Category Archives: Pacific Rim & Other Asian

Sushi is good in the neighborhood

Oishii Sushi
Word of mouth has quickly built a good reputation for Oishii Sushi in the Highlands, and it’s drawing crowds with its friendly, outgoing sushi chefs and wide selection of sushi treats like these. Photos by Robin Garr.

LEO’s Eats with

A few weeks ago, I had occasion to nosh my way through Sushi In The City, a sociable fundraising event at which a random selection of local sushi bars (and a few other eateries) provided samples of their wares.

The experience was so tasty that it left me craving even more of the stuff, so in recent weeks, I’ve made it my business to check out a couple more recent arrivals on the metro sushi scene.

Some people are still a bit wary of sushi – the concept of eating raw fish does take some getting used to. But as I said in the previous report, 125 million Japanese can’t all be wrong, and enough of us have acquired the taste to support more than 20 good sushi restaurants around town.

Two more have arrived recently: Oishii Sushi in the Highlands opened last month and Hanabi Sushi & Japanese Cuisine in Prospect around the end of the year. A third arrival, Hiko A Mon in Westport Village, opened just last week, and I’ll take my chopsticks and get out there, too, one day soon.
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Maido: Not just another sushi bar

Maido Essential Japanese is Louisville’s only example of “izakaya” dining, a combination of pub, sake bar and eatery. Pictured are owners Jim and Toki Masubuchi Huie. LEO Photo by Nicole Pullen.

LEO’s Eat ‘n’ Blog with Louisville HotBytes
(Maido Essential Japanese)

Here’s a dining critic’s dilemma: I live in Crescent Hill, so I drive past Maido Essential Japanese often. Every time I do, I look over and feel a warm, loving feeling pass over me as I think, “I love that place.” Yet, because duty calls me to dine somewhere different every week, I rarely get to come back to Maido and other favorites … and that’s just wrong.

So it was to my great delight that I turned over a calendar page the other day and saw that enough time had passed since Maido’s 2004 opening to justify a return trip. Hai!

Maido, it should be noted, is Japanese, but it is not just another sushi bar. In fact, it’s not a sushi bar at all, although sushi is made in the kitchen. It’s something much more interesting: Louisville’s only example (and one of the few between the coasts) of “izakaya” dining, a combination of pub, sake bar and eatery that’s beloved by “sararimen” (“salary-men” or business workers) in Japan’s second city, Osaka, and the Kansai region around it.
Continue reading Maido: Not just another sushi bar

We go Malaysian in the autumn heat

Whether you go for the Malaysian dishes or prowl the East on August Moon’s eclectic menu, this 20-year-old eatery remains a favorite. The chicken satay recipe comes from Chef Peng Looi’s hometown of Ipoh, Malaysia. LEO Photo by Nicole Pullen.

LEO’s Eat ‘n’ Blog with Louisville HotBytes
(August Moon, Festa Italiana)

When the weather forecast for the first weekend of autumn calls for high temperatures in the middle 90s, something just plain isn’t right.

What can we do about it? I’ll leave the big picture details to Al Gore, but as for me, I’ve got a plan: We’ll go with the climate flow, but gradually switch over to dining on tropical cuisines. I figure folks who live within shouting distance of the equator probably know something about eating to beat the heat.

Happily, it’s not hard to find tropical cuisines in Louisville, where warm-climate dining options range among such favorites as Vietnam Kitchen, Mayan Café, Thai Taste, Queen of Sheba, Taste of Jamaica, the recently relocated Chez Seneba and many more.

The other day, though, sitting around with the air-conditioning cranked up and nursing an appetite, I found myself craving authentic Malaysian satay. Continue reading We go Malaysian in the autumn heat

Asian adventures, New Albany style

The Onion
The Onion Restaurant and Tea House has built quite a following since it opened in New Albany a few years back. LEO photo by Nicole Pullen

LEO’s Eat ‘n’ Blog with Louisville HotBytes
(Onion Restaurant and Tea House, Tran Japanese Steakhouse)

It’s been a great pleasure, in recent years, to see such a surge of restaurant-related activity on the north side of the Ohio. The arrival of a growing variety of eateries in Southern Indiana is good news for “foodies” on both sides of the river.

In addition to the obvious – the boomlet of chain eateries on the riverfront and across the Clarksville strip – the region has been gifted in recent years with interesting, locally-owned independent restaurants that range from taquerias and Asian spots to casually sophisticated dining rooms. We’ll have more on that, and a deeper look at the New Albany restaurant renaissance in particular, coming soon.

One of the many epicenters of Southern Indiana eats activity, perhaps just a bit out of sight and out of the way for Kentucky diners, lies along Grant Line and Charlestown roads near I-265 on New Albany’s north side. Continue reading Asian adventures, New Albany style