The Best Asian Restaurant in Escazu | Banzai Restaurant
by Ivo Henfling
Thanks to Liz & Tony, I got to know the best Asian restaurant in Escazu – Costa Rica, right across the street from where I live……..yes, it was right there and I didn’t see it. They say “see further than the end of your nose” and I have a big nose.
The name of the restaurant is Banzai, a traditional Japanese exclamation meaning “ten thousand years”. I hope they will be there at least as long as I live.
Their Sushi is bigger than it is anywhere else and the best Nigiri, Sashimi and Maki. Unlike most Sushi places, their Japanese food is also out of this world and at incredible prices. If you are a fan of Asian food, you really need to visit Banzai and be attended by owners Cassius and William and their staff. Cassius takes care of the Oriental cooking like Indonesian, Japanese, Thai, Malaysian and Vietnamese, and William does the Sushi.
Easy to find location
Restaurante Banzai – Sushi and Asian cuisine, is located in Plaza Florencia, left in the back. Plaza Florencia is 200 north from the Paco mall, right next to the gas station. Of to say it the Tico way: across the street from GoDutch Realty, the best Costa Rica real estate office in Escazu. The prices I mention in this blog will of course change, so you know these are current prices in February 2013. Their Facebook page is and their phone number 2289-7733. There is always plenty of parking on the parking lot or in the parking garage though I generally walk.
Besides the regular appetizers that you can find in most Japanese restaurants, like Edamame, Gyosas, Kroepoek or shrimp chips, they have a seaweed salad and a Tako salad that are so huge, you won’t eat anything else. A great and healthy lunch for only ¢3,700 and ¢4,500 plus a big tip for the boys. I have never had any of their soup yet, I’m not much of a soup person.
The Sushi Rolls
In the photo you can see Kjersten van Horn, our former partner in American European Real Estate group, (was great to see you hon!) who moved to Panama some years ago, ready to attack the Irazu roll. This roll has Cream Cheese, Avocado, Tempura shrimp, Sesame, Wasabi and a scallop sauce right over it. The cost of this delicious roll is only ¢5,600.
Williams’ sauces that go over the sushi are different than what you will find in other sushi restaurants as most will only give you some soya sauce. He makes a sesame sauce, a kiwi sauce and a passion fruit sauce that I had never tried before on sushi.
William also does a few Sushi rolls that have an “au gratin” cheese cover that are awesome.
Their specialties vary from an Indonesian type Nasi Goreng that is awesome (¢5,700) to a Paella Banzai that is out of this world for (¢6,500), a Thai style curry that drives me nuts (¢6,200), a Mai Fan which are curry rice noodles (¢5,100) and a Padthai which are Thai style Noodles. In Tepanyaki they do a Tori Samurai (chicken) for $5,000 and a Teriyaki Steak (beef) for $5,700 that is absolutely wow.
A Doggy Bag
I as might have figured by now, I love good food but I am not a huge eater. Usually, Dany and I share everything we order, so we get a bit of everything. But at Banzai, be careful, their portions are large. Dany and I order a couple of sushi rolls and one main dish and we cannot eat it all, so we take a doggy bag home (not that I mind).
As for drinks, they have some beers, some wines, but especially their home made fruit juices are really good. When you ask for the check, you’ll really find how well they treat you. Make sure you give the boys a nice tip; they really work hard to make you feel comfortable and have a good time.
Before you leave, give them the regards of Ivo, your favorite Escazu real estate agent. Thanks Liz & Tony for the introduction.
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