Two restaurants that were closed but not “closed”

Longtime customers of two Wichita restaurants might have noticed that they were closed down during normal business hours last week. But DON’T PANIC! Both had good reasons for being closed, and both are now back in business.

La Galette, the cafe and bakery at 1017 W. Douglas that’s run by the Abdayem family, is reopened today after a 12-day closing, during which the owners took a summer vacation. (They deserve it, don’t they? The place has been open for 25 years!)

Sumo by Nambara, the hibachi grill at 11233 E. 13th St. N. that also is one of Wichita’s best sushi spots, reopened Saturday after closing down for five days while managers redid the kitchen floor.

Now, no other restaurants need to be closing without checking in first. Hear?

Question of the week: Best hibachi grill

Inspired by a reader who wants to take her 10-year-old daughter out for her first shrimp-catching, spatula flying experience at a local Japanese hibachi grill, I got to thinking about Wichita’s hibachi scene.

Years ago, I wrote a story about how Wichita has more hibachi grill restaurants than most cities larger than ours. I’m pretty sure that’s still the case. Sumo. Osaka. Kobe. Sal’s. Sake. The list goes on and on.

This week’s question: What’s your favorite Japanese steakhouse? How often do you go and what do you like (or not like) about the show?

Answer in the comments section below.

International Sushi Day

The Flatlander's Dream roll at Kanai. Photo by Jaime Green.

The Flatlander's Dream roll at Kanai. Photo by Jaime Green.

If you can believe ANYTHING you read on Wikipedia (which I often do), today is International Sushi Day — a holiday invented last year by the administrator of the “Sushi” page on Facebook. (Welcome to 2010!)

In honor of this momentous occasion, I will now list my top three favorite sushi places in Wichita. Please chime in with your own. Drumroll please…

1. Kanai, 12111 Maple: A few months ago, I gave this place a four-star review. Why? Because it’s sooooo good. Chef DavidĀ  Kanai makes some of the best rolls in town, the nigiri is fresh and huge, and the appetizers are inventive and yummy.

2. Sumo by Nambara, 11233 E 13th Street: This east-side restaurant is a trendy place to go, especially for young and pretty Wichitans on Friday nights. It also serves some of Wichita’s freshest and tastiest sushi. The restaurant has two separate dining areas: One for sushi eaters and one for people partaking of the hibachi grills. Prepare to wait for a table.

3. Hana Cafe, 325 N. Mead: It’s small but expanding, and it serves delicious sushi in addition to several Japanese and Korean noodle dishes.

Who’ve I missed, sushi fans? And what will you do in observance of this most sacred sushi day?