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Danny Raskin: From the Land of the Rising Sun

Find authentic Japanese cuisine at New Yotsuba.

Ethnic dining continues its tremendous advances in restaurant openings … and among those that have been receiving rave notices is one already considered among Michigan’s finest.

It was very good before … among the best … but according to regulars it has gotten even better in many of its selections.

New Yotsuba Japanese restaurant, Orchard Lake Road and 14 Mile, West Bloomfield, is a stand-by-itself authentic Japanese favorite that took over from the former owners this past April and has been widely discovered again.

Only the word “New” has been attached to the name because its previous reputation was untarnished … However, many restaurants have their own personalities, and New Yotsuba is among them.

Jennie Choi and Norimitsu NagaokaNewsroom | Detroit Jewish News

Jennie Choi and
Norimitsu Nagaoka

It is a full-service Japanese restaurant that concentrates only on Japanese cuisine … sushi, sashimi, classic rolls, house special rolls, noodles, teriyaki, fried rice, etc. … And, most importantly, is insistent that guests tell their server if they have food allergies, dietary restrictions, etc., to accommodate them to the fullest extent … which is most essential to their well-being … As is the ultra-importance of freshness … and the wide selection of Japanese favorites for vegetarians.

If the menu does not have a requested favorite dish, the chef will be sure to make it for you, if possible … It is a thing like this that helps so much in bringing out a restaurant’s popularity.

The strikingly beautiful interior is an elegant surrounding … with Japanese dining also on two floors or in an excellent Tatami room, a traditional Japanese room, which seats a minimum six people, a maximum of 12.

Although favorite dishes include most anything sushi, sashimi, special rolls, ramen noodles, etc., popular preferences are for so many of the elegant selections … and its own Omakase, a Japanese phrase that means “I’ll leave it up to you,” the dining favorite of some who leave the choice of items up to the chef … along with the abundance of New Yotsuba specialties like shrimp roll, firecracker roll, rainbow roll, vegetable rolls, etc.

New Yotsuba, now owned by husband and wife, Norimitsu Nagaoka and Jennie Choi, seats 130 guests … and is open Tuesday-Saturday, 11:30-10 p.m. and Sunday, noon-9 p.m.

Its entertainment is the food … Japanese cuisine at its finest.

READER MINI REVIEWFrom Michael Salesin … “Friends of my wife and I suggested that we try Bistro Le Bliss on Orchard Lake Road, just south of Maple Road. We went for dinner and met other friends who raved about the Whitefish a la Meuniere. We had wonderful mouth-watering appetizers and salad offerings and enjoyed the delicious West Bloomfield Onion soup. Instead of the traditional crouton, a matzah ball filled the bowl! We also ordered the delicious whitefish, which consisted of two generous pieces atop a large portion of Israeli couscous with squash ribbons, sun-dried tomatoes, mascarpone cheese, lemon Dijon beurre blanc and fried capers. With it, we ordered the Rustic Ragu Bolognese over tagliatelle pasta. It was better than most we have had and enough for the two of us for dinner the next night. The service was great, and we complimented the owner on a wonderful dinner.”

SEEMS LIKE THERE is no limit to what most people today still call a Caesar Salad … In most cases, originator, owner/chef Cesar Cardini wouldn’t recognize his original concoction.

Adding chicken to it is tame compared with some variations in a New Yorker magazine article … Like at Vandaag, with creamed pickled herring, olives and sausage … Or Five Leaves, with Thai chilies and aged Gouda cheese … At Millesime, grilled hearts of romaine lettuce are filled with parmesan cheese and accompanied with slices of smoked sable … M. Wells in Long Island adds herring with red wine vinegar, olives and mustard … And, according to the article, Ciano puts in tomato sauce and Bartlett pears … Yuck!

OLDIE BUT GOODIE … Little Yossi and his family were having dinner at his grandmother’s house. When everyone was seated, the food was served. As soon as little Yossi got his plate, he started eating from it right away.

“Yossi, please wait until we say our prayer,” said his father.

“I don’t have to,” Yossi replied.

“Yes, you do,” said his mother. “Don’t we always say a prayer before eating at our house?”

“Yes, but that’s our house,” Yossi explained. “This is grandma’s house, and she knows how to cook.”

CONGRATS … To Scott Raskin on his birthday … To Sharon Schultz on her birthday … To Sylvia Hubert on her 103rd birthday.

Email Danny at dannyraskin2132@gmail.com.

Danny Raskin

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