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Ginza Sushi and Korean BBQ

5291 Valleydale Rd., Inverness area (off Hwy. 280)
A local Korean diner said the flavors "definitely reminded me of home," with high marks for the BBQ combination platter and the spicy beef. The restaurant also offers sushi, which has received high marks from other diners, as well as some Korean and Japanese noodle entrees. Read our Review.

Posted on Wednesday, June 6, 2007 at 01:34PM by Registered CommenterDeborah Lockridge in | Comments20 Comments

Reader Comments (20)

I have eaten at Ginza at least once a week for the last couple of months. Last weekend was the first time we had tried the korean bbq (I usually go for lunch). It was incredible. I highly recommend the steak. Everything I have eaten there has been fantastic and you can tell it is freshly prepared. My son loves their fried rice. The servers are always so nice and I always look forward to going there.

August 26, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJulie Davis

I am from Memphis and have eaten at all the sushi bars in town. So when I moved to Birmingham, I was seeking out the sushi bar with the best service and freshest seafood. Ginza tops them all. The Octupus, squid and quail egg are very fresh. The service is unparalleled in Birmingham.

September 17, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMathew

I agree with the previous comments, the food is exceptional, service fantastic and prices reasonable. It has become a weekly addiction for me....I would eat there more often if it were closer to home....Open one in south Shelby county...Alabaster

September 22, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterTemple

I agree with all the comments. I had my first visit last night and the staff was wonderful and the sushi was delicious - like I'm used to from living in NYC. I'll make this one place to eat regularly now.

October 29, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth

This place is by far my favorite in Birmingham. I actually get take out a lot eventhough the ambiance is very nice, sometimes we are in a hurry. Service isn't always perfect, but the food and especially the sushi are superb.

December 16, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJules

Agree with all comments previously posted. Ginza has the best sushi in Birmingham, hands down.

December 27, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterStacie

Possibly the worst experience I've ever had at a restaurant. We had to ask a waitress to take our drink orders, to refill those drinks 20 minutes later, and to bring us our side salads after we had been sitting there waiting over 1/2 hour. We told the manager about the poor service but she didn't do anything but refill our drinks. We waited for our dinner for nearly an hour and a half but never received our sushi so we finally got up and left

February 19, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermichelle

Obviously the previous post was not an unhappy customer, but an unhappy competitor. This restaurant is amazing in both quality of food and service. I am no food critic, but I know fresh food and good service. The bbq was amazing and my wife had never had better sushi.

March 28, 2008 | Unregistered Commentertruth

How are the prices??

June 14, 2008 | Unregistered Commenter????

To truth: not a competitor at all. I am actually a teacher an over-the-mountain school. But one who enjoys eating food at a restaurant when I go there, along with some decent service. I am glad you have had good experiences there but as for me, I will stick with Kimono, Sumo, Surin, and anywhere else but Ginza!

July 11, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermichelle

We LOVE Ginza! The service isn't always the fastest, especially if you're ordering sushi, but the food is exceptionally fresh and tasty every single time. We eat there very regularly and there have been times when the service was slower than others. But I'm so glad we went back, because it is hands-down so much better than the commercialized, tiny-portioned Sumo (we loved it when they first opened but the now-skimpy portions and mostly bored chefs are no longer worth the cost) or skimpified micro-sushi at Surin (which we otherwise enjoy very much, we just don't go there for sushi anymore since discovering Ginza). We haven't given Kimono another try since their original opening years ago when we waited seriously more than an hour for three orders of mediocre sushi.

Our family of two adults, elem. age child, and a toddler can all find something delicious and healthy to dine on here. Try the Gyoza (dumplings), miso soup, and fried rice for the kids, or let them enjoy the miso soup and fried rice that comes with the yummy Teriyaki dinners and save $$.

Lunchtime bento box meals are a fun and more affordable way to try the non-Korean cuisine, and contain a nice variety and portion to split between two children.

The owner is such a sweet lady and often gives the children free Japanese bubble soda, especially when we bring friends.

Lovely for a fun date or Mom's Night Out (enjoy the Korean BBQ tables where the meat is cooked to order on a special round fire-pit), an utterly satisfying sushi bite (the Tiger Roll is incredibly wonderful), a tasty lunch or dinner in a soothing yet not stuffy atmosphere, Ginza is our family fave of all the restaurants in the Ham!

August 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKO

I have been eating sushi for a dozen years and have eaten sushi in various places, including NYC, Atlanta, New Orleans and Honolulu. Ginza has the best sushi in Birmingham. The freshness and quality are a step above the rest. An added bonus is nice lighting and atmosphere in the dining area.

August 20, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermb

Ginza is by far my favorite place to get sushi and sashimi. To get it any fresher, you'd have to catch it yourself!

