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American-style Sushi Bar celebrates first anniversary

Date Posted: 2012-01-13

A sushi bar near Kadena Air Base is still smiling at the customer feedback on its first anniversary, and is looking for ways to enhance the dining experience in the year ahead.

Newport Sushi is basking in the way customers have taken to the smoke-free environment, the quiet and classy atmosphere, the relaxed mood, and most of all, the way everything from appetizers to entrees have been accepted. A typical evening at Newport Sushi begins with a small bowl of shishito peppers for appetizers, something a bit different than the edamame offered at most izakaya or sushi restaurants.

The Cotton Boat a nigiri-style crab topped with whole shrimp for ¥550 catches a lot of attention, as does the ¥850 San-O Roll with seared salmon and jalapenos over a California Roll, and the Diablo Roll with shrimp tempura, scallops, octopus and squid on a California roll for ¥950.

Owner Taka Takaira, who prefers the ‘Taka Taka’ moniker, got into the sushi-making business at age 15, progressing to a combined love affair with surfing, a month-long vacation at San Clemente at age 25, and the desire to work sushi restaurants and learn the American sushi bar style. Six years of honing his skills, and Taka was opening his own Del Mar Sushi, which earned him awards while making him money.

Still, it wasn’t enough to hold back the lure of Okinawa, so home he came. Now, Newport Sushi has tables for four and six people, as well as counter-bar seating. Taka also keeps high chairs for the small children, features English menus and beams with pride about his English-speaking staff. Newport Sushi, which is open daily 5 p.m. ~ 10:30 p.m. except Wednesdays, takes yen, dollars and credit cards.

Newport Sushi has a special events ding area that seats up to 10 people, and also offers catering and take-out. Reservations are available at (098) 926-0537. Newport Sushi is easy to find, heading south on Highway 58 from Kadena Gate 1 to Route 23. Turn left, traveling to the four-way intersection with a Police Box on the left and Izakaya Toraji on the right. Turn right, travel a minute more and Newport Sushi is on the right.

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