The Dish

A filling date night at Ohana Sushi and Bar


During a recent midweek date night, I took my wife to Ohana Sushi and Bar, a family-owned and operated restaurant off West Saginaw Highway in Lansing. We were greeted by a cast of friendly staff members, and our waitress set us up at a table near the sushi bar where we could see a synchronized team of chefs expertly slice and prepare dozens of sushi rolls in an assembly-line-like fashion.

According to the restaurant’s website, CEOs Peter and Jeanie Jones pride themselves on providing customers with a warm and welcoming atmosphere where everyone is treated like family — “ohana” means “family,” after all. Every piece of sushi is made with the freshest ingredients, including locally sourced fish and vegetables, to ensure each bite is “a true taste of Japan.” Ohana’s bar offers an extensive selection of sake, Japanese beer, cocktails and a variety of non-alcoholic beverages.

Once seated, our waitress explained a few of Ohana’s dishes and the restaurant’s popular all-you-can-eat dinner option. For $29.95 per person, diners can chow down on a variety of sushi and maki rolls, appetizers like calamari and scallion pancakes and small samplings of dinner entrees like ramen, soup noodles, hibachi-grilled meats, fried rice, salad, yakitori (Japanese barbecue) and more. Diners are encouraged to order items one at a time to ensure the least amount of food waste possible. Any leftover food is boxed, weighed and added to the rest of the bill at $10 per pound.

I’m not a huge sushi person, so I was feeling a little out of sorts visiting a restaurant with “sushi” in its name. However, Ohana’s menu contains a variety of food options to satisfy just about any diner, from vegetarians to picky eaters like myself. I ordered the sweet potato maki roll and was pretty excited about it. A maki roll is typically a cylindrical roll made with sushi rice that’s wrapped around pieces of fried or raw seafood, vegetables, fruits and/or salmon roe. In this dish, chunks of tempura-fried sweet potato sat inside a layer of rolled sushi rice and seaweed, all drizzled with soy sauce. It was the perfect mixture of sweet, savory and crunchy. I paired it with Strawberry Ramune, a Japanese soda, and a few scoops of vanilla ice cream for dessert.

My wife, who’s more of a sushi connoisseur, ordered a few Ohana Special Rolls. Each roll contained pieces of shrimp tempura, avocado and spicy imitation crab meat. On top of each roll sat a skillfully sliced piece of spicy tuna and a drizzle of both spicy mayo and eel sauce. My wife said the rolls tasted fresh and flavorful, and I enjoyed the presentation of all of the components.

Overall, my wife and I really enjoyed our experience at Ohana Sushi and Bar. We went home with full bellies and were excited to share our experience with friends. To learn more about the restaurant, check out the menu or place a to-go order, head to


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