I had a few offers to do a birthday lunch, but I finally decided I wanted to check out Osaka. I had driven by the sign a bunch of times and it is REALLY close to work for me, so I found a couple of suckers willing to meet me for lunch – mainly, D.Rough and TheDoctor. It’s a little difficult to find since it’s behind a Best Buy and a hotel, but we managed to find it eventually.
The menu has plenty of sushi on it, as well as some tempura’d things and some larger meat/fish entrees. Their lunch specials seemed like a really good deal, so I decided to go for that deal, as did D.Rough. One of the deals is you can get three different rolls for $12.95. I haven’t tried a TON of sushi places in the Twin Cities, but I think this is the cheapest I’ve ever seen. So I got a California Roll, a Salmon and Avocado Roll, and a Cucumber and Eel Roll. D.Rough also got the three roll lunch: Cucumber and Eel Roll, Boston Roll, and Spicy Salmon (I think). And since D.Rough is a huge fan of the Kani Salad, we got one of those for her. TheDoctor got the Sushi and Sashimi Combo, which was fairly cheap at about $15.95.
The Kani Salad came out first and looked pretty good. It had what appeared to be strips of sliced apple along with the shredded carrots and crab and rice noodles. It was light and pretty flavorful, but it wasn’t the best we’d ever had. Decent sized, but we all wondered if they used apple strips as some sort of filler. It just seemed like an odd ingredient in the Kani Salad, which is a regular item in our diet.
The Sushi came out shortly after the salad and looked appetizing, as well. I was thinking with the cheaper lunch special, the rolls would be smaller portions, but they really weren’t, to Osaka’s credit. The California Roll was good – it always is. It’s hard to screw up a California Roll. The Salmon and Avocado Roll was also good. Not a fishy taste at all and there was plenty of avocado in each piece. The best thing, to me anyway, was the Cucumber and Eel Roll. The texture was a little weird in my mouth (I’m still getting used to eating eel), but the flavor was really good. This isn’t the best Sushi I’ve had, but it filled me up and for the price, you can’t beat it.
D.Rough was a little disappointed with her sushi. She agreed with me on the Eel and Cucumber Rolls, but the Boston Roll (we had no idea what that would end up being) was an avocado roll with some Boston Bib Lettuce in it and some mayo. It was a pretty bland roll, to be honest. The other roll she got (I think it was the Spicy Salmon) had some crunch to it. And we’re pretty sure the crunch was due to the rice crispies they put inside it. We’re almost sure that’s what they were. Very odd flavor of cereal in your mouth when you bit into this thing. TheDoctor seemed mostly satisfied with his meal, but then again, he doesn’t complain about much and is easy to please, as long as he gets full.
Overall, the atmosphere was nice and the menu is comprehensive and inexpensive. I wish it had better descriptions on the lunch menu so you know what you’re ordering. I think there were better descriptions in the dinner menu for the lunch items. So if you want to get full on decent sushi, Osaka might be the place for you. I’ll likely be back, due to the proximity of work and also for how cheap it is to get full there. (The three of us ate lunch and got full for about $50 total – that’s cheap for sushi.)
Top 5 things about Osaka
1. Cucumber and Eel Roll
2. Salmon and Avocado Roll
3. Inexpensive Lunch Combinations
4. Very friendly staff
5. Amazingly close to work for me
Bottom 5 things
1. Rice Crispies in the Sushi Roll
2. Kani Salad was just ok and usually it’s our favorite thing
3. Boston Roll was pretty weak
4. Lunch menu needs better descriptions
5. It is hidden behind Best Buy and a hotel