Benny Leung said he did not want his restaurant, Pacific Rim Sushi & Yakitori Lounge, to fit in one box. It is part Japanese—influenced by other Asian cuisines—and part American sports bar.

“That’s why we called it Pacific Rim; we didn’t want to limit it to just Japanese food, sushi. We have other Asian food, Hawaiian [and] Malaysian,” he said.

Leung, who lives in North Austin, was born in Hong Kong and came to the U.S. to attend college in San Francisco. After graduating he moved to Austin where he said he has worked in nearly every role at a restaurant, starting as a dishwasher.

His 35-year career includes stints at Landry’s Seafood and Panda Express and learning about cooking those different cuisines.

“I got an advantage of being exposed to the western style and eastern style of cooking, and I combined the ingredients,” Leung said.

In February 2015, he opened Pacific Rim Sushi & Yakitori Lounge. The restaurant’s commingling of flavors is what Leung said he tries to achieve.

The seafood boil features both Cajun flavors and lemongrass. Ribs are slow-cooked with Asian seasonings. Customer favorites include yakitori, which is grilled meat on a skewer.

Serving customers food with this marriage of flavors is one way Leung said he has tried to stand out in Austin’s competitive restaurant scene. Being successful, he said, comes down to focusing on four areas: consistency of the food, atmosphere, pricing and service.

“We try to do that every day,” Leung said.

Pacific Rim Sushi & Yakitori Lounge

9070 Research Blvd., Ste. 305, Austin
Hours: Mon.-Fri. 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Sat.-Sun. 4:30-11 p.m.