The 98 Pound Restaurant: Cheap Sushi and More!

 Header photo by Denis Jeong  I’ve been told that the whole Chinese all-you-can-eat buffet phenomenom has run its course, and that the next big trend for Chinese restaurateurs is sushi — the profit margins are better. A lot of Chinese buffets already offer a few varieties of sushi, but the new 98 Pounds Restaurant at […]

Jade: What's a Critic to Do?

The question I get asked most often, (after "what’s your favorite restaurant?") is "do you get recognized a lot when you review restaurants?" The answer is, sometimes I do, and sometimes I don’t. When a longtime local restaurateur opens a restaurant in downtown Minneapolis, and staffs it with servers who have been on the local […]

Sushi: The Naked Truth — Edamame

Anyone who has tried to make sushi knows it is harder than it looks. But when you are plopped at the sushi bar watching the chef make rolls, nigiri, or sashimi it looks easy. I, too, thought it was easy when I first watched my master show me how to make a roll — until […]

Sushi: The Naked Truth, part three

Before we opened in January, I had my whole core team working with me, training at the restaurant in Eau Claire. I knew with all of the bad habits and the lack of outside chefs in the twin cities area it would be best not to hire locally and have to correct bad habits. I’m […]

New Group Blog for Foodies: Chef's Table

In case you haven’t already noticed – we have started a new group blog here at the Rake called Chef’s Table. It isn’t just for chefs, though – it’s for restaurateurs, servers, gourmets, gourmands, wine sellers, cheese mongers, etc. – anybody who is an active participant in the Twin Cities’ lively food scene. It’s a […]

Sushi: The Naked Truth, part two.

Bandwagons and gold diggers. Once something’s hot and mainstream it will most likely get exploited. As we all know, sushi is hot, and now it’s come to that stage. How can we make it faster, cheaper, and offer more?! This is the general direction for most new sushi bars. To cut costs, frozen tuna is […]

Tuna Tuna

Ahi tuna: many people know tuna as ahi tuna. However, there isn’t a species named ahi. Ahi means ”tuna” in the Hawaiian language, so if you ask for Ahi tuna, all you are asking for is "tuna" tuna! Sometimes I like to just mess with people when they ask if I have ahi tuna: I […]

Sushi Bar Etiquette

Good thing we are not in old school Japan and that most elder Japanese/Japanese-trained chefs in the U.S. have adopted our ways. I could care less how you eat your sushi at the bar or at a table, but with some chefs it could get you kicked out! Basic sushi bar etiquette: Oshibori (hot towel) […]

Sake 101

Saturday, March 1st at 6:30 p.m. we will be hosting a sake educational tasting, a Sake 101 of sorts. We will have three sakes and possibly a namazaki. The three sakes that will be available have a deep and long history, along with taste. Shichihon yari is Japan’s oldest brewery, founded in 1540 — before […]

Other Fish in the Sea

We seem to be in the midst of sushi mania. Two new restaurants—Seven and Musashi—opened recently, barely a block apart on Hennepin Avenue, which means that downtown Minneapolis now boasts at least a dozen sushi outlets. (The others; Koyi, Nami, Origami, Martini Blu, Wasabi, Ichiban, a sushi counter at Macy’s Marketplace, Zen Box, and two […]