What it is
A classy sushi bar and restaurant up front, with a number of hibachi grills (the kind large groups can sit around and watch as the meal is prepared) in an adjoining room. High ceilings and a wide berth between the bar and black leather booths make it a good spot for romantic dates and singles alike. The most relaxing element is a trickling waterfall that takes up the wall behind the sushi bar.
Where it is
Near the Lowes off of Jordan Creek Parkway in West Des Moines. Pass the mall entrance and turn left at the next light.
What we tried
I'm a wimp when it comes to sushi. So although the Imperial sashimi, $28, looked amazing (the 20-piece platter was elegantly arranged and part of it even came in a martini glass), I went with the less majestic-sounding Roll B platter: spicy tuna roll, spicy California roll and spicy avocado roll, $14. It came garnished with an edible tropical flower and with miso soup and green tea. The restaurant has a full bar and a yummy-sounding cocktail list, if you're so inclined.
Owner Tim Lau, 33, explained that Samurai does "fusion style" sushi, which blends traditional sushi techniques with American and French style cuisine. They make a spicy mayonnaise and wasabi mayonnaise in-house and drizzle it artistically over the plates. I sat at the bar, so I saw all of the adventurous dishes that others ordered and was captivated by the beauty of each. Luckily this sushi doesn't just look good, it tastes extremely fresh.
Special rolls start at $12 and hibachi combinations reach up to $33. Lunch specials average $9.
Why you should go
Fresh ingredients, impeccable presentation and a sleek atmosphere make this new sushi spot stand out. It was less boisterous than Taki on a Wednesday night (for now) and the chefs have the desire and talent to make your dish special.