This article appeared in the October 2010 issue of Louisville Magazine. To subscribe, please visit loumag.com.
The neighborhood bar is a ubiquitous fixture in St. Matthews, and the intersection of Lexington and Shelbyville roads is dotted with such establishments, serving wings and other various forms of bar food. But if you’re looking for healthy, fresh and delectable eating, drop in at Asahi Japanese Restaurant (3701 Lexington Road, 502-895-1130) for some aquatic treats at the sushi bar.
When you belly up to this bar, the chatter is the tap-dancing knives of three chefs creating bite-size works of art, led by Yong Bong Tak (a 2004 Best of Louisville award winner for sushi chef). The staff is helpful and upbeat, which is a welcome demeanor for those still not versed in the mechanics of ordering at a Japanese sushi restaurant. A roll to order and sure to please both the novice and the aficionado is the Fantasia ($15). As pretty as it is tasty, the roll’s center is a crispy tempura shrimp surrounded by cucumber and avocado held together by nori seaweed and sticky rice and a kicking sauce, topped with salmon and tuna and finished with either red, green or black fish roe. The handmade spicy crab roll ($4.50) is another crowd-pleaser and a little like eating a sushi ice cream cone. This cone’s made of nori seaweed stuffed with rice, spicy crabmeat, avocado, tempura flakes and finished with special sauces. The meal concludes with fresh fruit cut by the skilled chefs so each piece of orange or pineapple can be plucked from the rind of the fruit perfectly with a toothpick. And best of all, when you leave this bar you are high on omega-3 with no approaching hangover.
Photo: John Nation