Akari serves Japanese fare with Louisiana flair in LaPlace

Published 12:13 am Saturday, June 23, 2018

LAPLACE — Ming’s Akari member manager Jacob Willie said Wednesday’s grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony felt like a breath of relief at the end of a long race.

“For us, it’s the ‘we finally did it’ moment,” Willie said. “The restaurant renovation took twice as long as we initially anticipated, but we’re here. We made it, and now it’s time to follow through with our vision of providing Japanese fare with a Louisiana flair.”

Nestled at 1400 W. Airline Highway in LaPlace, Mings Akari offers an array of authentic Japanese lunch and dinner plates, including shrimp tempura appetizers, hibachi chicken, soups and salads and uniquely themed sushi rolls.

Owners Minggui Dong and Xia Lin bring 17 years of experience in restaurant operation to greater St. John the Baptist Parish. Since Ming’s Akari opened its doors in the Spring, Willie has emphasized the importance of customer service.

“Even though LaPlace has become more of a modern town, it still has that small town feel to it,” Willie said. “Word of mouth means a lot. We want to make sure we’re delivering top-notch customer service every time so we can earn the community’s trust.”

Ming’s Akari leadership said it would take local support to stay in LaPlace for the long haul.

St. John Parish President Natalie Robottom is joined by staff members, from left, Rhonda Lemons, Alexandra Carter and Laverne Toombs at the Akari restaurant grand opening.

“We’re the new kid on the block,” Willie said. “If you give us the opportunity to earn that trust, you won’t be disappointed.”

During Wednesday’s grand opening, guests were treated to a complimentary buffet-style lunch assortment.

Elite Affairs owner Pamela Allen turned out to support the new restaurant after hearing her daughter rave about the food. She is certain she’ll be back soon.

“My experience was excellent,” Allen said. “They’re very, very friendly here. You walk in and they wave and greet you.”

Akari restaurant owners and staffers are joined by St. John Parish leaders at the LaPlace restaurant’s Wednesday ribbon cutting ceremony.

According to Allen, new businesses must reach out to the public to see a successful start.

“The most important thing is letting people in the community know where you are and what type of services you provide,” Allen said.

Parish President Natalie Robottom said Ming’s Akari has the advantage of easy accessibility from Airline Highway.

“They’re in a great location for the working population of our community who need a place where they can dine in or order take out,” Robottom said, adding the vital components of any new business are a strong product, a welcoming atmosphere, good service and marketing.

“They’ve made a huge investment in renovating the restaurant, and it shows,” Robottom said. “We’d like to work with them through Economic Development as a mechanism to let people know they’re here. We hope to see them around for a long time.”

Ming’s Akari is open from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 9:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

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

Bayou Ford’s Robert Tamplain and L’OBSERVATEUR’s Candace Hemelt enjoy the food.