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That first picture of the restaurant itself is gorgeous - they must have put in a lot of work to convert Chi-Chi's to that! I sense another restaurant visit with your recommendations in hand... (as on our trip to Taqueria La Loma!)

Darn you, Kitchen Chick!! I was content with passing that place and pretending like it wasn't open yet!!

I have never noticed saba on a restaurant menu before. I lived in Japan, and this was a very common feature in every convenient store and lunch takeaway bento box, I always (and probably erroneously) have always equated it with the Japanese version of a little dollop of mac-n-cheese for that reason.

I bet Japanese people eating here would find it cute on a menu. (Unless it's commonly featured on menus of Japanese restaurants...that would've required me to actually learn Japanese while living there and I am far too dumb for that!) :))

Thanks for this post!

Tricia: they've done a great job with the remodeling, but to be completely honest if you're familiar with standard Chi Chi's interiors there are some things that simply can't be changed without rebuilding. The faux-stucco walls, for example. If you're at a loss of what to try, I do recommend asking the hostess for suggestions. She's lived in Japan and loves talking about food.

Sarah: apparently Japanese business people love finding homestyle items on the restaurant menu here in the States because it's nearly impossible for them to find such dishes here. (You'll find the place a bit devoid of Japanese business people at the moment because of the lack of liquor license.)

Nice review, KC. Very timely too for me, because I've been waiting for CB to open in AA. My Google search last weekend came up empty. I was too lazy to drive by and check. Definitely will go there in the next couple of weeks. I've always enjoyed the original CB in Novi, which if I remember correctly was started by the one of the owners of Akasaka in Livonia. So, a good pedigree.
Akasaka is still one of my favourite Japanese restaurants in the Detroit Metro area, even though I haven't been there in a year.

BTW, if you crave excellent ramen at some point, go to Matsuchan in Canton (www.matsuchan.com). You will not regret it.

We've been to Matsuchan and agree with you. It's a great place for noodles or a rice bowl, and usually packed with Japanese families looking for homestyle food.

I went to CB for lunch soon after it was opened. The food didn't impress me, perhaps the dinner is better. I usually go to Saica or Miki for their maki and Sadaiko or Totoro if I want a quick Japanese lunch. I had the most boring robotlike waitress in CB. She was overly polite and formal as in "I am terribly sorry but we just served our last lunch special of the day" or "I am really sorry, do you mind me move this soy sauce dish to the side" :shudders: You have to be there to understand it.

That's very weird. Our waiter wasn't like that at all. He had "new restaurant nervousness", but was otherwise unobtrusive.

(My personal favorite local Japanese restaurant is Yamato. Miki has also held up well over the years. Sadaiko is pleasant, too, though I thought the menu was rather limited.)

My wife and I went to CB last Saturday for dinner. The service was excellent. The young waitstaff were very attentive in a very unobtrusive way. It wasn't crowded at all, so maybe that helped.

But the food - average at best. The sushi was poorly constructed, which for me is a good way to get the measure of a Japanese restaurant. The rolls (salmon skin and california) looked they hadn't been subjected to enough pressure so the grains of rice looked really untidy. The flavors were dull. The broiled mackerel was quite good. The ten zaru (soba) was average.

We'd gone to Yotsuba a week earlier and all I can say is CB has some work to do to catch up, which I hope they do.

Or, when CB gets their liquor license, I'll come away happy, regardless.....

This place is great! I worked for Musashi in Southfield (best in Michigan by far if none of you have heard of it or tried... highly recommend!) but Cherry Blossom does come very close! Now that I'm working in AA I make it a point to stop here at least once a week for lunch. Wonderful service and the owner is always around asking how everything is... brings back Musashi memories and I absolutely LOVE it :)

I visited there with some friends when they first opened. I hope things have changed since then, because when we went -- although I found the redecorating nice and an improvement to the old chi chi's decor, the food price was outrageous! 5 of us for lunch 135.00! The servers seemed new and unfamiliar with the menu. They forgot sauces for our age dash tofu dish that is standard. Our waitor seemed apologetic but got the normal excuses that they must be trained to say. Lastly, one of my major annoyances was we went there around 1:50-2:00 PM ... by the time our food came around, it was close to their closing time for lunch. The manager came by and asked if we could pay our bill so they could close out lunch and was past 2:30 PM. Was not very happy about that! I hope things have changed over there because first impressions mean a lot! And mine left some "green wasabi" in my mouth. PS -- and that is not a good thing.

We need to go back there for a followup visit, actually...

I thought the lunch was pretty good (just got take-out). I love Miki as well, but have really enjoyed Yotsuba (both in Farmington Hills and Ann Arbor). I'm not a total food expert, but have eaten lots of Japanese food (my mom is Japanese and we go there quite a bit). My taste may be particular--in the Detroit area the most popular restaurant is one of my least favorites (Little Tree--they can't get the rice right) and a bunch of my friend like Nami (also not one of my faves).

they are not doing so good now. believe me, they only focus on their "Japanese" customers, who eat and drink a lot. I got internal information, thats all they care. not so smart.

Found your review in searching for info about Cherry Blossom, my favorite Japanese restaurant in Ann Arbor. I tried going over the summer and they were closed, I believe it said for renovation. I know what that is often code for, and sure enough, on their website there is an announcement that the Ann Arbor location has closed. You may have discovered this already, but I thought it was worth commenting on it here so that others who go looking see it.

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