Food & Drink

Coolidge Corner is turning Japanese

Published On 10/07/2011 Published On 10/07/2011

Replicating small-town-restaurant success in the big city is a challenge, as urban diners tend to be more discerning, critics more biting, and e-newsletters more prone to making sweeping, unsubstantiated generalizations about "small towns". Up to the challenge: Osaka Japanese Sushi & Steakhouse.

After crushing it for 11yrs in Northhampton, the Osakians have headed down the Pike to Brookline, morphing CC's former Kabbalah Centre into an expansive, fish-rollin', shrimp-tossin', hibachi...having... warehouse that slings a menu billed as Japanese Franco fusion, also Tokyo's top-secret energy system powered by James' boundless artistic curiosity.

The Digs: Downstairs, there's a lounge and full bar, but head up, and you'll find an eight-seat marble sushi bar and main dining room, which an elegant slate wall divides from six 12-person hibachi grills, aka what Paul Wall puts in his teeth during video shoots where he zanily tosses shrimp tails into his chest pocket.

The Eats: Filets are cooked tableside on a traditional stone grill, but if your Puritan sensibilities preclude you from watching others cook your food, there're also creative rolls like the Yellowtail on Fire (thanks to a yuzu soy and jalapeno salsa), and a spicy salmon/tuna joint (w/ avocado green tea & mango sweet chili sauces) called the Half and Half, so they're sort of milking the pun thing.

The Libations: Japanese suds (Asahi, Sapporo, Kirin) and sakes are complemented by exotic cocktails like the Asian Mist (coconut rum and melon liqueur), plus there are party-starting/-ending Scorpion and Lotus bowls, which're filled with rum/brandy/gin and dubbed "the mother of all drinks"...by them, but then again, they're from a pretty small town, so...

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1. Osaka Japanese Sushi & Steakhouse 14 Green St, Brookline, MA 02446 (Coolidge Corner)

After crushing it for 11yrs in Northhampton, the Osakians have headed down the Pike to Brookline, morphing CC's former Kabbalah Centre into an expansive, fish-rollin', shrimp-tossin', hibachi...having... warehouse that slings a menu billed as Japanese Franco fusion, also Tokyo's top-secret energy system powered by James' boundless artistic curiosity.

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