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Kusaka - Mineral Point, Wi

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marcreichman Apr 14, 2013 02:24 PM

One year lurker, first time poster, I think!

My wife and I moved to Wauwatosa almost a year ago. She grew up on the south side, I am from NJ, along for the ride. We moved from MA where we both went for school. She was there for 7 years, me for 15. Boston is not necessarily a Japanese Mecca by any stretch, but there are plenty of options from casual to fancy, and from sushi to ramen to curry rice.

So far in Milwaukee we are finding things a bit lacking in the Japanese department. The sushi is good not great, but we also haven't tried every game in town just yet. I read an article a couple months ago about Kusaka, a non-sushi Japanese restaurant in Mineral Point. Yesterday my pregnant wife graciously let us drive the 2 hours there to check it out.

We got to start a Tsukemono salad and an order of Gyoza. The salad was good but could have used a bit more time in the brine, but the Gyoza were great. Hard to tell if they were homemade. I was distracted, however, by the noodles being cut in the kitchen out of the corner of my eye. I was so very excited! My wife got a bowl of udon which she praised for clean favors with good depth, and I had a bowl of miso ramen. The noodles had such good chew, and my miso broth was nice and spicy. The decor and service were also great.

Now I need to justify another trip out there to try the curry! Maybe the lands end tent sale..

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    shaja Apr 15, 2013 06:26 AM

    Have you tried Meiji's on Bluemound between Waukesha and Brookfield (near the Menards and mini golf course)? I'm not a sushi fan, but my husband loves theirs. I like their teriyaki.

    Enjoy your next trip to western Wisconsin. Many things to see that most southeastern WI'ers don't know about, such as Shake Rag Alley in Mineral Point - and be sure to make time for the House on the Rock!

    2 Replies
    1. re: shaja
      Fowler Apr 16, 2013 07:17 PM

      House on the Rock!!!

      I remember going there once when I was a little kid shaja and thinking, WOW, when I grow up I want to have a house JUST LIKE THIS!

      Of course I did grow up and now have a house that looks like every other normal person's home. No human skeletons riding the skeletons of horses in my dining room, no merry-go-rounds with statues of nude woman on the animals in my living room, or 30 foot tall T-Rex replications to greet my guests or any of the other oddities that adorn the House on the Rock. :-)

      1. re: Fowler
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        shaja Apr 17, 2013 05:55 AM

        No infinity room perched on your roof or huge whale diaramas in your family room, then? LOL (To keep this on-point with food, good fudge in the gift shops.)

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      INDIANRIVERFL Apr 16, 2013 10:44 AM

      Welcome to Chowhound. You are braver than I to only spend a year lurking before interacting.

      I feel WI restaurants are grossly overshadowed by Chicago. Especially when it comes to farm produce and dairy used servings.

      Thanks for a great initial post. Looking forward to others.

      1 Reply
      1. re: INDIANRIVERFL
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        marcreichman Apr 19, 2013 01:27 PM

        Thanks! I am new on Great Lakes but was active for a number of years in Greater Boston on Chowhound.

        I've only been here just shy of a year but I am very impressed by the general Milwaukee food scene. So much great creativity and ingredient selection. I have an ever-growing list of where to eat. Luckily with my wife growing up here and other family around, I'm not totally in the dark but it's good to keep up on what's good.

      2. Fowler Apr 16, 2013 06:37 PM

        Thank you for your post.

        If you are looking for Japanese and sushi closer to home there are some good places in the city of Milwaukee, Umami Moto on Milwaukee Street is quite good. Very fresh and creative.I have never had a bad meal there. Also on Milwaukee Street is Sake Tumi which I have had good luck with and is always fresh. Izumi on Prospect Avenue has been good the times i have been there. One place to avoid though would be Kiku on Wisconsin Avenue a bit west of the river. Some friends and I went there and we were all disappointed.

        6 Replies
        1. re: Fowler
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          marcreichman Apr 19, 2013 01:30 PM

          Izumi's is a place I went to a few years ago before we moved here and I would like to go back. My first time was with some ramen and sadly the broth didn't do it for me. I'll try some sushi next time and see how it goes.

          Umami Moto and Sake Tumi are on my list, and I'm (slightly) curious about this buffet w/sushi on the east side.

          Other Asian cuisines seem very well represented here, though. Love the Pacific Produce market, have had my fair share of Banh Mi and Pho here in Bayside, on Layton, and have had some great Thai at Singha and Bangkok House (still haven't gotten to ee-sane), and Fortune is a common place for us, love that Chinese menu.

          Looking forward to continue eating!

          1. re: marcreichman
            Fowler Apr 19, 2013 01:59 PM

            I hope you are going to the Fortune in Hales Corners and not the one in West Allis.

            1. re: Fowler
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              marcreichman Apr 19, 2013 02:10 PM

              We've been going in West Allis, actually. We'd had random comments from friends/family that the West Allis one was better. I'm game to go to the Hales Corners location, though. Can you speak to the differences?

              1. re: marcreichman
                Fowler Apr 19, 2013 02:38 PM

                Prices are about the same, but the Chinese menu (that you have to specifically request) in West Allis is superior. We meet there about once per month with two other couples that are in our cooking club and they are way more picky about Chinese food than I am and they think it is the best in Milwaukee County.

                The West Allis location will also make something that is not on the menu if you can describe it in a way they can understand. They made us some pepper prawns once that were outstanding.

                It is nothing fancy, but it is bright, clean and both the service and food are very good. They also serve alcohol. :-)

                1. re: Fowler
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                  exvaxman Apr 19, 2013 03:09 PM

                  The West Allis location is superior according to one of my Chinese neighbors that treated us to one of the "you have to call ahead and have a minimum amount if people" traditional family feasts.

                  When my kid was 4 he cleaned out izumi's of all of their oysters. It kinda upset me because that was why I went in there in the first place. I haven't been back in years. I will say to avoid "samurai" in Glendale at all costs.

                  If you are in bayside and want cheap (quality and price) try the sushi/hibachi buffet at Green Bay and Mequon rd. in the shopping center with the Pig. The new Pho place on Mequon rd by the port Washington rd intersection is pretty good and fast. We like it better than the place in Bayside. You do know that Pacific Produce is moving to a place on the North side? Apparently a backup due to many Greenfield inspection citations.

                  Not sure where you moved from, but every three months I drive two of my Asian neighbors (Chinese, Vietnamese) to Hmart and Assi in Illinois so they can stock up. There was a rumor from a consultant to the supermarket industry that Hmart was going to a location that Cermak ended up with. When I mentioned Hmart might be coming to town my Chinese neighbor literally did cartwheels in the yard she was so happy.

                  1. re: exvaxman
                    Fowler Apr 20, 2013 04:15 PM

                    I happily defer to your Chinese neighbors. Our cooking club is only comprised of 美國人.

                    What do your neighbors think of Yen Ching?

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          marcreichman Apr 30, 2013 12:21 PM

          Looks like there may be a local option for miso and shoyu ramen!

          http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/enterta...

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