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JAPANESE 

ASAHI JAPANESE RESTAURANT
709 St. Charles Ave. 528-9008
Asahi's menu includes such a wide range of sushi, sashimi, tempura and noodle dishes that you'll be thankful for the combination platters that give you a taste of everything. Devotees of sushi rolls should try the Ultimate Tuna Roll: snowcrab, avocado, crunchy tempura flakes and red spicy sauce wrapped in seaweed and rice and layered with tuna. No reservations. Lunch Monday through Friday, dinner Monday through Saturday. Credit cards. $$

CAFE ZEN
2112 Belle Chasse Hwy., Gretna
393-2293

This classic sushi spot is the sister restaurant to Hana near Carrollton and Kanpai in Mid-City, which means you're never too far from a fresh sushi roll or glowing slab of sashimi. The tuna is a particular favorite. The lobster roll goes down smoothly when complemented by hot or cold sake. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

HANA JAPANESE RESTAURANT
8116 Hampson St. 865-1634
This neighborhood sushi bar is strategically located to act as a respite for weary shoppers from Riverbend's array of local boutiques. Sit down for an assortment of sushi opting for the Hana Special Roll, a combination of salmon, tuna, snow crab, cucumber, avocado, egg and shrimp tempura. The sushi chef is always up to the challenge when you sit at the bar and say 'feed me.² Reservations recommended for parties of six or more. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

HORINOYA
920 Poydras St. 561-8914
Artfully presented sushi and chic crowds are the order of the day at Horinoya. Choose from dozens of nigiri sushi, maki and sashimi plates. The sushi chef's latest creation, the soybean paper roll, is riceless with three kinds of fish (tuna, white fish, and salmon) with mixed vegetables, avocado and a special sauce. Reservations accepted. Lunch Monday through Friday, dinner nightly. Credit cards. $$

KANNO SUSHI
3205 Edenborn Ave., Metairie
455-5730
Most requested is the popular Kaiseki 'feed me² special, with four appetizers followed by the chef's choice of entree and sushi rolls. Not to be missed is the Lobster Dynamite, a baked lobster tail filled with fresh snow crab and served with wake-up-the-taste-buds dynamite sauce. Reservations recommended. Lunch Monday through Friday, dinner Tuesday through Sunday. Credit cards. $$

KANPAI
4116 Canal St. 483-0880
The all-you-can-eat sushi buffet draws a crowd of college students, families and the budget conscious to Mid-City for a wide variety of rolls, sashimi, soups and other Asian fare. Also consider the Chinese buffet, or the dessert table with an assortment of delectable goodies. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

KYOTO
4920 Prytania St. 891-3644
In a town where restaurants come and go, the longevity of this Uptown sushi house, opened in 1995, is a credit to itself. In keeping with current trends, Kyoto offers Atkins and Sugarbusters menu items featuring brown rice sushi. The Sara Roll is as appealing to the eye as the appetite, featuring spicy shrimp and avocado with a crunchy chili sauce on top. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday. Credit cards. $$

KYOTO II
5608 Citrus Blvd., Harahan 818-0228
Japan may be an ocean away, but that doesn't mean you can't indulge on authentic sushi in New Orleans. Akin to the Kyoto in Uptown, the two share a desire to create quality fresh sushi for their rolls, nigiri and sashimi. The raw sweet shrimp, baby octopus and giant clam all make for great sushi. Start with the miso soup or seaweed salad and move on to chicken or beef teriyaki. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday. Credit cards. $$

LITTLE TOKYO RESTAURANT
1521 N. Causeway Blvd., Metairie
831-6788
While observing the karaoke performances, chow down on the restaurant's signature Love Boat Tokyo for two, which includes tempura shrimp and vegetables, chicken and beef teriyaki, sashimi and sushi, a California roll and fresh fruit. Reservations accepted. Lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards and checks. $$

LITTLE TOKYO RESTAURANT PART II
3225 Williams Blvd., Kenner
443-7660
No longer owned by the same people who operate Little Tokyo in Metairie, this Japanese restaurant features a frequently rotating buffet. Enjoy seafood and traditional Japanese food, sushi, habachi and shabu shabu, in which a chef comes to your table to fry tempura. Reservations accepted for large parties. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

