Written by Maggie Hoskins
Illustration by Madison Otten
If you love trying new sushi as much as I do, then you might enjoy Japon. I have tried over a handful of different sushi places since I moved here, and I have found myself returning to Japon over and over. The restaurant, which recently fell into new ownership, has been around for many years. They are a cozy and clean place, serving fresh, authentic Japanese cuisine, and always make me feel welcome and taken care of each time I visit. They have a convenient location at 4880 W. 120th Ave. in a little strip mall, making it very easy to get to with plenty of close parking. I will rate them based on their attentive service, fresh tasting food, and reasonable prices.
You never wait around for service at Japon. The host is quick to greet you before walking you to the table of choice. Or you can sit at the sushi bar and watch as they make sushi and sashimi. I have been many times now, and I always get the same smiling server. She immediately brings over a glass of water and sets down the menus giving me a few moments to decide. I typically order an appetizer while I am deciding which sushi roll I am in the mood for. She quickly brings out my appetizer; by then, I have made my decision. She places my order, and before I can finish my gyoza or my crab cheese wontons, my sushi is set on the table in front of me. I’m always shocked at how quick they are with the food.
Though service is fast, it still tastes like they have spent all day making the food perfect just for you. I have tried both the pork and the vegetable gyoza and was not disappointed with either. They are served with a sweet dipping sauce that perfectly complements these stuffed dumpling-like puffs. The crab cheese wontons are some of the best I have ever had, perfectly fried and crispy and stuffed with creamy crab filling. They are so good you don’t even need to dunk them in the sauce, but it enhances the wontons with a burst of sweet and sour flavor.
When deciding on which sushi roll I want, I always try to pick something different. From deep-fried to tempura-fried to the fresh-eel style, I have yet to be let down. I like my sushi to taste fresh, unlike King Soopers sushi that sits out all day. They have an extensive variety of different rolls to choose from. From a basic California roll to a hand-rolled spicy salmon roll to a tempura-fried crazy roll, there is something to appease everyone. My favorite go-to roll is the Broncos roll. Salmon, cream cheese, and avocado all deep fried, topped with masago mayo and eel sauce, and then baked to perfection. Served warm, you need to let it cool for a minute or two before indulging yourself.
Sushi can get expensive and out of hand easily. The prices at Japon are fair, no more and no less than your average sushi place. They offer a reasonable lunch menu with reasonable pricing. It has all your basic sushi rolls such as California roll, Vegas roll, L.A. roll, vegetable roll, tuna roll, etc., and you won’t spend more than $10 to $12. If you want the special rolls, which typically I do, they are just a bit more. The Bronco roll is amongst the cheaper options at only $8.95, but others can average up to $14.95. The crab cheese wontons are $4.95, whereas the gyoza are $5.50. Depending on if you decide to indulge in a $4 beer or not, the bill will average anywhere from $13 to $20 and occasionally up to $30 to $40 for 2 people. Not too bad for sushi and an appetizer and the occasional beer or two.
With consistent, exceptional service; fresh and authentic food; a clean, pleasant dining experience; and practically no wait time, I rate Japon with an A. Whether you are dining for one and in a hurry, going out for a date night, or looking for a place to take the family, Japon will not disappoint. If you are trying sushi for the first time or have tried every roll under the sun, there is something on the menu for everyone. Don’t be afraid to try something new; it may turn out to be your new favorite!
Address: 4880 W. 120th Ave, #200 Westminster, CO 80020
Hours: 11 a.m to 9:30 p.m Monday to Thursday, 11 a.m to 10 p.m Friday to Sunday; 4 p.m to 9 p.m Sunday
Price: $2.50-$6.50 appetizers; $5.50- $14.95 sushi rolls; $12.95-$29.95 entrees; $49.95-$199.95 specials
Noise Level: Moderate