Kawachi Sushi & Bar is a newly opened culinary gem in the heart of Leesburg that offers an explosion of flavors at affordable prices in the most beautiful of settings.
Owners Anna Hu and husband Mason Ma have crafted a tastebud tantalizing menu featuring a blend of traditional Japanese cuisine with a California twist.
Their journey to establish Kawachi was fueled by a desire to fill a gap locally, providing an authentic fusion experience that caters to a diverse palate. “There are not many good Japanese places around here with the selection of sushi and so many specialty items like we have,” Anna says.
Since opening on August 25 (originally as Woochi Japanese Fusion & Bar), Kawachi’s innovative creations and dedication to quality have garnered a warm reception from local food enthusiasts.
Highlights include a huge variety of sushi and hibachi options, along with deep fried tempura rolls, sashimi and specialty rolls with catchy names and an array of interesting fillings. Larger sushi orders perfect for groups come in an Instagram-worthy wooden boat called a “Love Boat.”
Anna and Mason brought a wealth of culinary expertise from Los Angeles to Florida.
“We create our own menu, and my husband is the mastermind behind all our dishes. We make everything fresh daily, including our wasabi, yum yum, ginger, mango and other sauces,” Anna says, adding that every element of a dish from preparing it to plating it is carefully crafted to ensure a sensational dining experience.
Additionally, Kawachi’s menu has been expanded to include savory bento boxes, additional appetizers, soups, salads, poke bowls, plentiful vegan options and many Thai food dishes.
Customers can even tailor their sushi experience by mixing and matching, as well as creating their own rolls. “As long as we have the ingredients in our kitchen, we can make it,” Anna explains.
With so much delicious food, you’d expect something special to wash it down, and Kawachi’s bar menu rivals its food menu when it comes to vastness. Draft, domestic, and imported beers, along with the typical spirits and drinks are available, along with many flavors of sake and soju from Japan, refreshing plum wines and delicious sounding specialty cocktails.
Recently, I, along with Style Photographer Nicole Hamel and Style Designer Brittany Fogt, visited Kawachi Sushi & Bar to see what all the hype was about and we weren’t one bit disappointed.
In fact, it was quite the opposite . . .
we were so impressed we vowed to return soon to sample more dishes. I even jotted down some of Anna’s suggestions for next time.
What we did taste this time around, however, was delicious. We started with tempura edamame spring rolls and a cucumber-octopus salad, which turned out to be one of Brittany’s favorite bites of the afternoon.
“The cucumber and sesame in the salad gave it some crunch and along with the octopus, it was delicious,” Brittany says.
We also sampled a ‘Love Boat’ that included king salmon, baby yellowtail topped with wasabi, uni sea urchin, jumbo shrimp and tuna, all things that Nicole—a more experienced sushi eater—said were tasty and high quality. Her favorite sushi roll, however, was the ‘Sexy Jalapeno,’ a jalapeno stuffed with spicy tuna, cream cheese, deep fried and served with chef’s special sauce scallion masago.
“It wasn’t as spicy as I thought it would be and didn’t taste fishy at all,” Nicole says.
As for Brittany and I, we didn’t eat much sushi, but we enjoyed the chicken katsu and the filet mignon hibachi that included vegetables, rice, noodles and yum yum dipping sauce.
Brittany liked that the chicken katsu was made using all white meat chicken and I thought the filet mignon hibachi was one of the most flavorful I’ve ever tasted.
If interested in trying Kawachi, it’s totally worth the drive whether you’re local or stopping in from a neighboring town. The food was fantastic and the service we received from the owners and staff was top notch.
On the flip side, Anna says she feels great about the overall positive feedback from the community and loves serving everyone who steps through the door.
“I want people to enjoy our food and go home happy and smiling,” Anna says. “I also like when people say how good our food is and that they’re definitely coming back. A lot of people say once they try it, they want more, and that’s exactly what we want to hear.”