The Buzz: Sushi Alley Izakaya

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You don’t expect stark modern decor to convey a quintessentially Japanese sense of tranquility and grace, but that’s what you’ll find when you leave the bustle of Utica Square behind and walk through the door of Sushi Alley Izakaya. As befits such a setting, the elegant and artfully presented food you’ll be served is both modern and thoroughly Japanese. Chef Greg Bossler first learned to prepare sushi at his Japanese mother’s knee, so it’s not surprising that there’s a large selection of sushi: colorfully-topped nigiri laid out with jewel-like precision, slices of sashimi arranged in a pattern as complex as a prized kimono and creative American-style rolls. But if you stick to the raw, you’ll be missing Sushi Alley’s most creative, eye-popping delights. Tender, flavorful scallops are grilled with yuzu kosho, a traditional marinade from Kyushu Island made from the peel of the yuzu fruit mixed with zesty green peppers. Yakitori skewers of chicken or flavor-packed pork belly are brushed with tare sauce and grilled; the meat is sweet, juicy and sublime. If you want to do the grilling yourself, order the Ishiyaki Beef. Slices of raw beef will be brought to your table, along with a flame-heated stone on which to cook it. What all these have in common, says Bossler, is “our core philosophy: There is elegance and sophistication to be found in simplicity.” 1730 Utica Square, Tulsa. www.sushi-alley.com

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