Samurai Sushi and Hibachi

Write a review for Samurai Sushi and Hibachi

by wrtison

I rarely write bad reviews of any restaurant, but I felt I had to say something about this one in the hopes that they fix what's wrong and stay in business. So here goes:

I can't recommend Samurai Sushi Lounge for sushi. Maybe their bar is nice and maybe the other menu options are better, but the sushi was pretty poor. My husband and I had a California Roll, a Tuna Roll, a Salmon Roll, and two pieces each of salmon nigiri and tuna nigiri. They was makeing 'so- so- bad' Sushi !!!!!

Did you find this review helpful? Login or Join to give your opinion

by nancy

This was one of the worst restaurants I have ever eaten at. The service was too bad, the food was horrible. I would not eat there again. I don't see how it was possible that the other 2 people who have left comments think so highly of this place.

Did you find this review helpful? Login or Join to give your opinion

by vanessa fox

the food was so fresh..we had octopus salad, seafood soup and a platter with sushi rolls..fantastic flavor...we watched our food being prepared by competent chefs..definately go back again

Did you find this review helpful? Login or Join to give your opinion

by Diane

I have sushi at Samurai in West Des Moines twice week - Friday and Tuesday.

I go on Friday for the great crowd - and of course the SUPER sushi! I've eaten sushi all over the world and this place is truly out to satisfy it's customers. My favorites are Toro Tartar with Quail Egg and any of the Specialty Rolls.

On Tuesday it's $20 per person for all you can eat (excepting one or two large rolls) and is it ever great. This is my alone night so I can eat what I want and not get grief from friends.

The staff is wonderful once they get to know you. They're new in town and we need to show them that Iowans like to talk and laugh when they eat. Once you make friends you'll find they're great folks.

Say "Hi" to Tony, Lili, Tim, and Mike for me!

Did you find this review helpful? Login or Join to give your opinion

by A and D

D tried Samurai for lunch. The first warning should have been the enormous interior with no customers. This place is like a barn with so much empty space that it is jarring. The hibachi room is equally huge and almost foreboding, dark and lifeless. The sushi bar seems anemic in the sushi section.

The second warning was cultural. This is sushi as apparently interpreted through a Chinese point of view, not the traditional Japanese. That is a bit like touting authentic regional Italian cuisine when it is prepared by German cooks; it misses something, usually authenticity.

The third warning was service. It is essentially absent. D sat at the sushi bar and attempted to communicate choices, but the sushi preparer was unable to understand D's menu wishes. So, it became an exercise of pointing and nodding.

The fourth warning was the quality of the sushi. It's just not very good; loose rice of poor quality, over-presented; lacking in structure, taste and quality. The seafood looked and tasted second best; clearly not top grade.

The fifth warning was the cost. Far too expensive for what was produced.

Samurai is a masquerade of authentic sushi. It misses on all important elements of a good sushi restaurant. In comparison to the other Des Moines sushi places, it is the least among the other poor performers.

Only Miyabi 9 emerges as a superb sushi house, standing far above the pretenders. And it is probably because Miyabi has a passionate Japanese sushi master who apprenticed in Japan for many years and learned his art well from a long line of distinguished masters, and one who insists on giving good value for value received.

Spend your money on sushi wisely and on the very best. The difference is immediately apparent. Unfortunately, Samurai is not the place.

Recommended: No
Quality: Poor
Service: Poor
Value: Poor

Did you find this review helpful? Login or Join to give your opinion

by salwa

This place has the worst customer service EVER. The waiters are rude and the owner/manager is worst!!!!!!!!!!!
My friend and I went to try there unlimited sushi for 20 bucks, sounds good right ? It is a total scam , first of all they never tell you that it is only up to 4 rolls and that if you don't finish your plate COMPLETLY you get charged regular price. So for leaving a few pieces of sushi my friend and I were chocked with an 80 dollar bill instead of 20 , when we spoke to the owner he treated us like pieces of shit : he talked to us like 5 year old saying :"don't you know fish is expensive ! why aren't you finishing up your plate !!" He was yelling at us , I thought we were getting pranked. The man is crazy and has anger managment issues. Also while you eat, the servers and the cooks just stair at you the whole time , which is the most inconfortable thing ever. Overall horrible night with terrible customer service.

Did you find this review helpful? Login or Join to give your opinion

by Food Lover

Caveat Emptor.

My wife and I were excited to learn that a new Hibachi Grill had moved into town. We are both a fan of Ohana, Taki, and other restaurants of that ilk. This one was a huge disappointment. I will start with the most glaring problem:

The bartender: I wish I would've gotten the guy's name so I could be even more specific, but if you go to this place, it won't take you long to figure out which person I'm referring to. He is the drunk guy swearing and complaining about having to be there past eight o'clock on the busiest night of the year. I realize that dealing with people who are drinking can be wearing on a person, but when you are working and you are visibly more drunk than the people you are serving you have a problem. He told racial jokes (2 of which were ironically jokes about Asians), poured Hawkeye brand vodka into a top shelf vodka bottle and attempted to pass it off as the real thing, and charged people whatever sum of money popped into his head. I'd expect this kind of professionalism at the local small-town pub, but not when I'm paying inflated prices for what advertised as "fine dining". In the short time I was at the bar, there were three complaints about the bartender shorting them money. It probably had something to do with the guy behind the counter acting like a sailor.

