If your awareness of Japanese cuisine consists mainly of sushi and sake, a trip to Japan will expand your food knowledge — and palate. 10Best


A popular sushi restaurant with several locations in the Des Moines metro is expanding its reach with a new spot in Ankeny's Prairie Trail District. 

The Wasabi group, with three other area locations, has opened its newest sushi spot — Wasabi Asian Grill & Lounge — at 1615 SW Main St., Ste. 100.

Natural stone and live-edged wood elements, pops of deep purple upholstery, polished concrete flooring and stunning lotus-flower light fixtures adorn the modern-industrial space.

The 4,000-square-foot restaurant features a large bar and a range of seating options for 125 diners along with two street-side patios for 50 more guests.

The menu features soups, salads, hot and cold appetizers, large plates served with steamed rice, noodle and rice dishes, sushi and sashimi.

Menu highlights

The menu features many items featured at Wasabi's other locations like the Marilynn Monroll specialty roll, made with spicy tuna, salmon and avocado, topped with seared white tuna, garlic sambal (chili paste) and unagi (eel) sauce ($15). 

The menu includes gluten-free, vegetarian, non-seafood and spicy items.

Other features

  • Apple Sesame Kale Salad — Pickled apples, carrots and candied walnuts with Asian sesame dressing ($9; add chicken, $4; shrimp, $6; salmon, $9)
  • Seafood Tom Yum Soup — Shrimp, scallops, white fish, shiitake mushrooms, tomatoes and cilantro in a spicy herb broth ($9)
  • Grilled Shishito Peppers — Japanese sweet peppers glazed with a sweet butter garlic soy ($8)
  • Tuna Poke — Chopped tuna with cucumber, onion, masago (fish eggs) and avocado with a spicy sesame dressing ($14)
  • Yaki Niku Beef — Chargrilled beef with seasonal veggies and a yaki niku (Japanese barbecue) sauce
  • Tokyo Chicken Ramen — Steamed chicken with mushrooms, spinach, scallions, soft-boiled egg and a chicken shoyu broth ($14)

For sushi and sashimi lovers, there are plenty of options ranging from combination dinners, 18 variations of classic and/or hand rolls, and 17 kinds of fish and seafood to enjoy sashimi- or nigiri-style like octopus, white tuna and salmon. 

There's even a vegan roll called the Green Peace, made with sweet potato tempura, asparagus and mango wrapped in soy nori and topped with avocado and a saikyo (sweet white) miso sauce.

For dessert, enjoy mochi ice cream in flavors of mango, green tea or vanilla ($5). Tempura ice cream in a choice of vanilla or green tea flavored is wrapped in pound cake, tempura-battered and deep-fried ($5). And a rich Chocolate Overload Torte is made from alternating layers of cake and mousse, topped with dark chocolate ganache, chocolate shavings and fresh whipped cream ($7).

The bar

A full range of beverages are available from the sleek bar like the social Prairie Trail Punch made with raspberry and rose-infused Capel Pisco with lychee, watermelon and citrus ($28 for a bowl that served 2-3 or $10 for a single).

Other cocktails include:

  • Green Tea Mojito — Green tea, cachaca, lemon, mint and green tea syrup ($10)
  • Pink Mango Mule — Absolut Mango, ginger beer lime juice and pink peppercorn syrup ($10)
  • Spicy Ginger Margarita — Ginger-infused Espolon Blanco Tequila, Patron Citronge, lime juice, agave syrup and yuzu kosho ($10)

Domestic, imported and craft beer is available by the bottle, can or draft. Red and white wine can be ordered by the glass ($9-$12) or bottle ($34-$120). 

Of course, sake is available by the bottle along with Asian pear and plum wines by the glass and bottle. 

Other Wasabi locations

Wasabi is owned by Jay Wang, and the restaurant group has three other locations in the metro.

  • Wasabi Chi (Des Moines): 5418 Douglas Ave., Des Moines
  • Wasabi (Waukee): 9500 University Ave., West Des Moines
  • Wasabi (Johnston): 8705 Chambery Blvd., Johnston

In May, Tony He became the owner of Wasabi Tao at 400 Walnut St. in downtown Des Moines. Shortly thereafter, the name was changed to W-Tao. 

Wasabi Ankeny

Location: 1615 SW Main St., Ste. 100

Hours: Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 4 to 9:30 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 4 to 10:30 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

Contact: (515) 264-5210;; Facebook

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