920 South Eastern Ave. Henderson, NV 89102.

Osaka Japanese Bistro

Henderson, NV
cost: 60