#207 - Fuji Japanese Steakhouse, Crofton MD

My friend Heather and I worked at Maryland together for about 10 years, and she is one of my dearest friends. We've been there for each other through thick and thin, and there's been a whole lot of both. Her birthday falls in mid-July, and I'm almost always back visiting during that time. We both love Marathon Deli right in College Park, so that's where we always go. But on this trip she just happened to be taking the day off on that Friday, so we decided to go somewhere closer to her house in Crofton. 

Crofton has grown so much in the past 10 years, and absolutely exploded in the last 3. I barely even recognize it at all, with several huge shopping areas opening up. I threw out a couple of lunch options, and we settled on Fuji Japanese Steakhouse. They actually opened another restaurant this spring, not too far away. Fuji has a prime corner location. They've got a covered outdoor patio out front, but it was cold and windy, and we had no desire to sit out there. 

The restaurant is primarily hibachi, with 6 big hibachi stations that take up the bulk of the inside seating. There's also a large bar area separated by a partial wall. You can sit at the bar, at the sushi bar, or at a table. We were seated at a table. They've also got a small regular dining section. The one down side is that it was too dark. I'm guessing they were going for mood lighting, but you really don't need that at lunch.

The menu is typical, featuring appetizers, soups & salads, lots of rolls, and items from the hibachi.  Heather started with the salad, and then got the combo steak & shrimp hibachi

I tasted a bite of the salad, and it was very good. I'm such a huge fan of this type of salad dressing.

I didn't try any of the meat or shrimp, but she said they were both cooked perfectly and really good. I did have some of the rice, and it was awesome. And after one bite I couldn't help myself, and kept eating more.

My first choice of soup at Asian restaurants is usually wonton, but they didn't have that on the menu. And I'm always hesitant to get miso soup, because I don't like mushy tofu. So when I saw Sui Mono soup, I decided to give it a shot

Clear broth soup with mushroom, fried onion & scallion
I really enjoyed this soup. The broth had a lot of flavor, and the soup was served very hot.

I needed a sushi fix, so this was the perfect opportunity to do that. I don't do raw. The first time I ever tried sushi was in Maui, and my friends convinced me to try the raw eel. That was a one-time experiment that I'll never do again. After a couple of years, I slowly became more adventurous, and will now do rolls that have some raw in them, but the majority of the roll has to be cooked.

After some back and forth, I went with the spider roll and the cowboy roll

Spider Roll: deep fried soft shell crab with avocado, cucumber, and fish eggs
Cowboy Roll: Deep fried scallops, spicy tuna, avocado & mango,
wrapped in soy sheet served with tomatillo sauce
The spider roll is an old favorite of mine, and this one did not disappoint. I've never had one with cucumber, and it was a very nice twist. The Cowboy roll was a very interesting mix of flavors, as I've never had mango in a roll before and I don't normally do the soy sheets. The roll itself was very tasty, and even though the tuna was raw I fully enjoyed it. I've never seen tomatillo sauce included as a dipping sauce for rolls before. It was okay, but to me it didn't add anything to the dish so I stuck to soy sauce.

Will I go back? Definitely. The food was really good, and I would love to try some of the other rolls on the menu.