Saturday, March 1, 2014
Friday, January 24, 2014
Friday, January 10, 2014
Sunday, October 27, 2013
On Friday, October 26, 2013, I had dinner at the Okinawa Hibachi Sushi and Sake Lounge. This new Japanese restaurant is at 571 Adams Drive, off South Pleasant Valley Road near Walmart. It's a little hard to find if you're not familiar with the area.
Adams Drive is the entrance road for the Winchester Commons Shopping Center, which you would use to get to PetSmart, T. J. Maxx, Target, etc. The Okinawa is in an isolated building on your right as you go in from Pleasant Valley, with its own off-street parking area for it and Five Guys Burgers and Fries.
Okinawa is open for lunch Monday through Saturday 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM, and for dinner Monday through Thursday from 4:30 PM to 10:00 PM, Friday and Saturday 4:30 PM to 11:00 PM, and Sunday from 12:00 PM to 9:30 PM. Phone numbers are (540) 542-0300 and (540) 542-0400.
The entrance is through a vestibule at the right end of the building. A receptionist is just inside the door, at your right. Beyond her, also along the right wall, is a bar with seven stools and two flat-screen TV displays above the shelves of bottles. Presumably, this is the "lounge". I was told that the Okinawa opened about five weeks ago.
Along the back wall a large aquarium that needs cleaning supports a colony of goldfish. To its left is the sushi bar further along the back wall, with seven stools and two Japanese attendants doing their thing. I hesitate calling them chefs, because they don't cook the food they prepare.
Seating for diners is also in this entry area. It extends along a chest-high divider from front to partway back, and has tables of different sizes. Booths and tables are on the other side of the divider, in an area next to the wall for another room.
That room is the Hibachi area, where eight tables with Hibachi grills in their centers are located; each table can seat seven or eight people. Two tables were occupied by groups being entertained by young Japanese chefs. I didn't hang around this area to see any of the usual fireworks would occur.
Incidentally, I believe that this is the area's third restaurant to offer this style of group dining. The first was Ichiban Japanese Steak and Seafood on Pleasant Valley Road, and the second was Sansui, in Gateway Plaza off Route 7.
The decor was subdued with modern furniture and several types of shaded fixtures offering indirect colored lighting; they may be a new type if they're not of the fluorescent variety. The illumination over the sushi bar was especially innovative, with five flat L-shaped fixtures with green lighting on the back wall and ceiling, with imitation lanterns hanging down over the work area. Low-level Oriental music came from the sound system, which was not too intrusive.
I was seated at a booth in the middle dining area. The place setting provided a set of chopsticks, a fork, and a paper napkin. I ordered hot tea, and began looking over the menu. Main categories were Soup and Salad, along with Appetizer choices available from either the Kitchen or Sushi Bar.
Also Lunch Special, from Monday-Saturday, 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM; its choices were Kitchen, Sushi Bar, Sushi Lunch Box, Kitchen Lunch Box, Hibachi Lunch entr — Perry Crabill