A bigger, better Wassabi is open.
Wassabi on Fire opened about two weeks ago at the northwest corner of Willow and Nees avenues.
Unlike the other Wassabi locations in Fresno, this version of the sushi restaurant has added teppanyaki. It has 16 grills surrounded by seating for chefs to prepare your food with lots of fire and flair.
Wassabi on Fire is technically a move. It replaces the 10-year-old Wassabi To Die For at Herndon Avenue and First Street, which is still open but is headed toward a change in ownership. Wassabi Off the Hook remains open in Fig Garden Village.
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Owner KC Choi added teppanyaki to the menu because friends of some customers didn’t eat sushi. The menu now is huge, with regular entrees like chicken teriyaki, lots of appetizers and lunch specials.
“Booty, booty” and “OMG” are the two most popular sushi rolls at Wassabi.
Wassabi on Fire is also gearing up to offer robatayakiin a few weeks. That’s meat and vegetables served on skewers, everything from beef to Brussels sprouts.
Despite the changes, what Wassabi is best known for is still the same: sushi.
“I cannot get rid of my babies,” Choi says.
Those babies include the two most popular sushi rolls, “booty, booty,” made with shrimp tempura, spicy tuna, avocado, cream cheese and more, and the “OMG,” a deep-fried California roll topped with spicy scallops, tuna and more.
Customers can still sit at a sushi bar and watch fish being cut in front of them. A layer of ice encased in glass will hold oysters and other yummies.
A glass-fronted wine room faces the dining room and a full bar serves several kinds of saki and other drinks.
The restaurant also has lots of eye candy to take in.
The hood over the kitchen grill is covered in a glowing light box that was purple last week, the colors changing with Choi’s whims.
Giant containers that once held saki are displayed as decor and a red wall reminiscent of coral separates the teppanyaki area from the main dining room.
Choi even showed off the “sexy woman’s bathroom,” with red, flame-like tiles and grout that has sparkles in it.
In case you were wondering, Wassabi is deliberately misspelled with an extra S because the staff shouts “Wassup?” when customers walk in. It was inspired by the Budweiser commercial from about 10 years ago that had a bunch of dudes blurting out “Wassuuuuup?” to each other.
In the same shopping center a few doors down, a few more interesting things are brewing that I’ll update you on soon. The Point Patio Bar & Bistro is having its soft opening and there’s also a chance that the now-closed Yodigity Yogurt space will have a new renter soon.
Wassabi On Fire: (559) 797-4361.
The Cosmopolitan Tavern’s time at Fresno and G streets has come to end – but the restaurant and bar will be back soon.
The restaurant closed last week and is preparing to reopen in its new building near Selland Arena at Ventura and O streets. “Cosmo,” as many call it, is scheduled to reopen July 11.
High-speed rail is driving the change.
The old Cosmo, and a building across the street that used to house adult store Wildcat Enterprises, are being pushed out of the way for the extension of the Fresno Street underpass beneath the nearby Union Pacific Railroad freight tracks to make room for the new high-speed rail tracks.
Clovis is getting a new cluster of restaurants this fall. In case you missed it, Bee reporter Sydney Maki’s story detailed the new development slated for the southeast corner of Herndon and Fowler avenues.