New Year’s Resolution: Eat More (Masa) Sushi!
Jan 19, 2017 06:05PM
● By John Ennis
More than 10 years ago, Michael Zhou and his wife Chi, new to the local area, introduced us to their collaboration with the opening of the popular Masa Sushi Japanese Fusion Restaurant in the heart of the NASA/Clear Lake area. Michael (a sushi chef for more than 30 years) and wife Chi (an accomplished French chef) have used a unique blend of Asian and French cuisine to grow and expand the Masa Sushi brand. First was the addition of a second restaurant, Masa Sushi Sake Bar, in League City. Next came the expansion and remodel of the original Fusion restaurant while at the same time, they built a beautiful 6300+ square-foot Japanese Restaurant in Friendswood from the ground up. As a SCENE favorite, we have published articles about the Zhous, new additions to the menus, aggressive drink specials, the openings of each of their new restaurants and the famous Masa Sushi anniversary celebrations that pack each location with promotions so good customers happily wait in lines stretching out the door.
If you haven’t had the Masa Sushi experience, we suggest you give it a try. And even if you have, we’ve got more than a few reasons to go more often, especially to the Masa Sushi mecca in Friendswood.
The Food: We have provided a checklist of some of our favorite Masa Sushi items below. Not included is the Sushi C, which is perfect for a group of two to experience a wide range of sushi offerings. Also of note is the brand new Bao Bao Sliders, which has become a go-to appetizer for some guests and main course for others.
Full Liquor Bar: Although their original location (at NASA Road and El Camino) started out with a beer/wine license, all locations now offer a full bar with the Friendswood location enjoying the most aggressive specials. Guests are welcome to sit at the bar and stay awhile.
Happy Hour: Toast with your friends and buy a round or two with Friendswood’s competitive Happy Hour (starting at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday.) Tuesday, Masa Sushi Friendswood has $2 beer & half-price Nigiri Sushi. (See venue for details.) Thursday enjoy $2 wine and discounted “snacks” like $3 Happy Gyoza and Happy Karaage, plus $4 Oh Ya! Beef and Thursday’s Roll. Saturday nights just got more fun with $4 select drinks from the full bar.
The Architecture: Even if you don’t eat Japanese cuisine, the building itself is quite the marvel. Step inside and be wowed. This building is both beautiful and constructed with cutting-edge energy efficient building techniques and materials.
Traditional Sunken Dining Tables: The Friendswood location offers an area featuring the only sunken dining tables this side of the loop that we (or the Zhous) are aware of.
Ample Parking: There’s always plenty of parking at the Friendswood location. Sure, the front spaces immediately visible from FM 518 fill up rather quickly, but the huge exclusive parking lot behind the building has plenty of room. And there’s always plenty of seating inside, too!
Special Events – OR -- Private Party Room: Perfect for gatherings of all sizes including business meetings, birthday celebrations or special events, the Friendswood location has a separate private party room available for reservation. It seats up to 40 guests.
Catering: Masa Sushi is available for catering. Call for pricing and options.
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Your Masa Sushi Checklist:Newest SCENE Favorite!
Bao Bao Slider: Asian Steamed buns with three of your choice: Pork Pelly (highly recommended!), Soft Shell Crab and Crispy Chicken served with sweet potato fries.
Long-Served SCENE Favorites!
Black Pepper Tuna: This alone is tasty, but what makes it amazing is presentation and the dipping sauce that Zhou makes in-house. It's his own recipe that truly brings out the flavors.
Tuna Tartar: Spicy tuna, avocado and cucumber served with crispy wonton chips. Order a half order or full.
Masa Tower: Available only at the Masa Sushi Sake Bar, this is the restaurant's namesake appetizer – and it's a tower of food. What's not to like already? Spicy tuna, rice, snow crab, cucumber, avocado and masago dressed with honey wasabi cream.
Yummy Must Try: The name says it all. We were skeptical, but the dish DOES live up to its name. Shrimp, smoked salmon, tuna, yellow tail, crab, avocado, rolled with soypaper and white fish topped with spicy mayo and eel sauce. Slow-baked. Available only at Sake Bar.
Hot Rock Beef: Ishiyaki! A traditional Japanese table-cooking in new style. Thin-sliced rib-eye served with shaved garlic and special dipping sauce. Only at Fusion.
World Sashimi Combination: A great sampler presentation featuring tuna, hamachi, fresh salmon, flounder, super white and black pepper tuna. Only at Sake Bar.
Fufu Roll: Fried oyster, salmon, avocado, cucumber, smelt roe topped with spicy tuna, spicy scallop and crunch.
Nabeyaki Udon: Japanese noodle soup with shrimp tempura, beef, chicken, egg and vegetables served in a giant bowl – reminiscent of a mini-couldron.
Costa Rica-Style Tuna: Special presentation lightly seared with garlic. Choose from tuna, black pepper tuna or beef.
MASA SUSHI JAPANESE RESTAURANT (3) 1788 Friendswood Dr. Friendswood 281-482-8888
MASA SUSHI SAKE BAR (2) 1804 W. FM 646 League City 281-337-1288
MASA SUSHI FUSION (1) 977 NASA Road 1 Webster (NASA) 281-486-9888