Song Viener hustled around her relatively new restaurant busing tables, cooking food and checking in with diners one recent lunch hour while her husband, Bob, greeted customers at the entrance.
The couple first opened Ginza Sushi & Asian Cuisine in downtown Prescott where Esoji Japanese Restaurant used to be on Gurley Street about a month ago.
For the last five years, they had operated a similar — but much larger — restaurant in Scottsdale called Sakura Japanese Steak and Seafood.
“It was like 5,000 square feet,” Song said.
“We’ve been very happy running this smaller place so far,” Bob said.
To maintain the quality they were known for in Scottsdale, they changed very little about their basic operation.
Nothing on their menu contains MSG and 75 percent is organic, Song said.
“I believe in a more natural way of living,” she said.
Depending on the season, much of the produce used in their dishes comes directly from Song’s backyard organic garden.
“In the summer I use mostly from my garden; and in the winter I buy a lot from local farms,” Song said. “I always buy organic when I can.”
They even convinced their former restaurant’s manager and sushi chef, Adrian Rodriguez, to make the move from Scottsdale with them.
Rodriguez has been preparing sushi for about 18 years.
At this point, he’s begun to regularly fuse other cuisines into his sushi menu.
“My background is Mexican, so I do a lot of mixes,” Rodriguez said.
For instance, two customers sitting at the sushi bar had just been served a Tex-Mex roll. It has cream cheese, steak, avocado, American cheese and a little queso fresco in it.
Another interesting roll he created is the Popcorn Lobster. This one has crab mix, cucumber, avocado, bits of lobster, langostino (fried) eel sauce and spicy mayo.
“It’s one of the most popular,” Rodriguez said.
Experienced in Korean and Japanese cooking, Song is frequently putting her own little touch on each dish as well, whether that’s making the sauce or adding her homemade Kimchi as a garnish.
She’ll even make Korean dishes that aren’t on the menu if a customer requests.
“Whatever they want to eat, I’ll make it for them just to make them happy,” she said.
The Vieners don’t have an exact date set, but they intend to host their grand opening within the next few weeks. They will have a complete website up and running by that point as well.