Restaurant offers guests tastes of China, Japan

When Jamie Johnson and Danny Zheng decided to open a restaurant, the lack of sushi in Georgetown got their attention.

"We saw Georgetown didn't have any competition," Johnson said. "Originally we were going to do Japanese, then we realized that it might be smarter to have more of a cooked-food menu. That's why we brought in Chinese also."

When deciding what sushi to offer at Wasabi, Johnson said the couple took regional tastes into consideration.

"We use a lot of ingredients Texas people will like, especially spicy flavors," Johnson said.

Johnson, a native of Victoria, worked in restaurants while attending Victoria College. She met Zheng while they were both working at a Tokyo Grill restaurant.

Each had a history of working in restaurants and decided it was finally time to "do our own thing and be our own bosses," Johnson said.

"That was really the whole point, [to] get experience and open our own restaurant," she said.

The couple opened Wasabi on Williams Drive in March 2012, and their customers seem to find the Japanese and Chinese dishes equally appealing.

Johnson said the most popular dishes are different every day, though sushi has become a hotter item.

"The sushi rolls are popular, and a lot of people like our General Tso's chicken," Johnson said. "Our fried rice and soups are really good. Some people just come in for a quart of soup."

Homemade sauces and dressings to complement artfully presented dishes, as well as a selection of sake, a Japanese rice liquor, also go into pleasing Wasabi customers, one of the restaurant's biggest goals, Johnson said.

"I enjoy Georgetown because the people are really friendly and easy to talk to," said Zheng, who has worked as a sushi chef throughout the U.S. "I'm happy to bring sushi to Georgetown, since it wasn't available before."

In the near future, Johnson said she hopes to start offering daily sushi specials at Wasabi and begin a happy hour to encourage even more diners to visit the restaurant.

Wasabi, 3303 Williams Drive, 512-869-2055

Mon.–Thu. 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri.–Sat. 11 a.m.–10:30 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.–9 p.m.


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