Restaurants mid-week can be a bit slow, but on a Wednesday at 6:30 PM, Zakura in Amagansett had a full dining room. Couples and families of all ages dined in, sat at the sushi bar, and ordered take-out at the Japanese restaurant.
Owner Elaine Law greeted our group, which included work colleague Joanna and her 10-year-old daughter, Claire. It was enjoyable to watch Claire’s reactions to the goings-on in the restaurant as she ate her edamame and gyoza. A nice little touch was when the restaurant made her those kid-friendly chopsticks with the paper and rubber band.
As Claire slowly nibbled on her dishes, Joanna and I prepared for an unknown feast. For starters, it was a butter garlic edamame that had a small pool of sauce on the bottom of the bowl for dipping. It was sweet and savory with a chili taste, and a great way to switch up the ordinary order. Alongside it was a Signature Sam salad with tuna, kani, avocado, cucumber, and seaweed salad mix with spicy mayo. The mayo dressing was on the heavier side, making it a great dish to split between two, or even three, people.
As Joanna and I chatted, a man sat across from us reading The Independent. I commented, “We’re happy to see you pick up an issue. We’re big fans.” To which he responded, “Me too. I drew this piece,” pointing to the lobster portrait which used as a backdrop at the Water Views Festival. It took only moments to realize that it was renowned artist and Amagansett resident, John Alexander, the man who created the signature waving flag of the newspaper. A few laughs were had as we discussed the summer to come and thanked him for his flag, a symbol for our paper across the East End. It felt rather serendipitous, so we shared our appetizers.
New on the Zakura menu is Tuna Nachos, and it’s exactly what it sounds like — tuna, seaweed, avocado, and spicy mayo on a fried wonton shell. For a little a la carte sushi/sashimi, we had a wagyu beef nigroni with sliced apple in between. This was a menu highlight, with very tender meat and an inventive twist with the apple slices. Finally, the big dish of a Signature Alex roll, with shrimp tempura topped with spicy tuna, scallion, and tobiko. Alongside, it was pieces of a la carte sushi/sashimi, a nice, colorful touch.
Concluding the meal were two dessert dishes of fried vanilla ice cream and a tiramisu. The ice cream was unique, and the tiramisu delightful. It was served in a martini glass with cocoa powdering on top and a very crunchy espresso cookie-like filling on the inside, and worth devouring every bite.
Visit Zakura Japanese Restaurant and Sushi Bar on 40 Montauk Highway in Amagansett or call 631-267-7600. For a full menu, go to www.zakurasushi.com.