Osaka Japanese Restaurant
102 Bonham Rd
Bristol, VA 24202 USA
Seafood in SW Virginia / NE Tennessee is a crapshoot. River fish like trout are great, but anything from an actual ocean… That said, Osaka is a delightful surprise when they're not busy. Given the, ahem, unadventurous tastes of most people here, you have a very good chance of having surprisingly good rolled sushi for inland mountains. The salad is a bland iceberg lettuce with a touch of ok dressing, and the soup is simple broth but good and hearty. The hot tea is sufficient.
That said, I have been here when they're slammed, as well. And that isn't so good… They must have been running short of ingredients. That visit was the first time I've had stale nori in a restaurant since I was 10. It was only one of three rolls, so it could be just a fluke. The loose rolling, however, wasn't a fluke. Eating loosely rolled makizushi can be a bit tricky. They had a crowd much larger than they could handle…
The other, less crowded times keep this place at A-OK considering where it is, but dodgy if there's a crowd.