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Restaurant Review: Okinawa Hibachi & Sushi

A taste of Japan in Cartersville.

Knowing where to go to get good sushi is something that cannot be overrated. When you try out a new sushi place it’s hit or miss and often results in more misses. The good news is, we have an excellent sushi spot right here in Cartersville and if you decide to check it out, I think you’ll find it’s a homerun.

My family and I went to located at 1010 N. Tennessee St. on a Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. for dinner. We were greeted warmly by the hostess and shown to a table on the lower level of two dining rooms. The restaurant is spacious and dimly lit. On this night there was an assortment of diners ranging from couples and families with children to individuals dining alone. Next to where we were seated there was a family celebrating a birthday in a large, private booth. The air temperature was quite cool, which was refreshing on a hot day, and music played in the background at a comfortable volume.

We ordered steamed edamame ($2.95) as an appetizer. Other appetizers included tempuras, gyozas, spring rolls and crab Rangoon, all for a very reasonable $2.95. We ordered green tea to drink and decided to split a three roll dinner and a Hibachi dinner in order to try both of the restaurant’s specialties.

The roll dinners come with miso soup and a salad but we substituted the Chicken Clear Soup. The Hibachi dinner only comes with a salad. We chose ginger dressing for our salads and it was flavorful but a little watery. The lettuce was crisp, though, and didn’t have any brown spots, which is a pet peeve of mine. The chicken soup was a salty, spring onion and mushroom broth. Given that it is called “clear” soup, I did not expect it to be crowded with vegetables, however, the mushroom’s were so tasty I would have been very happy if it was.

The server was very sweet and accommodating, offering drink refills and clearing away dishes regularly. She arrived with our entrees just as we finished our soup and salads. One of the dishes we ordered was the Teriyaki Chicken Hibachi Dinner ($8.95) which comes with teriyaki chicken, mixed vegetables and white rice or fried rice, which is $1.50 extra. The chicken was lean white meat cubes covered in a sweet and salty teriyaki glaze. There was a nice assortment of vegetables alongside the chicken that were thinly sliced and stir-fried just long enough that they still had a bite. While some restaurants have a hibachi grill at the table, Okinawa does not. However, you can watch the chef’s prepare your meal in the open kitchen.

We also ordered a three roll dinner ($12.95) and selected the Cartersville Roll, Crispy Crab Roll and Spicy Tuna Roll. The Cartersville Roll was shrimp tempura and spicy tuna topped with masago (fish eggs). It was a texture sensation with a soft outer shell and crispy center. The coloring of the tuna in the Spicy Tuna Roll was beautiful and the fish was fresh. The roll had a nice spice-to-fish balance. The Crispy Crab Roll was the weakest part of the meal but it was still enjoyable. The aioli and eel sauce made the roll.

Okinawa Hibachi & Sushi is a hidden gem in Cartersville appropriate for a date night or simply a weeknight sushi fix. Try it out with the peace of mind that your money will not be wasted. It is open 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday for lunch; 3 to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday for dinner; and 3 to 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday for dinner.

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