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Desperately Seeking Sushi ... And Flamin' Good Fun

August 14, 2009 - Phyllis Sigal
I love sushi. I crave sushi. I could eat it at least once a week.

But, alas, we're in a landlocked area where sushi is not a staple at area restaurants. Even our Sam's Club does not stock sushi like some others do.

Luckily, my husband Bruce is pretty adept at making some mean rolls. (I tell him he needs to keep practicing to get really good at it!) So, when I get a really strong craving for sushi and don't want to drive to Pittsburgh or Steubenville, he'll whip up some California rolls. Or when we're in the Strip District in Pittsburgh, we pick up some really, really good fresh fish for sushi.

But now, thanks to the opening this weekend of Fusion Japanese Steakhouse at The Highlands, I can have a sushi snack whenever I please.

Two sushi chefs prepare the sushi at Fusion Japanese Steakhouse. There's quite a variety of your basic sushi and sashimi, as well as hand rolls and special rolls, such as Rainbow, Broadway, Dynamite and Volcano rolls. The fish is flown in fresh from New York.

But, Fusion offers more than sushi.

The hibachi tables will probably be the main attraction for most diners at Fusion.

The hibachi chefs are quite the showmen ... tossing their knives around, creating little onion volcanoes (see YouTube link), putting out the flames with a little squeeze boy (you gotta see that!), expertly chop-chop-chopping the meats and veggies. Like Jiffypop popcorn ... it's as much fun to make as it is to eat.

Our hibachi chef, Kenji, also chopped up pieces of zucchini and flipped them into the diners' open mouths. (Not being the sporting type, I caught my morsel with my hand.)

Several hibachi tables, that each seat around 18 people, make up one dining room, while the sushi bar and other tables fill another space. There also is a bar as you enter the restaurant, and a private party room in the back.

At Thursday's grand opening celebration, guests had the chance to watch the hibachi chefs dazzle diners with their antics, then taste their creations. Platters of appetizers and sushi made their rounds as well. We tasted grilled tuna wasabi, shrimp shumai, gyoza, edemame, deep friend soft shell crab, to name a few.

For the hibachi dinners, there is a choice of veggies, chicken, New York strip steak, filet mignon, swordfish, salmon, scallops and lobster.

And besides the sushi and hibachi, there are entrees — that give the restaurant the Fusion part of its name — with influences from Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand. There is tempura, Habemono (in the hot pot), teriyaki and a variety of bento boxes.

A children's menu also is available.

Fusion is not a chain; there is only one other established Fusion Japanese Steak House, located in Vienna, W.Va. It opened there in 2005.

Hours at Fusion Japanese Steakhouse are 11 a.m. to 3:20 p.m. and 4-11 p.m. weekdays; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturdays, noon to 9 p.m. Sundays.

Itadakimasu — enjoy your meal!


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Blog Photos

Kenji making an onion volcano.


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