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Spotlight: Izziban Sushi & BBQ

This is undoubtedly the largest sushi restaurant I’ve ever seen. Izziban Sushi & BBQ occupies a warehouse-sized building on the shore of Lake Barton, which lies between Semoran Boulevard and Orlando Executive Airport.

There is an immense indoor dining area and a couple of very large sushi bars, including one that is shaped like the bow of a big boat. There is also a large covered patio, screened in but with nice views of the lake and planes taking off from the airport. Its rusticity is more suitable for the type of fried foods you’d find at fish camps, but it isn’t inappropriate for sushi to be associated with a waterfront locale.

And sushi isn’t all that is done here. The kitchen food menu is also rather sizable, and if you so choose, your table can be the kitchen, as most of them have built-in griddles and devices that can be used for grilling meats or hot-pot cooking. The cuisines range from Japanese to Korean.

I stuck with a bulgogi bento, had the famous Korean barbecue with plain white rice, a California roll, one each crab Rangoon and gyoza, and a salad.

Little about it was very exciting, not that expectations are ever high when a meal includes a California roll and miso soup. But the bulgogi, bits of beef in a sweetish soy sauce with strips of red and green peppers, was good.

I also ordered a nigirizushi sampler, which was plopped down by a food runner (talk about long-distance running) who ran right off without explaining what was on the platter. The rice pads and slices of fish were just the right size, but they did not show signs that they had been carefully constructed.

It's pretty clear that the best thing Izziban has going for it is its lakefront location, and maybe the hot pot cooking will be a bigger draw, but other places do sushi better. And that includes the Izziban Sushi on Sand Lake Road at South Orange Blossom Trail.

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