A Sneak Peek at Kabuki's New Arizona Sushi

Phoenix can be a much divided town. There are the Scottsdale types and the West Siders, the conservative natives and the influx of liberals, the sushi eaters and those who would rather chug a live goldfish than eat sashimi. We doubt that the bridge between Arpaio supporters and detractors will be bridged anytime soon, but there's hope for those folks who haven't quite warmed to the idea of uncooked fish.

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Kabuki's Poke Tuna with spicy ponzu.
​​Kabuki, a casual Japanese restaurant with locations in Southern California, Arizona and Las Vegas, is adding seven new menu items specifically tailored for Arizona palates. What does that mean? Think spicy, Mexican-influenced sauces. Salsa. And bubbling cheese, great for first timers wary of more traditional sushi. These new dishes will only be available at the Glendale and Tempe Marketplace locations. Take that, LA! 

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Lobster Dynamite -- lobster tail with mushrooms baked in a creamy sesame mayo sauce -- is Japanese comfort food.
We were actually the first in the nation to sample the new additions, and we're bringing them straight to you. 

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Edamame, salted in-shell soybeans, is so naturally appealing that we didn't think it could get any better. Then Kabuki went and added garlic. Yum! The smell alone is incredible. The salt together with the pungent smack of garlic makes for a rich, flavorful starter. (Hot Tip: You'll get a dish of edamame free with every sushi order at Kabuki.)

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Do we sense an Italian influence? First garlic and now, baked cheese. This delicious looking new offering is Kabuki's Lasagna Roll -- a traditional California roll with crab and avocado, smothered in parmesan, mozzarella and cream cheese and cooked till bubbly. It's a great dish to tempt sushi newbies with. We think of it as a sunny layover between manicotti town and sashimi village.

We suspect it would also be easy to lure the sushi-shy with this Vegas Roll, filled with cream cheese, avocado and salmon and fried in a light tempura batter. The crisp fried shell made the seaweed wrapper softer and easier to chew, and the crunch was a nice contrast to the smooth, rich texture of the cream cheese.   

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Tuna Poke with spicy ponzu sauce, Yellowtail Carpaccio with jalapeno and The Baja Roll (pictured above), a spicy crab roll topped with spicy mayo sauce and fresh tomato salsa, recognize that Phoenicians like things hot. While not searing by Mexican food standards, they are spicier than standard rolls. Minus the sauce the Baja Roll has a slight kick, tempered by the acidity of the tomato. But dip it in the sauce and you'll feel the burn. That's where the cold sake comes in...

Look for these seven new items in Kabuki's Glendale and Tempe restaurants in late November/early December!

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