Rolling with Osaka


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Osaka Japanese Cuisine, 122 E. Washington St., which opened recently, offers a wide array of Japanese food.

The restaurant is clean and smells fresh, with adornments ranging from red party lights to white lace tablecloths and silk-screen paintings. The establishment has a lot to see. 

The menu was just as full and diverse as the environment. Around eight pages long, it was stocked with everything from salads and soups to appetizers, sashimi, sushi rolls, entrées, and desserts. 

Once the appetizers arrived, the edamame ($5) and combination tempura ($6) happily crowded the table. Notable choices include the vegetarian and shrimp tempura. The shrimp was soft with a flaky coating that held the sauce well and the sweet potatoes and parsnips were crunchy on the outside and soft and warm on the inside. 

With rolls being my favorite thing to dine on at restaurants specializing in Japanese cuisine, I went immediately to the back of the menu to get one classic roll, the Philadelphia ($6), and two specialties. The Philly was thickly sliced with quality fish and crunchy cucumber. The rolls are creatively put together and quickly offered. 

For the two, I chose the Osaka Roll ($12) and Godzilla Roll ($12). First I had the Osaka Roll that was packed tightly and fully with tuna and asparagus with jalapeño to top it off. It was clean, refreshing, and pretty simple as some specialty rolls go. The Godzilla Roll fit its name; it was gargantuan. 

The eel, shrimp, kani, white fish, cream cheese, and avocado roll was deep fried and not easily fit into one bite, adding to the fun. Because the roll was hot, the massive lump of cream cheese was soft and seemed to take over the flavor of any white fish, shrimp or avocado, with only the eel present because of the eel sauce topping the roll.

The cooked roll is filling, and with two large slices I was full and done for. Overall, I would applaud the Osaka Roll for its simplicity and choose it over the Philly. The Godzilla most definitely lives up to its name and is an option for the super hungry.

With all three rolls being over a foot long, Osaka is the best place if you’re searching for great bang for your buck rather than an expertly fine-tuned specialty roll.

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