YOKO Japanese Restaurant nears 15-year milestone

Wonhee Lee, owner of YOKO Japanese Restaurant in Maumee, is proud to be celebrating 15 years of serving customers.

Wonhee Lee, owner of YOKO Japanese Restaurant in Maumee, is proud to be celebrating 15 years of serving customers.

By Wendy Cornett-  YOKO Japanese Restaurant will celebrate 15 years of service in February. Owners and spouses Wonhee and Steve Lee have been in the restaurant business since 1988. The couple opened YOKO Japanese Restaurant in Maumee in 2002, and it has been their focus ever since.

Wonhee credits the restaurant’s longevity — even through tough economic times — to their dedication to traditional sushi and Japanese kitchen fare.

“We try to keep it a traditional Japanese restaurant and sushi bar. We don’t try to venture into trendy cuisine,” explained Wonhee. “Eighty percent of our customers are regular customers who come in for the same thing. There’s no need to try anything different.”

The most popular item on the sushi menu is the Spicy Tiger roll, which features shrimp tempura, spicy crab, spicy tuna and avocado topped with smelt roe and a delicious sauce.

While items from YOKO’s fresh sushi menu are its top sellers, the restaurant also features traditional Japanese kitchen dishes, like chicken teriyaki, to satisfy all tastes.

The restaurant also features a full bar, and will soon unveil a new sake menu with a wide range of choices, including cold sakes, flavored sakes and unfiltered sakes.

“We can also make martinis with sake,” Wonhee noted.

The restaurant’s adherence to tradition coupled with an uncrowded, friendly atmosphere has created a formula for success that has endured for 15 years.

“We know most of the customers who walk through that door,” Wonhee added. “We have a very family-like atmosphere, and our customers like it that way.”

YOKO is open Monday through Thursday from 11:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. and from 4:30 p.m. until 10 p.m. On Fridays and Saturdays, the restaurant is open from 11:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. and from 4:30 p.m. until 11 p.m.

Show your support for local businesses! Stop by YOKO Japanese Restaurant at 465 West Dussel Drive in Maumee, or call 419-893-2290 for more information.