Ample and Asian Fusion: Misoya Bistro in Medford
To get there, walk past the bronze man playing chess in the square, continue toward the red umbrellas and when you see the theater to your right, you have arrived at Misoya Bistro. It is a Bistro, in the sense that they have affordably-priced options, but portions are not small or French as the name would suggest. Ample and Asian fusion is more like it. Nestled next to the Craterian Theater, this cozy eatery with both indoor and outdoor seating has a menu brimming with flavorful options served with a smile and artful presentation.
On a Saturday afternoon around 3 pm, there were a few couples seated, but we got a table right away in the front room looking out on the square which was being decorated with holiday lights. A small bowl of edamame appeared along with glasses of water. This was good because we needed time to look through the many ordering choices. Everything from appetizers, soups, sides, tempura, wok specials, Misoya special rolls and Sashimi. With all the choices to peruse, you might want to relax with a drink watching the fish swimming around the half-wall aquarium while you ponder over your options.
The establishment is owned by Tae and Su Han who also own Bonsai Teriyaki in Ashland. Although Misoya Bistro has been in Medford for eight years, I had not noticed it before. The red outdoor umbrellas did it. Our friendly server, Taylor, who has been with the restaurant for five years when asked why he’d been there so long said, “I love this place. It’s my home.”
We ordered the Amber Roll (shrimp tempura, crab meat, avocado and cucumber topped with crunchy bits and chef’s spicy sauce) and the Chicken Teriyaki with rice and salad. While our food was being prepared, we watched the sushi chef focusing intently on timing and presentation.
Although the choice of music playing seemed out of place (I would have preferred tranquil instead of pop radio rock), the bistro itself is cozy with oil lamps at tables and comfortable benches. The salad arrived first for me and was just the right amount of mixed and micro-greens with a poppyseed tasting dressing. Shortly after finishing the salad, our entrees arrived. My plate was more than enough for two. The sweet-smelling teriyaki sauce and gorgeous lightly-battered tempura vegetables and shrimp got my taste buds fired up with anticipation. The rice was not sticky or too dry and the chicken was quite tender.
My guest’s Amber Roll had about 8 or 9 sections and upon his first bite, he was in gustatory heaven. Pickled ginger and beet shavings made the plate look appetizing but not overly adorned. After finishing the roll, he remarked, “I feel satiated; not overfull.” He then happily proceeded to eat some of my plentiful teriyaki.
If we had room in our stomachs, we would have tried the Mochi ice cream. Instead, we elected to let our server surprise us with a special roll of his selection to take home. He chose the “Harry Potter Roll (shrimp tempura, crab meat, cucumber and avocado topped with seared albacore tuna, green onions and garlic ponzu),” which in name alone would have scared me, but in retrospect was delightful. The tuna as the outside wrapping was just the right thickness and tasted quite fresh. My hope is to go back to this establishment multiple times to try Stone Pot Bibimbop and more special rolls! This bistro is big on portions, flavor and hospitality.
11 am – 9:30 pm, Monday – Thursday
11 am – 12 am, Friday and Saturday
11:30 am – 9:30 pm, Sunday
235 Theatre Alley, Medford