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May 9, 2012 05:54 PM

Sharaku in West Bloomfield—anyone tried?

This place is fairly new. The fish looks pretty good in the photos on their Facebook page (admittedly an unreliable gauge), and they seem to use suppliers other than the usual and somewhat hinky (Moonie-controlled) True World Foods. Anxious for reviews, or maybe I'll get up there myself and post one.

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  1. This place?

    Reviews go back to 2006. (At least) Rodney H and Allen L are known to be discriminating, unbiased reviewers, and both thought highly of the place.

    1. I'm sure it has been open at least 10 years.... maybe even longer than 12 years.

      I haven't been there though.


      1. If it is the place on Haggerty then yes it has been there for more than a decade and was very very good but I have not been there in a few years.

        1 Reply
        1. re: aea6574

          I've been there for lunch twice in the last 12 months - both very good. I don't go more often because it is not the closest option, and is quite full (with Japanese) at noon - easier to get in when the workforce is heading back to their offices. Sushi and udon were both great - pricier at dinner, more reasonable at lunch.

        2. Huh. I guess I've managed to be in that area for work for most of the last decade and just never noticed it. I'll give it a try.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Jim M

            It is obscurred, isn't it? I've also heard Kitchen Hanzo, in the same strip, is worth trying.

            1. re: Fibber McGee

              Yes, I picked up the same, regarding Kitchen Hanzo, and had to go. When I arrived, I thought to myself, YES!, I’m SO digging this joint. It heartily survives among competitors, it has rustic Japanese décor, is (liquor) bar-centric, seems to be staffed by Japanese and it is heavily patronized by Japanese. The menu looked quite good/unique, too. I have to say though, that I left feeling as if I had ordered the wrong things. I’m determined to go back, if for no other reason than setting things straight in my mind, one way or the other.

              I ordered the popular tempura oysters, off the chalk board if I recall. I also had “crispy crepes layered with Japanese-ish stuff” (see photo below). I finished every bite of both, but I absolutely hated myself for it. Notice the seven ounces of “mayo / teriyaki gel” swirled topping? Kind of like how I feel after pigging out on slathered baby backs with seasoned fries at TGI Fridays—never having tasted the underlying pork or potatoes. (Admittedly, multiple frequent posters on this board have much more knowledge of Japanese food than do I; though, I at least have cluelessly self-toured Japan a couple times, so while I’ll defer to the experts I am due at least some license to express skepticisms.)

              Finally, I had cold soba noodles which were very good for me (at least as good as Michigan soba noodles can be, for what that’s worth), and I sampled my kid’s udon noodles stir fried with chicken and veggies---quite nice, too, but the drive to get them was 30 minutes further for me than is the Chinese-run Shogun “Japanese” restaurant in Warren, so I don’t think those alone yet justify aspiring to be a KH regular.

              Nevertheless, I’m a stubborn romantic and I’m determined to have affection for this place. I had planned to withhold my initial review until after I got a do-over, but since Fibber McGee raised the topic, I just had to pipe-in. More to follow…

              PS--I'm pretty sure Sharaku and Kitchen Hanzo are owned by the same people. One is mostly sushi and the other is mostly not sushi. There are four Japanese places at this intersection, and I think these are the two of the four that are related (could have sworn I saw one place's tee shirt under the apron of a guy at the other place...but it was SEVEN months ago). I left Sharaku when I saw they were charging $4/pc for sushi and $18 for futomaki. I appreciate well prepared food, but I have to be careful with my budget.

              1. re: VTB

                I increased the magnification on that pic you took, VTB, and I'll be the first to say it: that just looks plain disgusting. By all that's good in the world, it almost certainly *had* to taste better than it looks. I'm not sure I could get over the aesthetics of the thing. Then again, I can't get myself to try sea urchin, either, for the exact same reason.

                1. re: boagman

                  :-) Well, again, in all fairness the pan fried udon noodles were very yummy--I'd get those with frequency if I lived closer to Kitchen Hanzo. Next time I go I will start with some cold marinated mushrooms with grated daikon, or the skewers of smelt or mackerel, and then I might get a nabe (Japanese version hot pot).

                  Sorry about photographing half-eaten dishes, but I prefer to take pictures only during opportunities where nobody is looking.