September 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKathy

The first time I attempted to get lunch at Ginza, I did leave because of my wait time and slow service. Since that time I was talked into going back, and I do thoroughly enjoy the food. My suggestion, if you are in a hurry at lunchtime, order to go or order ahead so that they have the lunches ready when you get there, especially if you are ordering sushi. The quality of the food is worth it, I havnt had anything there that wasnt superb.

October 28, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCJ

I have had sushi all over the U.S. and Ginza beats them all. We followed the sushi chef from another area Japanese restaurant. We are very loyal to him as he makes impeccable sushi always with a beautiful presentation. The restaurant has become very busy in the last six months. We don't mind having to wait because we love the staff and know that they will always be so kind to our toddler. This is honestly the only place in the South that I will eat sushi!!!

November 11, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKelly P

Ginza has easily the best sushi in the birmingham area. I was a sushi novice until I went to Ginza. I have had a few funky peices of sushi from other places, but never from Ginza. Its all so fresh and never has that fishy taste. The chefs are friendly and are truely masters of their craft. I have been going there at least once a week for lunch for the past few months. The prices aren't that bad if you want to stay on a budget.

November 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBnolan

Just ate here for the first time. Im so happy we have this place in birmingham. The decor is great and the service was excellent. My only complaint is that I wish it were closer to downtown, oh well.

On to the food. We started with the gyoza, which are little dumplings of vegetables and pork. Delicious.

Next was a small ginger dressing salad and small cup of miso soup. Both good, but comparable to what could be had at other places, like Sakura in 5-points.

My wife had the Chicken katsu which is a breaded chicken that is fried and served with a very tart sauce. This was good, but not to my taste. The sauce grew on me over time, but I would not order it again.

I ordered Gyu-don (beef donburi) which was a rice bowl with beef and egg and veggies on top. It was simply delicious and my wife started stealing it from me. We also tried some sushi. The Bama roll was very fresh and absolutely fantastic. A nice change from the rolls at Surin which have started to all taste the same to me.

We didnt have any of the korean bbq, but we will be back for sure (despite the out of the way location). Highly recommended.

(BTW, its not that expensive. Both of our entrees were less than 12 bucks.)

January 3, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterbg

This was a real treat. I thoroughly enjoyed the new flavors and unique dining experience. Our server was very attentive, but let us dine in peace while our main course was out. My wife and I split the bulgogi and scallops combo, and spent the extra 3 bucks so each of us had our own soup and salad. We also ordered an Alaskan roll. On top of all that, my wife had a martini and I had a beer. After all of that, we had only spent 42 dollars. Eating out for $50 with tip and ordering sushi, entrees, salad, soup, AND alcohol is nearly unheard of. We were very pleased and very full. Thanks to Bhamdining for their review and recommendation.

January 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDoug

Having recently moved to Birmingham from Florida, my wife and I were eager explore the numerous food opportunities here and to try something different for dinner. I am always prepared for disappointment, as I was the chef/owner of an award-winning waterfront 4-star restaurant for a number of years before retiring, and I have eaten in many of the better restaurants all over the world. I was eager to try Ginza after reading your restaurant review. Unfortunately, I have to disagree and say it was one of the worst dining experiences I've ever had. It took us 30 minutes for the waitress to take our orders and another 30 minutes for our spring rolls to arrive. The rolls were cooked perfectly on the outside, but inside was another matter. They tasted not unlike poi, the bland staple of Hawaii. For those not familiar, the taste was like unflavored mush or gruel with a similar consistency, as though undercooked. We could only eat half the single order between us. We were eager to try the Korean bbq and had ordered the beef, which was cooked at our table. The beef was raw and stringy as our waitress put it on the "grill". It was very unappetizing to look at while she took a pair of scissors and cut the stringy parts up (I guess they don't trust their employees with knives). She kept the temperature of the burner too low, because it just sat there uncooked for a long time and finally steamed to a point where it was more or less done. Not what I would call grilled or bbq. I could hear orders at other tables sizzling away, but not ours. As a result, the taste and texture of the beef (or whatever it was) was unsatisfactory and neither of us could eat much of it. Although requested, our wine glasses were never refilled. And we were unable to get our waitress to bring our check because she was busy entertaining a larger group, so we had to get another waitress to bring it. I would give the restaurant an F for poor service and another F for food quality. I will never eat there again and advise others to avoid it.

August 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJamie Bartlett

My best friends brought us here for my 50th birthday dinner. The service started a little slow but once we got our drinks (specialty drinks were too sweet) things started to pick up. The BBQ was quite tasty (marinated short rib) and the sides that accompanied it were really good. We split a sushi roll which was very good, so I would like to go back to try a few diffenent rolls. I'd give it a 8 for atmosphere and a 6 for taste.

November 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterVino

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