A friend of mine who is a HUGE sushi freak turned me onto Yagani, open since June in the strip center where Gold's Gym is at Wm. Cannon & Mopac. (I think this may be the same location that housed Noodleism a few years back.) My friend loves this chef, and says he's the best Japanese chef in town... can't remember where she said he used to cook. She's decidedly a food person, and I trust her food input, though raw fish is not my first love.
Anyway, made a 1:30 lunch date today with another friend, who ended up having to cancel because of a sick kid. Decided to go anyway, and see what's what. Fortunately, when you walk in the doors, you forget you're in a strip mall. The pleasant interior could transport you away from the sweaty gym neighbors next door. Dark wood, minimal decor, not too large. At least for a late lunch with only a few tables seated, it seems to work. Except for the Top 40 music playing. Oh well.
A very perky hostess greeted me as I opened the door, and escorted me to a table, leaving a menu and a list of bento box lunch specials. I had a 15% off coupon for the bento lunches; and settled on the tonkatsu box. The waiter took a few minutes to appear, as he was serving meals, but I could see that the food coming out looked good and in large portions. I ordered, and he scurried off. Moments later, he brought my water, and a bowl of miso soup. I don't think the menu listed the soup as one of the accompaniments with the bento meal, but I love miso! While waiting for my bento, I glanced a bit at a magazine, and around the room to really get a feel for it. Looks like the place seats about 80+, room at the sushi bar for 6 - 8 bodies, and a separate bar area by the entrance. Unfortunately I found out before leaving that the ladies room smelled overwhelmingly of room deodorizer.
The bento box arrived, and it was gorgeous! A TON of food. Look at the picture, starting in the top right, we have the pork tonkatsu itself, rice, California rolls, salad, vegetable tempura, tonkatsu sauce (and underneath it I discovered fresh ginger slices), and the top plate with a generous amount of wasabi & pickled ginger. The pork was fabulous, and extremely thin cut/pounded, like the pork isn't much more than 1/4 inch thick. Great panko breading, nicely fried. The sauce with it, I wasn't in love with. It took me quite a while to place the flavor, but it's really raisiny. Not enough contrast in it. The tempura was fabulous too; I was given onion, sweet potato, and a white starchy thing not unlike a potato, but I am not sure that it was....taro, maybe. The batter stuck nicely to the veggies, perfectly fried ( I do wonder what kind of oil they use...). The dressing on the salad has potential, but this didn't have enough ginger in it for my tastes; iceberg lettuce, cuke, & cherry tomatoes were all fresh though. The CA rolls are okay, but nothing special; nice to have pickled ginger that isn't pink, meaning no food dye.
Looking at their menu, they have a lot of rolls, many with interesting names (the Wm. Cannon, the Mopac, the Sexy). They sound good, but I didn't see any go past while I was there. I did see one tray of sushi, which from the distance, looked lovely. Would certainly be fun to go back and check out the other items; they've also got a few Korean items on the menu. I've got a few more of the 15% off lunch coupons, so if you want one, let me know!
I can't find a website for them, and on their takeout menu, there isn't one listed.