||3210 E Chinden Blvd. Suite 138, Eagle, ID 83618
Cheryl Rawden - Idahoeats contributing writer
There’s a great Japanese restaurant, on the boundary line of Eagle/Boise, tucked in the end of a strip mall along the intersection of Chinden and Eagle roads called Sakura. Oak furniture and peach walls are atypical of décor in a Japanese restaurant. Here, the focus is in the simplicity of the food, served on various shaped white plates. The restaurant (whose name means cherry blossom) offers many seating options including the chance to dine quietly behind Shoji screens to a party type gathering around a massive grill to watch the chef perform a lively cooking act at the hibachi. There’s also a limited selection of seating lining the sushi bar, too.
The menu is quite large with selections of soup, salad, appetizers (both raw and cooked), and dinner entrees: Teriyaki, Tempura, Agemono and specialty entrees. Miso soup, salad and rice accompany the dinner entrees. Agemono refers to foods that are deep fried in an Agemono-nabe, which is similar to a Chinese wok. Tempura is seafood or vegetables dipped in batter and deep fried. The philosophy behind Japanese cooking is to serve food that has retained as much of its natural flavor as possible so don’t expect batter laden foods fried beyond oblivion! If the food is cooked at all it is done for the minimum time possible as Japanese tend to view vegetables at their finest when only very lightly cooked.
Sushi is cooked rice that is shaped into bite-sized pieces and topped with raw or cooked fish, or formed into a roll with fish, egg, or vegetables, and wrapped in Nori (seaweed). Sashimi is very thin bite-size slices of fresh raw fish, traditionally served with soy sauce and Wasabi. A great way to sample sushi and Sashimi would be with a 2-piece order priced from $2.95 to $7.95. Our 2-piece order of white tuna ($4.95) was delectable.
We ordered a variety of foods to sample. Shrimp Coconut Tempura ($6.25) came with sweet soy based dipping sauce. Two large shrimp and an assorted of vegetables (eggplant, sweet potato, onion, broccoli, potato and carrot) lightly battered and quickly fried. This light and airy delicious dish was our favorite selection. In the Maki-Maki section of the menu we chose The Red Dragon ($11.95); a roll of spicy tuna. The toasted sesame seeds really brought out the flavor of this sushi. Another excellent choice was the Cucumber and Eel Maki Roll ($5.95).
For a Sunday night the restaurant was really crowded with loyal clientele, many of them Japanese. A birthday party with 18 guests around one of the hibachi tables seemed to take the attention of our wait staff and while service wasn’t poor it was lacking. The food, however, was simply excellent!
Lunch specials are served from 11 until 2:30 Monday through Saturday. This includes Bento Box meals, Maki Combo’s, Sushi, Sashimi, Noodles and Rice Bowls.
Sakura is open daily for lunch or dinner. (Monday through Thursday 11 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., 4:30 pm – 10:00 pm, Friday 11:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., 4:30 pm – 11:00 pm, Saturday 11:00 a.m. – 11 p.m. and Sunday 12:00p.m. – 9:00p.m