3 Fleur
Average check per person $15-$25
BreakfastNo Breakfast SundayNo Breakfast MondayNo Breakfast TuesdayNo Breakfast WednesdayNo Breakfast ThursdayNo Breakfast FridayNo Breakfast Saturday
LunchNo Lunch SundayLunch MondayLunch TuesdayLunch WednesdayLunch ThursdayLunch FridayLunch Saturday
DinnerNo Dinner SundayDinner MondayDinner TuesdayDinner WednesdayDinner ThursdayDinner FridayDinner Saturday

Kazoku Sushi

Mandeville: 1680 LA Hwy 59. 985-626-8118. Map.
Casual.
AE DC DS MC V
Website

WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY
In sushi bars that have established themselves well, there’s a camaraderie around the sushi bar. The regulars know the chefs and vice-versa, and there’s a lot of kidding around back there. Kazoku is a marvelous example of that. The entire Fung family is welcoming and happy. Their work both at the sushi bar and in the kitchen is first-class.

WHAT’S GOOD
Kazoku’s extraordinary web site gives a good rendering of what they do here. Their next-door neighbor is a professional photographer and did a major portfolio of photos of Kazoku’s food. All the standards are here, plus a few innovations. I especially like the sushi trios: one kind of fish prepared three different ways for a single six-dollar serving. For example, salmon made into a chopped, spicy concoction wrapped with seaweed, a piece of blowtorch-seared salmon, and one standard raw slice nigiri style.

BACKSTORY
For years Wilson Fung was one of the chefs at the excellent Little Tokyo on the other side of town. There he built a following not only for his expertise at making sushi, but for his irrepressible joking around with customers. He opened his own place in mid-2010. The name translates into “family.” This is appropriate. Wilson’s son is the sous sushi chef, while his daughters run the dining room.

DINING ROOM
Kazoku is in a new strip mall at the junction of LA 59 and 1088. It’s a long, bright, colorful room with high ceilings. The sushi bar doesn’t seem quite big enough, but I’ve never had a problem finding a place there. The place is surrounded by convenience restaurants, one of which is a doughnut shop.

ESSENTIAL DISHES
This is only about a third of the menu, the bulk of which is taken up with a dizzying cast of special rolls. The entire menu, along with dozens of great photos of the dishes, are on the restaurant’s website.
starters
Baked green mussel
Baked seafood
»Baked salmon
Calamari snowcrab
Crispy snow balls
»Coconut shrimp appetizer
»Gyoza (dumplings)
»Hamachi kama (yellowtail neck) Sesame chicken
Squid steak
Tofu steak
Tuna steak
»Yakitori
Tempura appetizers
»Tuna tartare
Seafood salad
»Seaweed or squid salad
Salmon skin salad
Scallops avocado salad
Snow crab avocado salad
»Tuna tokyo salad
»Sashimi
»Sushi
Sushi rolls:
Angel roll
»Burning man roll
Caterpillar roll
Calamari crunchy roll
»Dancing tuna roll
Dragon roll
Green flower roll
»Rice paper roll
»Scallop roll
Sky roll
»Soybean paper roll
Tiger roll
»Tuna nurito roll
Volcano roll
Entrees
Beef teriyaki
»Chicken teriyaki
»Chicken katsu
Salmon teriyaki
»Seafood tempura
»Chirashi sushi deluxe
Dessert
Ice cream (red bean/green tea/vanilla/mango)
»Tempura ice cream
»Tempura cheesecake
Sorbet
Mochi

FOR BEST RESULTS
Have a conversation with Wilson or his son before ordering anything, and take their advice. As always, steer away from the rolls dominated by crab salad.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT
The menu could do with more range in the cooked department. This is Mandeville, after all, and not everybody has graduated into sushi yet.

FACTORS OTHER THAN FOOD
Up to three points, positive or negative, for these characteristics. Absence of points denotes average performance in the matter.

  • Dining Environment +1
  • Consistency +2
  • Service+1
  • Value +1
  • Attitude +2
  • Wine & Bar
  • Hipness +1
  • Local Color

 

SPECIAL ATTRIBUTES

  • Good for business meetings
  • 8-25
  • Open Monday lunch and dinner
  • Open all afternoon
  • Quick, good meal
  • Good for children
  • Easy, nearby parking
  • Reservations accepted

ANECDOTES AND ANALYSIS
If it seems that sushi bars are popping up like mushrooms after a month of rain, know that they are. Western St. Tammany Parish has had a particularly large number of openings–too many, I’d say. I hope (and believe) that Kazoku will be one of the survivors. Chef-owner Wilson and his family run a sharp, delicious and entertaining operation.


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