The staff: The rest of the staff was pleasant but overwhelmed. Once we were seated, I never did get offered a single thing to drink. Not even a water, which traditionally, even at the smallest mom and pop shop, has been a standard. The cook was a nice guy and kept a smile on his face even as he bumbled his way through the meal.

The food: The only complaint I have about the food is that compared to every other Japanese restaurant in town, the portions were small for the same price we pay at all the other restaurants of it's kind.

I won't be giving this place a second try. The bartender alone was enough to make me wish I had stayed at home and saved my cash. Think twice before dropping $60 in a place that makes you feel like a burden on them.

Did you find this review helpful? Login or Join to give your opinion

by Iowa Hawks


We made reservations on a busy night. We made them in advance and even called the same day to make sure we had the reservation secured because it was a BUSY night.
We arrived at our 8:30 time and were told they did not have us down for a reservation. YIKES
They said "too many people tonight, over 300 called for reservations, too many people" and then she walked away...

We got drinks at the bar and it took 10-15 min. to get a glass of wine and a white Russian. The bartender was visibly drunk and verbally swearing about how he had to work and he wasn't getting out of there anytime soon…while charging us for the other peoples drinks that were at the bar. YIKES

At 9:27 we finally got called to get seated.
We ordered, were served no drinks and got our food...with still no drinks (water included) and ate. The "show" paled in comparison to all the other places in Des Moines.

Please, make reservations at Taki, not here!


Did you find this review helpful? Login or Join to give your opinion

by Joshua A.

I have been to many hibachi grills in different states and I would have to say that this has been the worst experience I've had. The food tasted great but the portions were small for the price.
I went to Samurai about two weeks after they opened with my brother. My brother was the only one at the table that ordered shrimp and the cook proceed to give everyone some of his food as an "appetizer" I guess. So he ended up with less than 10 shrimp on his plate which we thought was rediculous. The cook also seemed to know the other group and it seemed as if he was "hitting" on the girl and he also was giving free saki to them and no one else.
After we were done eating we asked for our check and waited 10 minutes till our waitress returned.

I don't mind spending 20 dollars on a meal but not when I have to go home and eat more food because I'm still hungry.
I give Samurai two stars only becuase their food was good(what little of it there was). If you want good Habachi try Shoguns, I have not had it here but it was excellent in Georgia.

Did you find this review helpful? Login or Join to give your opinion

by Derek Brooks

My wife and I checked out Samurai last night after we found that Miyabi 9, Waterfront, and Zen were all closed on Sundays.

We showed up around 7:30 and the place was pretty dead... so service was great. The food was also better than I had expected.

Samurai's house salad had ginger dressing and lettuce, that's it. No other ingredients at all. The squid salad was quite a bit better - it was your typical squid salad with cucumbers added.

For sushi we tried a few pieces of nigiri (white tuna, flying fish roe, and shrimp) and a few rolls (tuna lover's, dynamite, smoked salmon, and asparagus).

The rolls weren't rolled very tight, which can be annoying. I hate when you have to be careful of your roll falling apart on the way to your mouth.

The special rolls (tuna lover's and dynamite) were huge. You could barely get them into your mouth. Tuna lover's was our least favorite due to the blandness of it, while the dynamite was our favorite. It's sorta spicy with a mound of shredded crab meat along the top - very good.

The asparagus and smoked salmon rolls are typical, 1 ingredient rolls. Despite them being rolled horribly, they were very tasty.

The Nigiri was also pretty decent. The fish cuts were generous but there was barely any rice underneath. Also be aware that you're only getting 1 piece of nigiri per order instead of 2.

Overall, Samurai ended up being better than I had planned, but Miyabi 9 and Waterfront are still going to get most of my sushi business.

Did you find this review helpful? Login or Join to give your opinion
Tips for Samurai Sushi and Hibachi from foursquare users

Matthew P.

Order the spicy crispy crab roll! A safe choice.

4 people have done this

Julie L.

Get our favorite custom roll. Sweet potato, spicy crab and cream cheese!

2 people have done this and 2 others want to

DSM:SushiBomb w.

If you enjoy Samurai sushi at their place, you might really enjoy it at the DSM: SUSHIBOMB!

2 people have done this and 1 other wants to

Michelle S.

Try the tropical tuna roll - it isn't on the menu, but it is fabulous!

2 people have done this

Jeff Z.

Lunch special 3 rolls for $12. Love the tamago here

1 person has done this and 1 other wants to

Mitchell B.

Not too impressed. They didn't want to grill on the hibachi for us, and the food came out of the kitchen lukewarm.

1 person has done this

Jon M.

4 rolls for $20 on Wednesdays! I like Christmas (the roll and holiday.)

1 person has done this