Ming’s Akari brings another hibachi & sushi option to LaPlace

Published 12:15 am Wednesday, April 18, 2018

LAPLACE — St. John the Baptist Parish residents will gain another sit-down dining option this month, potentially as soon as Thursday or Friday.

Opening at 1400 W. Airline Highway in LaPlace, Ming’s Akari will offer an array of authentic Japanese lunch and dinner plates, including shrimp tempura appetizers, hibachi chicken, soups and salads and uniquely themed sushi rolls.

Akari leadership said the restaurant plans to offer “Japanese Fare with a Louisiana Flair” at their LaPlace location. (Brooke Robichaux/L’OBSERVATEUR)

Member Manager and Chief of Operations Jacob Willie said the kitchen staff has kept busy perfecting recipes while awaiting the go-ahead to open.

“People are already trying to come eat,” Willie said. “They’re really excited. They keep busting in on us while I’m trying to fix something or working on a computer to ask when we are opening and tell us the food smells good.”

LaPlace resident Nikke Thomas said her family loves sushi and typically travels to Kenner for Japanese cuisine since local options tend to be pricey. After viewing an online menu highlighting lower costs and promising cuisines, she is looking forward to welcoming the restaurant to the community.

Akari will make special rolls themed to represent LSU, Mardi Gras and other local favorites.

Operating from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, Ming’s Akari is a casual dining experience with an upscale ambiance, according to Willie.

He said themed sushi rolls play on Louisiana symbolism without downplaying the restaurant’s Japanese identity.

“Our slogan is ‘Japanese Fare with a Louisiana Flair,’” Willie said. “Some of our special rolls are themed to represent LSU and Mardi Gras and other Louisiana favorites.”

Fried Mardi Gras rolls are made with authentic spicy tuna, avocado, cucumber, cream cheese, snow crab, eel sauce and masago, topped with a cracker.

A yellow soy paper wrapper identifies a Saints roll, which also includes fried soft shell crab, shrimp tempura and fried catfish, served with eel sauce.

Willie said owners Xia Lin and Minggui Dong hired top quality sushi and hibachi chefs from Asia, and many employees have flown in to work at the new restaurant.

Lin has 17 years of experience operating Chinese buffets near his home in Covington but had a vision to establish a Japanese restaurant, according to Willie.

He said LaPlace houses a large community underserved in terms of food options.

“Economic demographics were a big part in the decision making,” Willie said.

“The fact that St. John Parish is predominantly sustained by fast food shows that few options are available. We’re in a good spot on Airline Highway, right out front and easy to access.”

A grand opening will be planned in the coming weeks.

Visit mingsakari.com to view a menu or call 985-359-3335 for more information.