Raw Talent: Mikasa Japanese Bistro

By Copper Williams

Harry Yu is on a roll, and ready to showcase his restaurants across San Joaquin!

As another pot of freshly brewed green tea rounds the table and a second batch of spicy edamame and sizzling gyoza arrives, so, too, does the first wave of rolls. It’s a parade of color, filled with bright pinks and oranges, vibrant greens and yellows. Splashes of sauce line the plates like signal flags, providing perfect landing strips for each succulent bite. It’s a full house, but somehow each table is treated more like family than mere guests. And with fresh entrees and service like this, it’s not hard to see how Mikasa Japanese Bistro has won over its fanbase time and time again.

This kind-hearted business strategy is what’s allowed Harry Yu to open multiple restaurants across San Joaquin. His current enterprise? A Mikasa in Lathrop, opened in 2007, followed with a Tracy restaurant in 2013. “I love to eat, and I’ve worked for different restaurants, and I’ve learned different skills,” says Harry. “I can always see what is best for the restaurant. What can be put together to make a fusion, a bistro. We’ve tried to make something very unique!”

By all accounts, Harry has succeeded, offering his patrons popular dishes from across the Asian spectrum of flavor. “We have not only sushi, but also Chinese cuisine including Mongolian Beef, Kung-Pao Chicken, and lighter Japanese dishes, like Sukiyaki,” Harry explains. “We find out what they normally like to eat when they go to a Japanese restaurant.” From seafood, to teriyaki steak, and sushi both raw and cooked, the staff at Mikasa seeks to please every diner—ensuring their order can be adjusted just for them.

Having worked in the restaurant industry since he was seventeen, this service style comes naturally to Harry. “I grew up in the bay area, working weekends and part-time,” Harry describes working up the ranks from saucer to waiter and eventually manager. “After that, I started working in the kitchen, learning from a Japanese chef in San Mateo. He taught me how to make the California roll, and later on, how to cut fish for sushi rolls and sashimi.”

The skills he’s honed have been passed onto the plates of San Joaquin, providing picturesque portions of varying size, shape, but always insurmountable flavor. Brilliant bentos, brimming with salmon sashimi, California rolls, or tempura are always a hot item, and served with a side of miso soup, salad, and rice.

You’ll always find one or more of Mikasa’s special rolls sliding onto awaiting tables. The Golden Gate Roll is a favorite for locals, filled with crab meat and tempura shrimp, salmon, tobiko, and red onions. Layered over top is cilantro and lettuce, drizzled in lemon juice, chili oil, and unagi sauce! And we can’t get enough of the Maui Maki roll, laden in spicy tuna and cucumber, with eel, mango, and tobiko on top!

Drop in and explore the possibilities readily available for you and your taste buds. And we dare you to bring friends to take on the savory indulgence that is the Mercedes Benz. This magnificent monstrosity is served in a boat and weighs a whopping five pounds! Matched with Mikasa’s spectacular staff, and you have yourself a recipe for a fine night out!


Indulge In:
Mikasa Japanese Bistro
2610 S. Tracy Blvd., Tracy
15138 S. Harlan Rd., Lathrop
(209) 830-8288