By Michael Smith

Takara Sushi owner Eugenia Yu describes the food her restaurant serves as “one-of-a-kind, Asian-inspired American cuisine with a twist.”

Yu’s history as a restaurateur in Brandon dates back to 2003, when she opened her first restaurant, Tsunami Sushi & Hibachi Grill. The eatery proved to be very popular from the time it opened to when she sold it in 2009.

In 2012 Yu opened Takara Sushi near the University of South Florida in Tampa. Wanting a location with a full-liquor bar and more seating and to be closer to home, the Valrico resident and mother of two moved Takara Sushi to a standalone building in the Oak Park Plaza at the corner of South Kings Ave. and West Lumsden Rd. in December 2016.

Takara Sushi, located at 795 West Lumsden Rd., celebrated its one-year anniversary on December 20 with half off everything and music from Josh Wesley on the outdoor patio.

The restaurant, which seats 200, offers happy hour food and drink specials Monday to Friday from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 12 Noon-5 p.m.

Some of Takara’s most popular menu items include Spicy Tuna Nachos, Crab Rangoon, Baby Back Ribs, Surf and Turf Roll, and Bul-go-gee Sliders. Yu said Takara’s menu offers something for everyone, including children.

Yu, a USF graduate, who came to Florida from Hong Kong as an exchange student in 1997, designed the interior of the restaurant building, which was formerly occupied by Poblanos Mexican Grill and Bar.

She said Takara, which means ‘treasure’ in Japanese, offers ‘a complete and memorable dining experience.’

“It’s an elegant-yet-casual place where anyone can come in, relax, feel calm, comfortable and enjoy their time spent with their friends and families over some great food, drinks and music. It’s an awesome place to hang out like no other in Brandon.”

As a restaurant owner, Yu enjoys being able to work with people who take pride in what they do every day while mentoring and assisting them toward their goals.

For more information about Takara Sushi, call 662-6618 or visit TakaraSushiTampa.com.