SHIGE JAPANESE CUISINE
100 N. 8th St., Suite 215, Boise, 338-8423
For 20 years, he has greeted visitors from behind the sushi counter with a friendly welcome Irasshaimase! he calls out in Japanese. Hes well-known enough among hungry Boiseans to need only one name: Shige. And hes on an eight-year run being voted the best.
Shige Matsuzawa was born in Japan and started his food career in Japan at a French restaurant. At 25, not quite content to settle down, he left home. I never see the U.S. Only on TV, he laughs. By way of Detroit and California, Shige and his wife, Deborah, came to Boise to raise their daughter. Shige invented the Shirah roll in her honor. My most popular, he teases.
And theres a lot of rolls to choose from close to 100, many of them created by Shige and staff catering to their more traditional Japanese clientele and Americans with a taste for really fresh fish. Sushi is an art, but its also meant to be enjoyed, says Shirah Matsuzawa, their daughter.
Boise clearly enjoys Shiges sushi. The Matsuzawas keep expanding the Japanese theme: Shige Express for quick lunches, dinners and dollar sushi, Shige Japanese Steakhouse for teppan-style dining, and Shiges Red Carpet Fine Dining for French-infused fare all right next door to the original restaurant.
Now Meridian gets a turn. Almost a year ago, Shige opened Shige Teriyaki, 450 S. Meridian Road, Suite 15. And just two months ago, he opened Idahos largest floating sushi bar (including dollar sushi) at 450 S. Meridian Road, Suite 90A, in the Meridian Marketplace.
Kyoto Japanese Restaurant and Sushi Bar, 6002 Fairview Ave., Boise, 378-8808, www.kyotorestaurantboise.com
Fujiyama Japanese Restaurant, 283 N. Milwaukee St., Boise, 672-8227, www.fujiyamaboise.com
Simple Sushi Bar, 1214 1st Street South, 463-4663, www.www.simplesushibar.com
IOU Sushi, 1517 N. Milwaukee St., Boise, 672-7223; 2107 N. Cassia St., Nampa, 461-5203