"The building's clown collar facade brought to mind mid-century modern architecture, and the subsequent restraint of Shigeru Ban. And of Godzilla and Ultra Man defending the legacies of Musashi and Munenori as they battled the anxieties of post-war Japan. The interior's over-sized photomurals, feng shui pond and playful window lighting maintained the thematic integrity of the dining experience. I thought the chef was skilled, his demeanor sublime. The food was simple and satisfying."
"I always thought that place was a Denny's. Sketchy location down there by the river. If I want to see someone cook my food then I'll just take her shopping. Right, babe? Just kidding. I could have used a bigger salad, and the soup was not very filling. I liked the fried rice and steak with extra soy sauce, though."
"Did you even notice the elderly gentleman ask if you wanted more water when your glass was still nearly full? That was very Japanese."
"I thought the dude had trouble seeing. Japanese, huh?"
"Yes. And did you notice how the raw food was laid out unadorned, bravely exposed to our judgment? The blood-red salmon and steak practically shimmered, as they lay recumbent across the bowl like languid tongues after a long kiss. What more convincing way to please a customer than to prepare the food in full view."
"I was disappointed there was no sushi. I hope Boise gets more sushi restaurants. This place just had grilled stuff. I liked the chef though--he was cute. I guess I expected more options."
"The austerity is what I loved though. It was so quiet except for the sound of clattering knives and sizzling food. It was such a gracious and tender experience. Everything in America has to be over the top. Tepanyaki was subtle. Did you see the way the chef ever so gently split that last shrimp with his knife, before he tossed it in my mouth?
"Are we talking about the same restaurant? For me, it was like Mongolian Barbeque except less food and more money."
"One experience, four disparate views. Akira Kurosawa explored similar complexities in his classic film Rashomon. The movie opens with ..."
"Enough with the Japanese trivia dude! Just write that you really liked the place, and that the food was really good. That's all people are going to want to know anyway."
Waj Nasser is BW's resident samurai, sumo and Japanimation expert.