It seems that there is a Chinese restaurant or sushi bar on just about every corner of the city. Most of these restaurants offer the same menu choices -- generally a blend of traditional Chinese, Japanese, and Vietnamese cuisines -- but not all have the same quality of food. If you have ever eaten dry sushi, over-fried chicken, or rubbery beef, then you've been eating at the wrong sushi restaurants in Louisville. Next time, head to one of the following restaurants for a taste of Louisville's best sushi.
Looking for another cuisine? If you are planning your dining options in advance, you might need one night of sushi and another night of something else. There are plenty of spots in Louisville for excellent meals, below are a few ideas beyond sushi.
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Kansai Japanese Steakhouse
Kansai Japanese Steakhouse looks like a run-of-the-mill strip mall Japanese restaurant. On the outside, it is totally unassuming. However, when you enter the front doors, the warm orange wall paint is a precursor to the deep, rich flavor of sushi that awaits you. The flavors are deep and complex, the presentation is beautifully arranged, and the quality of the ingredients as a whole is top shelf.
Kobe Japanese Steakhouse
For me personally, the attraction to restaurants where you sit around a grill and watch a chef cook your food while performing tricks is fun only if you're eating with a group of out-of-towners or children. When you're going out for dinner with your husband or another couple, however, watching a Japanese chef toss eggs into his hat seems pretty ridiculous. I was pleasantly surprised to find that you don't have to sit at a grill at Kobe Japanese Steakhouse in Jeffersonville, and I was elated to learn that the sushi is the restaurant's true highlight.
While Kansai is my favorite sushi restaurant on this list, I've had others in our area argue that Sapporo Japanese Grill and Sushi takes the cake as far as sushi in Louisville is concerned. Sapporo is located on Bardstown Road in The Highlands. Like Kobe, half of the seating at Sapporo is devoted to grill tables and half is devoted to regular seating, so you aren't forced to watch chefs perform tricks with your food unless you feel inclined to do so. Many enjoy the tricks performed at the grill tables, but the sushi and sake are truly Sapporo's best offerings. This Sapporo, in the Highlands neighborhood of Louisville, is only open for dinner.
Yes, it's another Sapporo! With lovely decor, and located in the heart of downtown Louisville, Sapporo Japanese Grill & Sushi is a dining attraction right in Fourth Street Live! They have a happy hour for those looking for a good deal. Their service is prompt and many stop in for after work dumplings and sushi rolls, others head to Sapporo Japanese Grill & Sushi later in the evening, for a complete dinner when they are visiting Louisville or are simply downtown to see a show. Also, this downtown location is open for lunch and dinner and is closed on Sundays.
Dragon King’s Daughter, also referred to as DKD, is a friendly spot with two locations, one in Louisville and one across the river in New Albany. There is a neighborhood feel, people stopping in for a light snack and chat, while others are interested in full meals. At Dragon King’s Daughter they serve up quality food and are known for their unique sushi rolls, blending flavors more than other spots in the city. For instance, some rolls are served with hot sauce, jalapenos and/or crunchy tortilla strips. If you are on a budget, know that they have a sushi roll happy hour from 3-6 p.m. daily.
Oishii Sushi is known for the large sushi rolls they serve. Prices are about the same as other sushi restaurants in town, so although it's not cheap, the size of the rolls is satisfying. The food and service is consistently good and many people are repeat customers for this reason.
Note: Jessica Elliott's article was edited by a current expert in March, 2016.