MIKIMOTO
3301 Carrollton Ave. 488-1881
Locals and college students from all reaches of the city stop by this restaurant for affordable sushi. You can't go wrong with the dine-in special, which features 99-cent sushi and 22 items of sushi to choose from. For all the dieters out there, the rolls can now be made with brown rice upon request. For a specialty roll, try the South Carrollton, a tuna tataki roll with avocados and snowcrab on top. Delivery available. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $

MIYAKO JAPANESE SUSHI BAR & HIBACHI
1403 St. Charles Ave. 410-9997
3837 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie 779-6475
If you're interested in exploring original Japanese fare, you can find it on the menu at this St. Charles Avenue eatery. Specials include sushi Bento as well as a wide variety of rolls and grilled seafood, meat and vegetables prepared by hibachi chefs. Finish the experience with selections from the dessert and tea menu. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

OKI NAGO
2712 N. Arnoult Road, Metairie,
780-8588

Oki Nago has been open barely a month now, and already Andrew Kiang says his Japanese restaurant is always busy. Diners must be flocking there for the variety of hibachi, sushi and hot tempura offerings. Reservations for large parties only. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

OSAKA JAPANESE CUISINE AND SUSHI BAR

792 I-10 Service Road, Slidell (985) 643-9276
804 N. Hwy. 190, Covington (985) 871-8199
You can watch your dinner being prepared in front of you on a hibachi grill at these Northshore restaurants, which first opened in Slidell six years ago. Grilled lobster and steak are favorites at dinnertime and are served with soup, salad and steamed rice (fried rice can be substituted for $2 extra). Other popular selections include shrimp, scallops, chicken and filet mignon. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

ROCK-N-SAKE BAR & SUSHI
823 Fulton St. 581-7253
www.rocknsake.com

Sample the baked salmon, a salmon pinwheel stuffed with crabmeat and baked until golden brown and topped with eel sauce. The Hawaii 5-0 roll is stuffed with crunchy coconut-tempura shrimp and cream cheese and rolled in fresh peach and avocado. No reservations. Lunch Monday through Friday, dinner daily, late-night Friday and Saturday. Credit cards. $$

SAKE CAFE
817 W. Esplanade Ave., Kenner 468-8829
4201 Veterans Blvd., Metairie 779-7253
The signature roll in Metairie is called the Snow White -- baked whitefish wrapped with crunchies, tobiko (flying-fish caviar), and snow crab with a soybean wrap and eel sauce on the side. When in Kenner, ask for the Chateau -- snow crab, crabstick, smelt roe, avocado and cream cheese, wrapped with whitefish, breaded and fried. Reservations recommended for parties of five or more. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

SAKE CAFE UPTOWN
2830 Magazine St. 894-0033
Could Sake's New Orleans Roll be termed Creole Japanese? It's spicy crawfish wrapped in tuna and snow crab. Its long liquor list -- sake and wine -- also fits with the local tradition, as do the rolls named for jazz and Uptown, and Spice Girls. Reservations recommended. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

SAMURAI SUSHI
239 Decatur St. 525-9595
Few things are nicer than a crisp bag of Samurai Sushi delivered by bicycle -- except maybe Samurai Sushi ordered at a table. Try baked salmon in a roll with snow crab topped with Samurai's special leek sauce or marinated salmon with dill and Japanese yuzu sauce. Delivery available. Reservations recommended. Lunch Monday through Friday, dinner daily. Credit cards. $$

WASABI
900 Frenchmen St. 943-9433
www.wasabirestaurant.com

In addition to a varied sushi menu, Chef Phat Nguyen offers a range of soups, salads and entrees. For sushi, try the Phoenix, with spicy snow crab, shrimp, avocado and romaine lettuce wrapped in rice paper and topped with fresh salmon, wasabi and tobiko. Entrees include Beef Asparagus Maki, which consists of thin-sliced beef rolled with asparagus, grilled and served with teriyaki sauce. No reservations. Lunch Monday through Friday, dinner daily, late-night Friday and Saturday. $$

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