Miso Teriyaki House is a neighbor of mine, quite literally just around the corner from where I live, and for that I consider myself fortunate.
The talented chefs at Miso are skilled in the delicate art of sushi and chirashi. In addition, they do an excellent job of creating teppan and stir fry dishes, all of which are prepared to order, and with the freshest of ingredients.
My latest trip around the corner found me in the company of my dining partner. This dear one, never a fan of “Raw Anything,” was not altogether pleased at my choice of restaurants, especially when there was an excellent Mexican taqueria, a Chinese buffet and a Pizza Hut within walking distance.
“Not to worry,” says I as we entered Miso’s cozy dining room. “I can assure you that there will be no raw food consumed at our table, unless it’s vegetables, and only if they are properly prepared.”
After a careful perusal of the menu, my dining partner, evidently relieved that I wasn’t going to trick her into eating seaweed and wasabi, ordered the mixed vegetables meal ($7.50). For some variety, I ordered the house shrimp with zucchini and onions (normally $9 by itself) and had it loaded into one of Miso’s Bento Box creations ($12.99), along with a Super California maki roll ($6 if ordered by itself) and a tossed salad. For openers, we decided to share an order of soft shell crab ($7).
While waiting for the appetizer, we each started off with the miso soup. Mine had a pleasingly pungent, slightly smoky flavor that appealed to my palate. On the other hand, my partner wasn’t impressed, describing it as tasting too “earthy.” Not to worry, the soft shell crab showed up moments later, and we each had one of our own.
The crabs were of good size and not battered or breaded. Rather, they were basted in seasoning before being flash-fried in very hot oil, and served with a side of ponzu sauce and grated raw carrot. Both crabs disappeared in short order, and I was considering a re-order when our main courses arrived, with salad accompaniment.
Miso’s presentation of both dishes was outstanding; the vegetables were arranged on the plate like a miniature garden, while my bento box was as balanced and formal a composition as any artist’s still life. We both had fun trading morsels of each other’s meal , while commenting approvingly on the bouquet of aromas and mixture of flavors encountered with every bite.
My partner even tried the Super California roll, liking the texture and taste of the dish’s crunchy tempura shell, and how it complemented the taste of the crab stick, cucumber and avocado that were rolled up in the center. The bento box’s shrimp and zucchini were done to a turn, and made another good taste match with the aromatic seasoned rice. The tab was a cool $45, drinks and tip included.
But it was worth every penny spent to add another restaurant to my dining partner’s list of “Must Returns.” I haven’t the heart to tell her that yes, we both had seaweed and wasabi with our meal.
Miso Teriyaki House
1811 W. State of Franklin Road
Monday to Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m
Friday, 11 a.m.-midnight
Sunday, noon-10 p.m.
Credit cards accepted